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why does my car sound like a lawn mower

Why Does My Car Sound Like A Lawn Mower?

Why does my car sound like a lawn mower? Don’t panic! This issue is not rare, and you can solve it after finding the exact cause. 

The lawn mower-like noise comes from multiple factors, such as the exhaust leak or worn-out tires. Most of the time, you have to ask a professional to solve the problem. 

The noise annoys you for sure, but it also indicates some errors within the system. So let’s check this article to diagnose and learn how to deal with them! 

Why Does My Car Sound Like A Lawn Mower

Why Does My Car Sound Like A Lawn Mower?

Your car may sound like a lawn mower because of the exhaust leak, worn-out tires, blown head gasket, engine misfire, or failed wheel bearings. The outdated differential oil also causes the same issue. 

Every noise in your car refers to a particular problem. For example, if you hear a squeaking sound in the brake pedal, the whole brake system should be responsible for it. 

The lawn mower-like noise is even louder and makes you uncomfortable. We will discuss all the reasons and recommend a solution for each. 

Exhaust Leak

When your car sounds like a lawn mower when idling, the exhaust leak should be the first issue to check for. 

The exhaust is in charge of two tasks: transporting burnt gas out of the system and catalyzing the gas into less harmful substances for the environment.

Because the exhaust works with hot gas all the time, the stress will cause contraction and expansion. Finally, the pipe will weaken and even crack, causing your car to sound like a lawn mower. 

Moreover, the metal pipe may rust because of the vapors. External elements, like water, snow, and dirt, also lead to severe damage. 

How to solve it? 

You can test if the issue comes from the exhaust. Simply move your fingers underneath the exhaust pipe. Be careful not to touch it, or it will burn your fingers. 

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If you can feel the gas blowing, there must be a leak in the exhaust system. In this case, you can weld the crack. But if the leak is too large, consider replacing the part. 

Worn Out Tires

New tires can endure friction well, giving you a smooth drive. On the other hand, worn-out tires will make your car sound like a lawn mower. You have the same problem with underinflated tires. 

Aside from the noise, worn-out tires will cause tire blowouts, road drip, and road grip. When all these issues occur, there is a high risk of accidents. 

Tire condition is vital for traveling across extreme conditions, such as snow or ice. That’s why Honda Civic manufactures focus on the tires and brake system when building their winter features. However, even when you are driving in dry weather, the worn-out tires can’t give you enough grip on the road. You will have a hard time steering as a result.

How to solve it?

The best solution for this issue is to check the tire pressure every month. This step will be more critical if you intend to take a long trip or carry a heavy load. 

The car manufacturer already claims the tire pressure requirements on the label attached to the door jam or the driver’s door. You can also check it in the owner’s book. 

Blown Head Gasket

The head gasket is an important cooling system component and maintains its efficiency. It stays between the car’s cylinders and the engine. 

This component prevents combustion gas from entering the cooling system while keeping water and coolant from mixing and leaking into the cylinders. 

Overheating can cause a blown head gasket. It will expand and can’t fit between the cylinders and engine anymore. Then, your car sounds like a lawn mower when idling. 

How to solve it?

The noise is really annoying. You need to contact a qualified mechanic to check the head gasket for you. Otherwise, the harmful gas from the gasket will enter your car’s cabin. 

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Faulty Wheel Bearings

Why does my car sound like something is loose? Well, because it is really having something loose, like the wheel bearings. 

The bearings stabilize the wheels and minimize friction while your car is moving. As a result, they are susceptible to wear and tear. 

The bearings loosen up over time, causing a noise like a lawn mower. They may cause the wheels to stop suddenly on the road, which is dangerous and can even lead to an accident. After considering the poor condition of the wheel bearings, the mechanic may recommend keeping your car for a fix.  

How to solve it?

Check each wheel to see whose bearings cause the noise. You can raise one tire and turn the wheel to detect the noise. The wheel with the lawn mower-like noise may have broken bearings, and you need to replace them immediately. 

Engine Misfire

There will be an engine misfire when one or more cylinders in your car can’t produce power. The reasons for the misfire can be a clogged fuel injector, faulty oxygen sensor, or blocked spark plug. 

Another case is the spark igniting unburned fuels from the cylinder. Then, the sound created by the ignition is like the one you hear from a lawn mower. 

The engine misfire causes the cylinder to malfunction. Sometimes, it stops your car suddenly in the middle of the road. 

How to solve it?

What causes engine to make noise? There are multiple possible reasons. So if you notice the lawn mower-like sound in the system, take it to the garage. Then, the mechanic can help identify the cause and recommend the best solution. 

Aged Differential Fluid

The differential is part of a vehicle’s drivetrain that transmits torque from the transmission system to the wheels, enabling them to spin at different speeds.

Differential fluid is a lubricant applied to the differential to safeguard the bearings and gears from damage. It aids in reducing heat generation and friction, too.

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Old, fractured, or leaking differential oil may harm gears. Problems related to poor differential oil include gear lockup, breaking, and overheating. 

How to solve it?

Poor-quality or outdated differential lubricants might harm your car and make it impossible for you to go far. Thus, you should replace the fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles to prevent oil issues. 

Can You Drive With An Exhaust Leak

Can You Drive With An Exhaust Leak?

Yes, but it’s not recommended to drive with an exhaust leak. The leak will negatively affect your health, your car, and even the environment.

First, the exhaust leak produces a loud noise, distracting you from focusing on the road. 

Second, the leak causes your automobile to fail emission tests. You have to choose an expensive repair for it. 

Third, the toxic substances released from the leak, like carbon monoxide, are dangerous to your health. You will experience nausea, headache, and dizziness. 

Those substances harm the environment, too. Air pollution is one of the most common consequences of harmful gas. 

Thus, to prevent possible harm and guarantee safe driving, get your car checked out and fixed by an experienced mechanic as soon as you notice an exhaust leak. 


If you wonder, “Why does my car sound like a lawn mower?” then you are not alone. In this case, check the exhaust, tire, head gasket, engine, wheel bearings, and differential oil. Once you find the cause, act quickly to solve the problem. 

The annoying lawn mower-like noise ruins your trip, but it’s not the only headache. If ignored, some parts of your car may break down, increasing the risk of an accident. 

Our last piece of advice is to visit the garage whenever you notice a symptom of failure in your car. Then, treat it immediately to enjoy your safe trip. 

Thank you for reading! 

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