ONE WORD, SOUNDS LIKE ...
FINDING and fixing a nasty noise in a car is one of the toughest tasks in motoring.
The Carsguide crew strikes all sorts of annoying noises during test drives. I can recall a troublesome Volkswagen that was fixed with wads of tissues wedged inside the locked gloveboxes of the whole posse of cars on a press preview drive. No one was aware of the deception until I unlocked one glovebox, then the lot.
The biggest problem, when you own the car in question, can be describing the type of sound and its likely location to a mechanic in a workshop.
You will not be surprised to know different makers have different codes to describe the sounds. Years ago I learned Toyota uses words that sound like the noise, so birra-birra and gatta-gatta.
But Aston Martin could take the prize for the best commitment to noise suppression. Two whole pages in the workshop manual for a friend’s latemodel Aston are devoted to nine different NVH — that’s Noise, Vibration, Harshness — terms together with 23 “squeak and rattle” terms.
There are some great nontech terms. My favourites:
“Chuck ... like a stick against the spokes of a spinning wheel.”
“Growl ... like an angry dog.”
“Roar ... an animal, or winds and ocean waves.”
“Clunk ... like something stressed being released under pressure.”