Why My Car Makes Screeching Noise When Turning Key?

When you turn the car key first thing in the morning, you expect your engine to sound healthy and quickly settle into a beautiful Idel. But sometimes, it happens that when you turn the car key, you are greeted with many creaking and howling sounds from beneath the bonnet. As the car engine has many components inside it, there can be many reasons for the sounds. They are enough to drive a car on a crazy early in the morning. 

It can be a difficult to understand the situation to understand why a car makes screeching noise when turning key. In this article, I have broken down the problem into an easy-to-understand format. 

What To Do When A Car Makes Screeching Noise When Turning Key?

A car’s hood can be a mystery box for many, we fail to understand the common issues sometimes. This issue is not very problematic and it signifies a simple problem. Let us understand the causes and its solutions-

1. Worn Out Engine Belts

A screeching drive belt can be an invitation to a lot of problems. If a belt breaks, then a car won’t be drivable and it will have to be towed. If the engine runs without a serpentine belt, it will overheat. The water pump will no longer work. A broken belt can also damage other parts. It is not uncommon to see a broken radiator shroud and ripped coolant hoses that were damaged by a ripped belt.

How To Fix Belt Issues?

You should perform a Fone engine drive belt service when this problem happens. These days, you can buy a complete kit that comes with all the component that needs to be replaced wild changing a belt. Also, make sure you change the engine oil at a time because many tensioners runs on hydraulic power from engine oil.

2. Bad Engine Mount

Engine mounts represent the connection point between the engine and the chassis. They are typically a combination of metal and rubber or in some cases, hydraulic units. The metal is there for support securely while the rubber component helps absorb and minimize the vibrations. A bad engine mount can cause a situation where a car makes screeching noise when turning key.

Solutions For A Bad Engine Mount

Sadly there are no repair options when an engine Mount goes bad.  You should get them replaced as soon as possible. In many higher-end cars, you have to bring down the whole engine out of the car to get them replaced and it can be a costly affair. A bad engine mount can eventually break the engine mounting, so it should not be neglected. 

3. Starter Motor Needing Attention

When you turn to start your car, there is a solenoid in the starter motor that has to engage the starter gear with the flywheel before the starter motor kicks in. A bad solenoid of the starter motor, which engages the gear before the gears have meshed, when this happens then car makes screeching noise when turning key. Usually, the gear on the starter is worn down. In this case, it possible that the starter might not even be able to start the car. 

Options To Repair Starter Motor

When it comes to the Starter Motor of the car there are many rebuild options that you can look into.  You can buy the rebuild kit and repair the motor itself or get the motor repaired from the shop. It’s a simple motor that can be repaired but sometimes the cost of the repair kit is equal to a new motor and you should buy a new one in that case. 

4. A Loose Component Of The Car

A car that squeaks, rattles, and rumbles every time it starts can indicate a loose component of the car. Such noises plague owners of new and old cars alike and, too often, they live with the problem rather than do something about it. Most chassis-oriented noises can be detected and eliminated by a trained mechanic. A loose component will make itself obvious when you start your car.

How To Deal With Loose Components?

While diagnosing the issue It’s important to note that noise that occurs as the engine idles is normally caused by the chassis. When your engine is running at idle, listen to it carefully from inside and outside the car, as well as with the hood open and with it closed. Also, take a run down the street and on the highway, paying close attention to the sounds of the car in motion with the windows rolled up and down.

Are Creaking Sounds At Startup Serious?

If your car is noisier than usual,  then it indicates that there is some problem with the car. Creaking sounds are not that serious but it might be an indication of a serious issue. So in order to avoid a complete breakdown of the car in the middle of nowhere, you should get these issues checked as soon as possible. If you are someone who follows the maintenance schedule regularly, then chances are that you will not face the issue at all. 

How Much It Cost To Fix Creaking Sounds?

If the issue is related to some engine component like a bad engine mount, then it can cost you up to 500$. Servicing of the drive belt system can also cost you upwards of 500$. In case the starter motor is bad, then in case of the rebuild, it will cost you 200$ and if you go with a complete replacement, then it will cost you 300$. Other miscellaneous issues like a loose component of another minor issue can be fixed under 100$.


It can be concluded that when your car makes screeching noise when turning key, then you should not get worried instantaneously. It is not that of a big-ticket item of your car, It can be fixed fairly easily, But you should hear your car when that happens, as it might be an indication of a lingering serious issue with your car. If you still have any doubts, then feel free to comment down below.  

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