Why does my car sound like a motorcycle?

Is your car making strange noises, almost like a motorcycle? Could this be a monumental problem that will cost an arm and leg to fix?

Rarely does a car sound like a motorcycle, but it could be a problem with the exhaust, including the catalytic converter and the belts squealing slightly. A hairline crack in the exhaust pipe could start a much bigger issue but nothing expensive to repair.

What does it indicate when your car sounds like a motorcycle?

First, you have a problem. If the problem is not your catalytic converter, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Hairline cracks and small holes develop in-car exhausts through general wear and tear and is an easy, inexpensive fix unless your catalytic converter is involved.

A hole in a car exhaust can at first sound rasping as gasses escape through the small vent sounding somewhat like a motorcycle exhaust. The problem soon becomes worse and quite evident where the problem lies.

Belt squeal can be annoying but easy to diagnose. Unfortunately, car engines running long belts can be hard to identify if the belt tensioner is causing the problem or the belt needs adjusting.

A simple, quick test but not a fix is to put some talc on the belt while it’s running. A bit messy, but if the belt stops squealing, the belt needs more tension. If you’re going to add tension, replace the belt. They are relatively inexpensive, and if the belt is driving your camshaft, it could save you the cost of an engine rebuild.

Is it a serious problem if the car sounds like a motorcycle?

Under normal circumstances, no. However, if the noise is coming from a poorly maintained car, then the cost of repair could escalate.

If your car is less than ten years old, it could be a sticking valve which makes a rattle noise, nothing like a motorbike that’s why you can suspect something less sinister if this problem occurs.

If your car engine sounds like an over-revving motorcycle, you may have a problem with your throttle body sensor causing excess revs from your car engine.

To be blunt, many irritating problems can cause your car engine to sound similar to a motorcycle.

What will your car sound like without a catalytic converter?

Not like a motorcycle! Your exhaust system will sound more throaty and more like a performance car.

However, don’t be tempted to remove your catalytic converter. Your catalytic converter is fitted with O2 sensors and works with the fuel delivery system.

Unless your vehicle is re-tuned to compensate for no catalytic converter, you will have problems starting your car engine.

Exhaust systems can make some weird and beautiful sounds that could emulate the sound of a motorcycle.