Courtesy of Automotive Service Councils of California
DESCRIBING CAR NOISES TO YOUR MECHANIC

It is important that you be aware of normal sounds from the engine, transmission, exhaust system, and tires of your car. If you hear unusual sounds, you should listen carefully so you can describe the noise to your service technician (mechanic). Unusual or extremely loud sounds, called "noises," can often tell a service technician about the vehicle's problem.

Many people, however, often find it hard to describe a noise. Here are some descriptions of noises that may be helpful when trying to describe your car noise to a service technician.
boom      
buzz       
chatter    
chirp       
chuckle   
clang      
click
grind
groan      
growl      
hiss
hum
knock     
ping        
rattle       
roar         
rumble     
squeak    
tap   
whirl 
whistle     
Low, resonant sound, like a drum roll or distant thunder
Low-pitched sound, something like a bee; usually associated with vibrations
Rapidly repeating metallic sound, like teeth chattering
High-pitched melodious sound that repeats rapidly, like a bird
Rapid noise, like a stick rubbing against the spokes of a spinning bicycle wheel
Heavy sound of metal-to-metal, like a gong
Light sound, like a ballpoint pen being clicked
Abrasive sound, like a grinding wheel or sandpaper rubbing against wood
Continuous low-pitched sound, like a person groaning
Low, guttural sound, like an angry dog
Continuous sound, like air escaping from a balloon
Continuous sound at varying pitches, like a wire humming in the wind
Heavy, loud, repeating sound, like a knock on a door
Similar to knock, but at a higher pitch
A sound suggesting looseness, such as marbles rolling around in a can
Deep, prolonged sound, like a lion's roar
Low, heavy, continuous sound, like thunder or wagons
High-pitched sound, like rubbing a clean window
Light, hammering sound, like tapping a pencil on a table
High-pitched, buzzing sound, like an electric drill or motor
Sharp, shrill sound, like a tin whistle1,776.52
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