Hear that? It’s your car begging for attention.

I was walking through downtown Washington, D.C. this morning when a taxi cab driver flung its shoddy Lincoln around a sharp corner, with nary a pause for the red light before turning right. (Thankfully, I was on the other side of the street, or else I may not be here to write this post.) I noticed this flying heap of sheet metal because its insides were screaming for help. There were so many whistles, squawks, and squeaks coming out of that Lincoln that I could hear it from at least one hundred yards away.

Seeing the taxi driver’s act behind the wheel reminded me of the many bad habits drivers still have.  Read my previous post on how to eliminate your bad driving habits.  Hearing the taxi reminded me of how often I hear cars squealing and clanking down the busy streets of this metropolitan area.

Often times, a loud noise can be your car telling you something is wrong. The seriousness of car noises can range from a loose belt to your engine seizing. If you choose to ignore the sound, you may not learn just how serious the problem is until it’s too late. I must be way more observant than the people driving these vehicles every day. [There’s one car on my street that is so bad, that I vowed to myself that if my 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee ever began sounding remotely similar to that, then I would have to say “good-bye.” (Turns out I did let my Jeepster go last summer, but not for that reason.)]

I am perplexed by how oblivious drivers are to their cars’ cries out for help, and I want to know how my readers deal with strange noises coming from under the hood. Please leave a comment to tell me how you’d deal with it!

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.