Tips About Noises Your Vehicle May Have

These words will assist a customer when trying to explain the various types of noises that may they may be experienced while operating his/her vehicle. Noises are the way a vehicle “tells” the operator that the vehicle is developing a failure or something that may be requiring immediate attention.

Noise Description and Definitions:

-Boom – A sound like a drum roll or distant thunder
-Buzz – A low pitch sound, like a bee
-Chatter – Rapidly repeated metallic sound
-Chirp – High pitched, repeating sound, like a chirping bird.
-Clunk – A metal-to-metal sound, like a hammer striking steel
-Growl – A low sound, like an angry dog
-Click – A light sound, like a ball-point pi being clicked
-Rattle – A sound like marbles rolling around in a can
-Grind – An Abrasive sound, like a grinding stone
-Knock – Like a knock on a door
-Hiss – Like air escaping from a balloon
-Hum – Like a wire humming in the wind
-Roar – Deep, prolonged sound like high winds or ocean waves
-Rumble – Low, heavy, Continuous sound, like thunder
-Squeal – A high-pitched sound, like fingernails across a chalkboard
-Squeak – A sound like rubbing a clean window
-Tap – A crisp, dull sound, like tapping your finger on a table
-Whine – High-pitched sound, like an electric motor
-Whistle – Sharp, shrill sound like wind passing through a small opening


Noise Questions Regarding Duplication:

Noises can sometimes be difficult for a technician to pinpoint. Accurate and detailed customer comments statements) are the first step in successfully diagnosing noises. Second step is the technician duplicating the noise under the condition the customer describes. For the technician to duplicate a noise goes back to detailed, good communication with the customer on initial contact.

Questions that may be asked of a customer regarding duplicating conditions of the noise:

When does the noise occur?
Is the Engine running?
Is Transmission in gear or out of gear?
What is the Vehicle Speed?- Actual Range 10-20 mph (not slow speed, not highway speeds)
Occurs when turning corners?
Vehicle is under heavy acceleration?
Vehicle is under light acceleration?
Vehicle is going over bumps?
Turning and going into driveway over bump?
Does noise change with brakes applied?
Does noise change with the air conditioning on or off?
Does noise change in pitch with vehicle speed?
Does noise happen when vehicle is idling and stopped? (I.E. at a drive through windows, stop lights, in the home garage, etc.)
Does the noise happen under heavy or light braking?
Are the windows up or down?
Weather conditions:
Is it rainy?
Is it humid?
Is it dry?
Is it cold outside or just when engine is first started? (below what temp)
Is it hot outside or after the vehicle reaches normal operating condition? (above what temp)
Does it seem to be coming from the front or rear of the vehicle?
Can you tell if it is the passenger or drivers side of the vehicle?

Even after all of this, it still may be required for the customer to go on a test drive with the technician. Each vehicle’s owner may drive their vehicle in a particular manor that may be very customer specific. Customers may be more in “tune” with noises then a technician that doesn’t drive the vehicle on a day to day operation.

Horizon Auto Center
5335 Horizon Road
Rockwall, TX 75032

Phone: 469.698.8585
Email Us for an appointment or any information