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Does Your Car Sound Like a Motorcycle: Find Out the Reason Why!

Why does my car sound like a motorcycle
Last Updated on Aug 16, 2023 By Lillian Kazmierczak

The loud “Vroom” noise coming out of a cruising Harley-Davidson may sound appealing to motorcycle enthusiasts, but it becomes a headache when your quiet car starts making similar sounds. This unusual sound almost always indicates underlying issues inside the engine.

Today, we are diving deep to find out those underlying reasons that make your car sound like a motorcycle. We’ll also discuss the fixes that you can try to eliminate the unusual sound and bring your car back to its glory.

Fasten your seat belts as we head out to explore the reasons behind your car acting like a wannabe Harley-Davidson!

Unusual Car Noises

Most modern car engines are relatively quiet. You’ll most probably hear minor humming or buzzing depending on whether you are outside or inside the car.

However, sometimes the engine may make unusual sounds depending on its condition. The sound may feel like a motorcycle engine, weird buzzing, and even sometimes like a flying chopper.

This phenomenon is especially common when your try to start the engine. The sound is also the loudest then. After your start driving, the sounds get dimmer but don’t go away completely.

It’s dangerous to keep driving such a car. Let’s figure out what causes your car to make such loud noises.

What Makes a Car Sound Like a Motorcycle

Tailpipe covering

Generally, issues like this are caused by issues in the exhaust system, but even the tailpipe can cause such noise. If one of them gets loose and ends up stuck while you accelerate, It’ll produce a loud noise. The bad news is that it’s hard to pinpoint if you’re not careful.

However, the good news is that it’s not a major issue. This happens when you drive aggressively, and if you have a little experience with cars, you can fix the issue temporarily yourself. Just push the soft material in place that covers your tailpipe, and your car should be good. However, make an appointment with your mechanic for a more permanent solution.

Air filter

Your car’s air filter is among the few parts that come in direct contact with pollutants regularly. The air filter gets clogged over time, forcing the engine to work harder than needed. When that happens, the airflow to your engine gets interrupted and causes that loud motorcycle noise.

Exhaust system

The parts of your exhaust system can also generate motorcycle noises. The metal parts are prone to rust and corrosion, making them weaker over time. If you don’t connect the inner parts of your exhaust system properly, that can sound like a motorcycle engine.

Additionally, if there is a leak in your exhaust system, you’ll hear loud motorcycle noises as the exhaust gases can damage the inner parts of your car alongside making weird noises.

This issue needs immediate attention as continuing to drive such a car may become dangerous for you and everybody around you.


Issues like low transmission fluid level, misaligned gears, worn-out parts, and other drivetrain issues can also make your car sound like a motorcycle.

The drivetrain-related issue will take professional help to be fixed. We suggest you not try solving this issue by yourself as that can lead to more issues down the line.


The most common problem with a car belt is the belt getting loose over time. It also makes the engine sound like a motorcycle. However, there are a couple of things to check first. First, check your engine’s oil level, and then check if your car strip is broken or not.

Don’t be too happy if you don’t find issues as you may need to change your car’s belt altogether. Take professional help and eliminate that motorcycle noise for good.

Transmission fluid

If your transmission fluid gets worn out over time, it can cause issues in the drivetrain and the automatic transmission and makes loud noises while you accelerate.

The best way to fix this issue is to cover your car with regular maintenance. If the problem persists, take professional help.

Ways to Fix Your Car

Change the engine oil

Your car requires maintenance to function properly. The best way to keep your engine up and running is to maintain your car on a regular basis. The best way to ensure your engine’s good health is to change the car fluids regularly, especially the engine oil.

Engine oil collects dust and debris inside the engine and becomes dirty over time. Dirty engine oil can wear out the inner parts of your engine faster, especially when you drive recklessly (like quick acceleration. Sudden start/stops etc.).

Whether you are comfortable changing the engine oil yourself or need professional help; do it regularly. Don’t forget to use premium quality engine oils.

Check engine parts

Your car maintenance shouldn’t stop at changing engine oil. You can is a complicated machine built with numerous intricate parts. Each and every part of your car needs to be checked every once in a while. If you don’t these parts will become less effective and cause issues like making motorcycle noises.

If you ignore routine maintenance, you’ll be in far deeper trouble than your engine making “vroom” sounds only.

Inspect exhaust system for leaks

The exhaust system is in charge of removing exhaust gases from the engine. The gas is at high temperature and pressure when they leave the system. A fault in the exhaust system can easily cause your car to sound like a motorcycle.

Check your exhaust system regularly. Pay special attention to rust or lose parts as they’re the most probable culprits behind that loud noise.

Drive responsibly

Last but not least, your driving style has more impact on your car than your think. Your acceleration should be smooth and steady. Rough driving will not only damage your car but it also will create problems for other drivers nearby.

Avoid jerking or stomping the break whenever you get the chance. Alongside making your engine rev loudly, this can also result in faster wear and tear in your tires.


1. Is it safe to drive a car with motorcycle noise?

Ans: Not at all. The loud motorcycle noise usually comes from crucial parts of the engine. If your continue driving, you risk damaging your car even further. Rather, it would be best to tow your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.

2. What does a bad muffler sound like?

Ans: Loud motorcycle-like noise may also indicate that your muffler is going bad. In most cases, small holes or cracks in the muffler system allow the gas to escape, creating that loud noise. Check your car thoroughly if your car starts to sound like a motorcycle.

3. Which cars are more receptive to motorcycle noises?

Ans: If your car is equipped with a 4-cylinder engine located close to the ground, the exhaust gases can make a rumbling noise. Car models like Mazda Miata, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla are particularly known for this.

About the author

Lillian Kazmierczak

As far as I can remember, I would say I have been a car nut for my whole life. My father was a car dealer who used to change and repair his cars himself. This gave me the opportunity to get around all sorts of cars and get my hands dirty repairing vehicles from an early age.

A great fan of Japanese quality and German preciosity, my deep passion lies in older models that I believe have a flair that takes me back to my childhood! I also love their extraordinary durability and reliability when compared to today’s modern models.

When not out taking a ride, I enjoy socializing with fellow motorheads online and consuming any car facts and figures I can get my mind on!

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