Tuning out mysterious car noises

By Tammy Keith Originally Published January 13, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated January 10, 2013 at 6:20 p.m.
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I’m afraid I’m going to be known at automotive places as the crazy-noises woman.

Years ago, we had a car that made what my family referred to as “the machine-gun noise.”

I’m not good at imitating these noises, because I’m a girl. Sorry, I know I’m being sexist here, but I really believe boys are born with the ability to make car and motor and explosion noises with their mouths.

I try. I would take that car in and say, “OK, it makes this duh-duh-duh-duh-duh noise.”

The mechanic would nod seriously and take it for a drive, come back and say he didn’t hear anything.

We traded the car eventually, and I’ll never know what it was.

A few months after we bought our latest vehicle, I heard a wind noise coming from the passenger-side window. It was like the door wasn’t shut all the way.

I took it to the dealership, and they drove it.

“We didn’t hear anything,” I was told.

So, I got in with the nice, extremely tattooed service guy, and we rode.

“Do you hear it?” I asked.

No, he didn’t. I drove faster, slower, and explained to him again what I was hearing.

When I rode on that side, I heard it. He couldn’t, though.

I kept insisting, so finally the dealership replaced the weather stripping (whatever you call it) around the window, just to get me to shut up, I’m sure.

It didn’t help.

I even took it to my tried-and-true body shop, where we’ve taken many a wrecked car, and the sweet young man took a drive with me.

He strained and leaned his head on the window. He really tried to hear something, but at the end, he said it was just regular noise.

When we travel, I drive my husband crazy saying, “Oh, this window!” I raise and lower the window, pull on it a little, do it again. And complain.

A few weeks ago, I got my tires rotated and balanced. One tire had a screw in it, so the dealership put on a spare. I needed new tires, anyway.

As soon as I drove off, I heard pretty loud rattling. I didn’t have time to deal with it. My husband heard it, too.

It sounded like the spare-tire place was empty.

Finally, I called and made an

appointment for the dealership to check out this latest noise.

The day of my appointment, I drove to a nearby city. I realized my car was quiet.

I drove to the dealership, driving my normal speed — which means not slow — over bumps and potholes.

Not a peep.

I explained to the guy with the clipboard that there WAS a noise for days, but it seemed to be gone.

“Well, we really have to hear the noise,” he said. He checked the spare tire area, and it all looked fine, he said.

I left, and I’m pretty sure another check mark was added to a little black book with my name on it.

I found a solution. It’s called my radio. I just keep turning it up.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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