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Very weird sound

Yesterday I experienced a sound I have never heard. 2010 Kia Forte SX 6 speed M/T. It started and ran normal for 12 miles highway and 3 miles city. When I was parking at the curb it presented me with a fairly loud “ratcheting” sound which I have never heard in any vehicle. It was only for a second. No warning lights and it was still running normally. I checked the engine compartment and nothing was visibly wrong. I let it cool for an hour then checked oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. All full. Started normally and drove it around the block. Everything normal. Then later drove it home. Everything normal. Today I drove to the grocery store. Everything normal. Any ideas?

If it was me I would keep using the car normally and wait for it to happen again, so I could learn more. There are probably several things that could explain it, including someone using an impact driver nearby.

You tried parking like this, maybe?:


Could it be the ABS operating? Have you ever heard it, say, on an icy road while braking? It’s quite a loud and rapid and regular rat-a-tat-tat-tat, at least it is on my 1999 Honda Civic.

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Wonder if it could be the CV joint but it wouldn’t have been turning much parking. Could something have been pushed against the belt? Now if you are my age, any chance it might have been something outside the car from another vehicle, the building, or even the gol dang radio? Can’t tell you how many times they play sirens or weird noises on the radio that get my attention and think its the car or police.

It did sound similar to traction/stability/ABS but I was going straight at a crawl speed and barely touching the brakes. T/S did go nuts years ago when exiting a curve at low speed. Dealership had no ideas and it never happened again until possibly now.

I was not turning. I had pulled to the curb and was creeping a couple of feet forward. Quiet residential neighborhood. I have only 48,000 miles on the 7 1/2 year old car purchased new. CV joints are fine. Radio was off. The radio commercials with sirens should be illegal. I also have a problem with TV commercials using a “ding dong” doorbell like mine. If the commercial is new and unfamiliar I end up answering the door. AAAARRRRHHHH! I have a oil/coolant change appointment with the dealership but being unable to recreate the “problem” or unless others have had the same experience I expect no help there.

It does sound ABS-related:

Great information. Thank you. I could have been moving at 3mph. This morning I thought of another factor. Wet maple leaves next to the curb. The passenger side tires possibly slipped just enough. Kia’s Traction/Stability control does seem to be overly sensitive. At least I can turn it off when obviously not needed. Of course it turns back on every time the car is started.

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My cousins 2010 impala would make a ratcheting noise sometimes. Turned out it was the traction control there was a TSB on it i think, and they had to fix it, it would turn on and off randomly. But if it was me i would first look at the rotors and calipers. Feel them look for any odd wear, or something stuck. Have a family member creep the car slowly while you listen outside, try to recreate it. It may not be anything to do with the brakes too, could be suspension/front end, im assuming the sound was from the front bounce the car by pushing on the front up and down too just in case the sound is related to suspension. If it dont happen again you may never know what it was lol

Strange coincidence yesterday. I was walking to my car in a parking lot when a Chevy Tahoe “whipped” into a parking space making the ratcheting noise as it stopped. I thought hey! someone else with a T/S control problem. Then it dawned on me. In my no safety inspection state it’s more likely totally shot brakes so they’re using the parking pawl to stop. LOL