Are you wondering why does the car sound like popcorn popping? Well, there can be many reasons behind a car making sounds like popcorn popping.
The most likely causes of the car’s popping sound are a damaged CV joint, a loose exhaust, a silencer (also known as a muffler), and incorrectly inflated tires. Additionally, the popping sound can also indicate a severe condition like- an engine knock.
To figure out the real problem, you have to know the timing of each problem. For instance, if your car makes a popping sound while turning, that’s probably because of a damaged cv joint or tie rod.
However, in this blog, you can find all the causes of popping sounds and how to identify the problematic area.
So, let’s binge on with me!
What Are the Reasons for Popcorn Popping Sound?
As we have mentioned, several issues can cause a popping sound at different parts of the car. The problem behind such sounds can be normal or even “fatal enough” to make you extend your pockets. But all the causes behind the loud popping sound in the car are mentioned below:
Damaged CV Joints (Homokinetic)
CV joints stand for constant velocity joint/joints. They connect the wheels and the transmission, mostly found in front-wheel drive cars.
And for each wheel in a car, there are two CV joints (outer CV joint and inner CV joint).
However, when any CV joints get damaged, worn, or broken, they tend to make a popping sound.
You must know what hubcaps are, right? They are simply caps or lids made of steel to cover the center portion of the tires. And they are also known as decorative disks. Well, not all cars have hubcaps.
The hubcaps are attached to the hub of the wheel with lug nuts. And when the lug nuts become loose, the hubcap wiggles and make a popping sound.
Bad Car Struts ( Related to Suspension)
The car strut connects the wheel to the body, supports the car’s weight, and lets us drive smoothly. And they are mostly used on cars’ independent suspension systems.
But when the car strut gets damaged in any way, it cannot prevent the car from bad bumping impacts. And thus, you will hear popping noises.
Loose or Leaked Exhaust or Silencer
Another potential cause for the popping sound is loose or leaked exhaust or silencer.
If you hear a popping sound under the car, that’s probably because of a bad exhaust system or ignition timing.
Well, don’t consider this problem as minor! Due to leaking exhaust, harmful gases can get into the car.
The popping sound can also be caused due to an engine issue. The engine makes a popping noise for two reasons: overloaded with heat and pressure or an imbalance of fuel (too much) and air (too little). Ignoring the engine issue can lead to more situations.
Wrongly Inflated Tires
Wrongly inflated tires? Yes! When the four tires’ size, shape, and air pressure are different, they are bad! And the wrong tires make a popping sound as you drive.
Wrongly inflated tires don’t only make weird noises, but they can lead to serious accidents.
Some other reasons:
Well, popping or clicking noises can be caused due to-
- Cold engine
- Dirty fuel and air filter
- Torn or worn spark plug wires
- Blocked exhaust
- Worn engine belt
- Damaged ball joints
- Some water in the gas tank
- Bad fuel tank
How to Identify the Problem? Popping Sounds at Different Stages!
So finally, you’ve learned about all the possible causes of your car making popping sounds. Such great news!
But how will you identify your car’s problem?
You can easily spot problems like loose hubcaps, engine fuel, and air imbalance. But what about the other serious issues?
Well, to spot other issues, you have to pay attention to the popping sound at the following times:
Popping Sound When The Car Is Idling
If you hear a popping sound while the car is idling, that is probably because of-
- Loose or leaking exhaust
- Torn or worn spark plug wires
Popping Sound When the Car Is Accelerating
Do you hear a popping sound while driving or turning the car? Not one, but this thing indicates a lot of issues!
As you will speed up your car, the sound will get louder. And the leading cause behind this can be a defective engine or a lousy air filter.
Some other problems could be:
- Loose hubcaps
- Bad struts
- Cv joints issue
- U joint issue
- Blocked or leaked exhaust or silencer
- Wrongly inflated tires
Can I solve It by Myself, or Do I Need a Mechanic?
Well, it depends on the problem and on you too! You can solve an issue yourself if you have the expertise and proper car knowledge. And also if you can correctly identify the problem.
But there are still such challenges where you’ll require expert assistance for sure.
For example- You can solve issues like loose hubcaps, wrongly inflated tires, and other minor issues (if you know how to do so). And solving the cold engine is also easy! You just need to run your engine for some time, and the problem is solved!
However, you must take your car to a mechanic shop for damaged CV joints, U joints, engine belts, bad structs, defective ball joints, and leaking exhaust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to replace a spark plug wire?
Yes, you have to replace it.
Is the spark plug wire expensive?
No, they are not expensive.
Is it essential to change wrongly inflated tires?
Yes, of course!
Can bad struts damage tires?
Yes, the bad structs can damage tires. They can even harm the other parts of the car.
So, after going through this blog, you should now know why cars sound like popcorn popping. Moreover, we have also mentioned all the possible causes for the popping sound. And we’ve also explained how to identify them and solve some issues.
But the problem could be different for your car. Or you could mishear the sound. So, we highly suggest you take your car to a repair shop. Drive Safe!