Know your vehicle Sound

Help Troubleshoot Your Vehicle With This Vehicle Sounds Chart

As you drive your vehicle be aware of its operating characteristics and normal sounds from the engine, transmission, driveline, exhaust system and tires. Excessively loud or abnormal sounds fall into the category of noises. They can be very helpful to service technicians when diagnosing the cause of a problem. The following definitions of common noises are provided to assist you in completing the diagnostic worksheet:

  • Boom: Rhythms sound like a drum roll or distant thunder. May cause pressure on ear drum.
  • Buzz: Low pitched sound, something like a bee. Usually associated with vibrations.
  • Chatter: Rapidly repeating metallic sound.
  • Chuckle: Rapid noise that sounds like a stick against spokes of a spinning bicycle wheel.
  • Chirp: High-pitched rapidly repeating sound like chirping birds.
  • Click: Light sound like a ball point pen being clicked.
  • Clunk/Thump: Heavy metal-to-metal sound, like a hammer striking steel.
  • Grind: Abrasive sound, like a grinding wheel or sandpaper rubbing against wood.
  • Groan/Moan: Continuous, low-pitched humming sound.
  • Growl/Howl: Low, guttural sound like an angry dog.
  • Hiss: Continuous sound like air escaping from a balloon.
  • Hum: Continuous sound of varying frequencies like a humming in the wind.
  • Knock: heavy, loud, repeating sound like a knock on the door.
  • Ping: Similar to knock except at a higher frequency.
  • Rattle: A sound suggesting looseness, such as marbles rolling around in a can.
  • Roar: Deep, long, prolonged sound like an animal or winds and ocean waves.
  • Rumble: Low, heavy continuous sound like that made by wagons or thunder.
  • Squeak: High-pitched sound like rubbing a clean window.
  • Squeal: Continuous, high pitched sound like running finger nails across a chalkboard.
  • Tap: Light, hammering sound like tapping pencil on the edge of a table. May be rhythmic or intermittent.
  • Whir/Whine: high-pitched buzzing sound like an electric motor or drill.
  • Whistle: Sharp, shrill sound like wind passing through a small opening.