A car with no issues at all will not make any weird noises. In other words, the vehicle will only make unusual noises when it has problems. And when it comes to these odd noises that associate with a particular issue, a gurgling sound when the vehicle is idle is pretty typical.
But why does the car makes this sound?
And what should you do to fix the issues?
In this write-up, we will go through the reasons and solutions for car gurgling sound when idling.
Why Is Your Vehicle Making Gurgling Sounds?
There are various reasons why your vehicle is making gurgling sounds. However, in most cases, these will be the culprits:
Engine Heating Up Excessively
So, you might know by now that your vehicle relies on coolant fluid to keep all the components cool. This coolant fluid circulates through the engine and keeps it cool when running.
During the circulation, it will go through the radiator, which will generally be on the front of the vehicle. For some models, the radiator can be on the rear. Nonetheless, the coolant will then make its way to the engine, where it will collect the heat and return to the radiator to cool down.
However, the coolant will get excessively hot when the engine is overheating. The radiator will draw the heated coolant quickly to ensure the engine does not overheat further. In other words, the coolant will circulate at a faster rate.
When the radiator draws the coolant faster and the coolant is circulating quickly, there will be a gurgling noise.
Get the engine checked by a professional mechanic and find the root cause of the overheating issue. The gurgling sound should no longer be there when you tackle the problem causing the engine to overheat.
Low Levels of Coolant
There can be leaks in the coolant circulation line. If you look closely, you will notice a small hose that runs from the radiator to the engine. The coolant basically circulates inside the hose. And if there is a leak in the hose or any other parts where the coolant circulates through, you will lose coolant over time.
Now, when you start to lose coolant, eventually, the coolant level will be too low. This issue can eventually make the engine heat up, which can cause the radiator to make a gurgling noise.
Take a look at the coolant tank. Check if the coolant is within the recommended level or not. If not, check the hoses inside that run through the engine. Replace it if it has a leak or hole in it.
Bad Radiator or Faulty Water Pump
Sometimes, the gurgling issue does not have to do anything with the coolant or how quickly the coolant is circulating through. Instead, the sound can be due to a bad or faulty radiator! In addition to that, there can be an issue with the water pump.
Check the water pump and the radiator. Test it thoroughly and see if the parts are working optimally or not. If they are not, you should consider replacing them.
Although it is not that common, the engine can make gurgling noise when there is an oil leak. It happens because the engine depends a lot on the engine oil. This fluid lubricates all of the moving parts of the engine and makes sure that there is no friction happening.
In other words, the engine will not operate smoothly if the engine oil is not working adequately inside. Also, if an engine oil leaks, the parts will not have enough oil for lubrication. That, again, will make the engine oil not operate optimally.
Moreover, when there is insufficient engine oil, the engine will start to overheat. And when that happens, as you know, the radiator will pull in more power, the coolant will circulate through quickly, and you will hear the gurgling sounds.
If you notice an engine oil leak, you need to get the vehicle checked by a professional mechanic. They should be able to find the root cause of the leak and get it fixed immediately.
Sometimes, the gurgling issue can be simply for the head gasket of the coolant tank not being in good shape. It might have let air in, which is circulating through the cooling system.
Furthermore, the issue can be due to a faulty radiator cap. When the radiator cap is not properly in place or is damaged, it hinders the optimal process of the radiator. As a result, you will start to hear the vehicle’s gurgling when it is idle.
If you have checked the other parts and they seem okay, divert your focus to the head gasket and radiator cap. Check whether they are properly in place or have any signs of damage on them. If they do have signs of damage, get them replaced.
On the other hand, if they are simply not in the right place, you need to take them off and properly put them back in. However, if the issue persists, visit your trusty mechanic.
Why Is the Car Making a Gurgling Sound When Braking?
Like idling, the vehicle can make a gurgling sound while braking. Well, in this case, the coolant, radiator, or engine is not causing the issue. Instead, there might be oily residue on the brakes. How did this oily residue get there? Most likely, the manufacturing oil is still on the brakes.
So, remove the wheel and check on the brake parts before anything else. See if there is any residue on the parts and get it off. However, that is not the only reason why the car can make a gurgling sound while braking. It can be due to a brake pad issue as well.
Therefore, get the pad checked if you do not find any oil residue on the brake parts. Get it inspected by a professional mechanic and see if the pads require a replacement or not. If so, get them replaced as soon as possible because a faulty braking system makes the vehicle unsafe to drive.
Signs to Lookout for When the Vehicle Is Making Gurgling Sounds
So, you can easily get to the bottom of the issue if you know what signs to consider when you hear the gurgling sound. If there is a brake warning light, you should entirely focus on the brakes, not the coolant, engine, or radiator.
On the other hand, the issue is probably with the engine, radiator, and coolant if there is no brake warning light.
If there is too little coolant, a coolant leak, or the engine is overheating, the vehicle will light up the coolant temperature light on the dashboard. For some models, the check engine light will turn on. In that cases, you should focus on the coolant tank and radiator.
The issue of a car gurgling sound when idling can happen to anyone. And as you know, many reasons contribute to this problem. However, in most cases, it has to do with the coolant, radiator, and engine.
But if you take proper care of the vehicle and carry out proper maintenance, you can prevent this issue from occurring.