Different Tire Noises on The Road: What Do They Mean?

The depth of the tire tread, size of the wheel, and the brand of the tire can all impact the way in which your car sounds. However, there are occasions when you might hear more unnerving tire noises. 

Your tires are key to keeping you safe on the road, so when you start to hear a strange tire noise, it’s always best to pay attention and fix the problem as soon as you can.

Causes of Tire Noise

There are many different reasons you may be hearing tire noises when you drive. Some of these noises may be completely normal for the vehicle, whereas other noises may indicate that there is a problem. 

Normal Tire Noise

There are many aspects of tires that can impact the noise they make when you drive. Some of the most common include:

  • Tire Tread – the larger the tread the noisier the car
  • Speed – when you travel at higher speeds your tires will make more noise
  • Width of Tire – the wider the tire the more friction that is created which results in more noise. 
  • Type of Tire – some tires are manufactured to be quieter than others. 

Abnormal Tire Noise

Alongside the more normal tire noises, there are abnormal tire noises that can occur. These noises indicate that tire maintenance is overdue, or that there is a more serious issue. 

These more abnormal noises can be caused by the following issues with your tires:

  • Uneven tire wear
  • Tire damage
  • Flat spots
  • Overinflation
  • Underinflation
  • Bad alignment
  • Unbalanced tires
  • Worn tread

However, sometimes that are more engine-integral issues that are, in fact, causing these noises, which is why it’s always best to seek the help of an auto mechanic if you feel concerned. 

Diagnosing Weird Tire Noises

If you’re driving along, turn a corner and hear a loud squealing noise, or you pick up speed on the highway and start to hear a loud humming, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with your car. 

It’s always unnerving to hear your car making a weird sound, especially when you aren’t sure what’s causing it. If you hear any of the following noises, it’s probably time to book in with your auto mechanic. 


If your car starts making squealing sounds, it’s often a sign that your tires are underinflated. This is usually a good starting point. However, if this isn’t the issue then its best to take your car to an auto mechanic as it could be a sign of incorrect wheel alignment.


If you hear humming coming from your car when driving this could mean faulty wheel bearings, which is something you’ll need to book in with a mechanic to get fixed. This issue is always advisable to get fixed as soon as you can.

This noise could also indicate that your tires require rotation or are too worn to continue being driven. Either way, whatever the cause, when you hear a humming noise you should get your car inspected asap. 

“Woomp”, “woomp”, “woomp”

A woomp-woomp sound could be an indication that there is something lodged in the tire. It is always wise to check for any foreign object that could be lodged in the tire. However, if you find something sharp is lodged, don’t try to remove it as it may have punctured the tire. Instead, take your car to an auto shop.

A more serious diagnosis would be a broken or separated belt, bad wheel alignment, worn suspension parts or underinflated tires. It’s always best at this stage to seek an auto mechanic for help. 

Although tire noises can be caused by innocent tire choices, it’s always good practice to remain cautious when you start to hear any new sounds coming from your tires. 

In most cases, if you respond quickly and seek the professional help of an auto mechanic, when the issue is more serious, any immediate danger can be avoided. Remember, if it sounds weird, check it. 


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