ONE WORD, SOUNDS LIKE ...

Herald Sun - Motoring - - THE TICK - Twit­ter: @PaulWardGover

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.”

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