If your vehicle is making a clicking,clunking,hissing,squealing or even explosive noises, it could be trying to tell you something. Noises can be a number of things. With this category I'm going to give a list to check since the suggestions could be never ending.
Cv Axles (Drive Axles)
If a cv axle makes a claklunk-claklunk-claklunk noise when you turn or pull a hard U-turn, then it's damaged. What's happening is the cv joint has either lost it's grease due to a torn cv boot, or the joint is damaged. Usually a replacement of the cv axle (drive axle) is needed.
Motor Mounts (Engine Mounts) & Transmission Mounts
If you're driving your car and you tend to hear a vibrating noises under the hood during acceleration, then you might have a bad motor mount, or even a transmission mount. Sometimes when a transmission mount goes bad, depending on the type of shift linkage you have, it can even cause your vehicle to not engage in a certain gear at times. Replacing the mount is the only option. First inspect the mount and look for any tears or dry rotting occurring, that would be signs of a bad motor mount.
Transmission Synchros & Gears,Master Cylinder Or Slave Cylinder
If you're driving a vehicle, and every time you go to shift you hear a grinding noise, it could be a few things. First thing to suspect would be a bad synchros in the transmission, if the slave & master cylinder checks out, then it's likely the synchros. The synchros purpose is to allow the collar and gear to synchronize together without grinding, basically it aligns the path. Kind of like a puzzle piece fitting into the matching piece. If they get worn or damaged they need to be replaced as there is no repairing them. Check both master & slave cylinder as they may not be allowing the clutch to disengage, that will cause grinding also. Lastly, a bad transmission gear. Sometimes teeth can break off a gear, then it's pretty much replace the whole transmission, or have the transmission rebuilt.. "this is fairly uncommon".
Chain Rattle Under The Hood Or Whining Squealing Sound
If you hear a chain rattling under the hood, chances are it's either your timing chain is too loose due to a bad timing tensioner from one of the teeth breaking off, or a snapped balance shaft chain. Give the engine a slight rpm increase, if the noise quiets and is coming from your cams, then it's likely that that's the problem. For whining, track the noise down, likely it's going to be a over tensioned timing belt, or any of the belts that control the alternator, a/c compressor, water pump and power steering pump. "Rule of thumb": twist the belts 90 deg's, if it feels super tight , it's too tight and will need to be loosened. In some cases it could be a bad idler pulley or any of the bearings in the a/c compressor, power steering pump, alternator and some timing tensioners that are not hydraulic.
Pinging Noise When Acceleration
This is a common noise, and even I get this sometimes. If it sounds like spoons tapping far away in a can, then it's pretty much detonation due to bad fuel you just got from the pump. Try fuel stabilizer to see if it quiets it down. Detonation is not good, but it happens to all of us at some point, I blame the gas stations for quality control. Now days vehicles are equipped with knock sensors, which will reduce timing in order to keep the engine safe. Now if this noise doesn't clear up after few fresh tanks, there could be other issues and you might want to take it to a local shop and have them do a quick OBD Scan. You can get a free scan at any Advance Auto Parts or Auto Zone Store, or diy and purchase a OBD Scan tool.
Grinding/Ruff Road Sound Coming From Brake Area
Either there's a sticking, or a worn brake pad that needs to be replaced, or you have a bad wheel bearing. Usually if you've been hearing this noise for a while and you notice one of your tires seem to be wearing down on the inside more then the others, then it probably the wheel bearing. This job requires a press to remove the bearing, and then carefully press it back in. Order the bearing online, and have a shop press it in, this would be the cheapest "DIY" alternative. In some cases, if you recently worked on your vehicle, there's what's called a dust shield, if you bent it in towards the rotor, it could be rubbing and that's making the grinding noise. Check it first.
Hammer Sound Coming From Engine Block
This has bad news written all over it, a few things it might be is, you have a bent piston rod,spun rod bearing, or even a wrist pin issue. If you rev the engine and it increase the sound faster, but get slower and quieter when you let off, chances are one of them is your problem. Unfortunately a rebuild is on the table, or a whole new engine. In some cases a loose timing chain can smack the casing, but will go away with increased rpm unlike the above mentioned.
Loud Fast Ticking From Cylinder Head
This could be sticky lifters, or valve stem to rocker arm clearances are off and need to be adjusted. If it's a sticky lifter, then you would just replace all of them due to having to pull the rocker arms assembly, might as well do the job right. Valve adjustments are simple and cost only the tools.. (Feeler gauge, Wrench & A Flat Head Screw Driver) There are valve adjustment tools you can purchase online or any local auto parts store to make the job even easier.
Back Firing Out The Tail Pipe
Back firing can be the signs of running too rich/lean, or a case of bad spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap & rotor, bad fuel, O2 sensor, and even the timing being off. pretty much anything can cause this, so it's best to troubleshoot with a OBD Scanner first to pinpoint the issue. If that doesn't find the problem, then start with the distributor cap/rotor, plug wires & spark plugs and go from there.