Where's That Noise Coming From?

By: The Auto Guy Email
By: The Auto Guy Email

First of all, pay attention to what kind of noise it is and let your mechanic know. Like a grinding noise that goes grrrrrrrrrr or a squealing noise that goes sqeeeeeeeeeeee. You really should tell the mechanic what the noise sounds like when you drop the vehicle off.

It might be a little embarrassing to make the noise when you are describing it, but it really helps the mechanic get an idea of what the problem might be.

Here are a few parts that you might hear making noise, even when you are sitting still. Things such as the serpentine belt can squeal as the engine is running, along with other parts such as the alternator, power steering pump or one of the pulleys for the belt. Heat shields that are on your exhaust can also make a horrible rattling noise, especially when you just start to accelerate.

Noises that you hear as you are driving down the road can be hard to duplicate in the shop, so it’s important to give your mechanic as much information as you can when you bring the car in for repairs.

Is the noise coming from the front or the rear? Do you hear it when you are going over bumps? Or when you apply the brakes? Or maybe it’s when you are turning in a certain direction? Giving the mechanic some hints will help him duplicate the noise during the test drive. Then he can correctly diagnose the problem and get rid of that annoying noise.

Once the vehicle is in the shop, mechanics use some tools that are designed specifically for finding noises. A new tool that we use has remote transmitters that we can place anywhere on or under the vehicle. Then we can drive down the road with the tool’s receiver inside of the vehicle, listening to the different transmitters to see which one is picking up on the noise that we are looking for. That helps us pinpoint the noise and get it repaired much faster.

When you are looking for a noise under the hood, sometimes you need a little different technology because everything is jammed in there so tight. That’s where the mechanics stethoscope comes in.

Mechanics wear it just like a doctor and place the end of the point on several parts that you think might be making the noise. When we put the stethoscope on the part that’s making the noise, it comes through loud and clear. Then we can tell which component needs to be replaced to get you some peace and quiet.


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