Torque Shop

I am driving a Japanese-made car which is almost eight years old. Recently, when it is moving at around 60kmh, there is a "bloom bloom bloom" sound coming from the rear compartment.

It resembles the sounds made by a sports car. What is the problem? Can I ignore it as I can still tolerate the noise?

It is not easy to pinpoint the fault based on your description.

You could check a number of areas which could be the source of the noise.

First, check that the tyres are not defective or unevenly worn. Tyre noise, however, is rarely as loud as a sports car engine.

Next, send it to a workshop to have the wheel bearings checked. At eight years old, the car is highly likely to have some worn wheel bearings, which can emit the type of noise you complain of.

If left unattended, the noise will only get worse. Eventually, a bearing failure will occur. Hence if it is diagnosed as a bearing problem, replace both the rear wheel bearings at the same time as soon as possible.

Finally, check if there is any leak in the car's exhaust pipe or if the pipe is hanging and touching the chassis. Vibrations from the engine can be transmitted and sometimes even amplified through the exhaust pipe into the body if the exhaust pipe is not isolated from the chassis.

You should have the car inspected because, while you may be able to tolerate the noise, prolonged exposure could adversely affect your peace of mind without you even knowing it.

Shreejit Changaroth

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2018, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe