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Glossary Of Terms To Know

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Acceleration-Light

An increase in speed at less than half throttle.

Acceleration-Medium

An increase in speed at half to nearly full throttle, such as 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) in approximately 30 seconds.

Acceleration-Heavy

An increase in speed at one-half to full throttle, such as 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) in approximately 20 seconds.

Ambient Temperature

The surrounding or prevailing temperature.

Amplitude

The quantity or amount of energy produced by a vibrating component (G force). An extreme vibration has a high amplitude. A mild vibration has a low amplitude.

Backlash

Gear teeth clearance.

Boom

Low frequency or low pitched noise often accompanied by a vibration. Also refer to Drumming.

Bound Up

An overstressed isolation (rubber) mount that transmits vibration/noise instead of absorbing it.

Brakes Applied

When the service brakes are applied with enough force to hold the vehicle against movement with the transmission in gear.

Buffet/Buffeting

Strong noise fluctuations caused by gusting winds. An example would be wind gusts against the side glass.

Buzz

A low-pitched sound like that from a bee. Often a metallic or hard plastic humming sound. Also describes a high frequency (200-800 Hz) vibration. Vibration feels similar to an electric razor.

Camber

The angle of the wheel in relation to the true vertical as measured looking from the front of the vehicle. Camber is positive when the wheel angle is offset so that the top of the wheel is positioned away from the vehicle.

Caster

The angle of the steering knuckle in relation to the true vertical as measured looking from the side of the vehicle.

Chatter

A pronounced series of rapidly repeating rattling or clicking sounds.

Chirp

A short-duration high-pitched noise associated with a slipping drive belt.

Chuckle

A repetitious low-pitched sound. A loud chuckle is usually described as a knock.

Click

A sharp, brief, non-resonant sound, similar to actuating a ball point pen.

Clonk

A hydraulic knocking sound. Sound occurs with air pockets in a hydraulic system. Also described as hammering.

Clunk/Driveline Clunk

A heavy or dull, short-duration, low-frequency sound.

Occurs mostly on a vehicle that is accelerating or decelerating abruptly. Also described as a thunk.

Coast/Deceleration

Releasing the accelerator pedal at cruise, allowing the engine to reduce vehicle speed without applying the brakes.

Coast/Neutral Coast

Placing the transmission range selector in NEUTRAL (N) or depressing the clutch pedal while at cruise.

Constant Velocity (CV) Joint

A joint used to absorb vibrations caused by driving power being transmitted at an angle.

Controlled Rear Suspension Height

The height at which a designated vehicle element must be when driveline angle measurements are made.

Coupling Shaft

The shaft between the transfer case and the front drive axle or, in a two-piece rear driveshaft, the front section.

CPS

Cycles per second. Same as hertz (Hz).

Cracks

A mid-frequency sound, related to squeak. Sound varies with temperature conditions.

Creak

A metallic squeak.

Cruise

Constant speed on level ground; neither accelerating nor decelerating.

Cycle

The process of a vibrating component going through a complete range of motion and returning to the starting point.

Decibel

A unit of measurement, referring to sound pressure level, abbreviated dB.

Drive Engine Run-Up (DERU) Test

The operation of the engine through the normal rpm range with the vehicle standing still, the brakes applied and the transmission engaged. This test is used for noise and vibration checks.

Driveline Angles

The differences of alignment between the transmission output shaft, the drive shaft, and the rear axle pinion centerline.

Driveshaft

The shaft that transmits power to the rear axle input shaft (pinion shaft). In a two-piece driveshaft, it is the rearmost shaft.

Drivetrain

All power transmitting components from the engine to the wheels; includes the clutch or torque converter, the transmission, the transfer case, the driveshaft, and the front or rear drive axle.

Drivetrain Damper

A weight attached to the engine, the transmission, the transfer case, or the axle. It is tuned by weight and placement to absorb vibration.

Drone

A low frequency (100-200 Hz) steady sound, like a freezer compressor. Also described as a moan.

Drumming

A cycling, low-frequency (20-100 Hz), rhythmic noise often accompanied by a sensation of pressure on the eardrums. Also described as a low rumble, boom, or rolling thunder.

Dynamic Balance

The equal distribution of weight on each side of the centerline, so that when the wheel and tire assembly spins, there is no tendency for the assembly to move from side-to-side (wobble). Dynamically unbalanced wheel and tire assemblies can cause wheel shimmy.

Engine Imbalance

A condition in which an engine's center mass is not concentric to the rotation center. Excessive motion.

Engine Misfire

When combustion in one or more cylinders does not occur or occurs at the wrong time.

Engine Shake

An exaggerated engine movement or vibration that directly increases in frequency as the engine speed increases. It is caused by non-equal distribution of mass in the rotating or reciprocating components.

Flexible Coupling

A flexible joint.

Float

A drive mode on the dividing line between cruise and coast where the throttle setting matches the engine speed with the road speed.

Flutter

Mid to high (100-200 Hz) intermittent sound due to air flow. Similar to a flag flapping in the wind.

Frequency

The rate at which a cycle occurs within a given time.

Gravelly Feel

A grinding or growl in a component, similar to the feel experienced when driving on gravel.

Grind

An abrasive sound, similar to using a grinding wheel, or rubbing sand paper against wood.

Hiss

Steady high frequency (200-800 Hz) noise. Vacuum leak sound.

Hoot

A steady low frequency tone (50-500 Hz), sounds like blowing over a long neck bottle.

Howl

A mid-range frequency noise between drumming and whine.

Hum

Mid-frequency (200-800 Hz) steady sound, like a small fan motor. Also described as a howl.

Hz

Hertz; a frequency measured in cycles per second.

Imbalance

Out of balance; heavier on one side than the other. In a rotating component, imbalance often causes vibration.

Inboard

Toward the centerline of the vehicle.

Intensity

The physical quality of sound that relates to the strength of the vibration (measured in decibels). The higher the sound's amplitude, the higher the intensity and vice versa.

Isolate

To separate the influence of one component to another.

Knock

A heavy, loud, repetitious sound, like a knock on the door.

Moan

A constant, low-frequency (100-200 Hz) tone. Also described as a hum.

Neutral Engine Run-Up (NERU) Test

The operation of the engine through the normal rpm range with the vehicle standing still and the transmission disengaged. This test is used to identify engine related vibrations.

Neutralize/Normalize

To return to an unstressed position. Used to describe mounts. Refer to Bound Up.

NVH

Noise, vibration and harshness. A term used to describe conditions, which customers sense and result in varying degrees of dissatisfaction.

Outboard

Away from the centerline of the vehicle.

Ping

A short duration, high-frequency sound, which has a slight echo.

Pinion Shaft

The input shaft in a driving axle that is usually a part of the smaller driving or input hypoid gear of a ring and pinion gearset.

Pitch

The physical quality of sound that relates to its frequency. Pitch increases as frequency increases and vice versa.

Pumping Feel

A slow, pulsing movement.

Radial/Lateral

Radial is in the plane of rotation; lateral is at 90 degrees to the plane of rotation.

Rattle

A random and momentary or short duration noise.

Ring Gear

The large, circular, driven gear in a ring and pinion gearset.

Road Test

The operation of the vehicle under conditions intended to produce the concern under investigation.

Roughness

A medium-frequency vibration. A slightly higher frequency (20 to 50 Hz) than a shake. This type of vibration is usually related to drivetrain components.

Runout

Out of round and wobble.

Rustling

Intermittent sound of varying frequency (100-200 Hz), sounds similar to shuffling through leaves.

Shake

A low-frequency vibration (5-20 Hz), usually with visible component movement. Usually relates to tires, wheels, brake drums or brake discs if it is vehicle speed sensitive, or engine if it is engine speed sensitive. Also referred to as a shimmy or wobble.

Shimmy

An abnormal vibration or wobbling, felt as a side-to-side motion of the steering wheel in the driveshaft rotation. Also described as waddle.

Shudder

A low-frequency vibration that is felt through the steering wheel or seat during light brake application.

Slap

A resonance from flat surfaces, such as safety belt webbing or door trim panels.

Slip Yoke/Slip Spline

The driveshaft coupling that allows length changes to occur while the suspension articulates and while the driveshaft rotates.

Squeak

A high-pitched transient sound, similar to rubbing fingers against a clean window.

Squeal

A long-duration, high-pitched noise.

Static Balance

The equal distribution of weight around the wheel. Statically unbalanced wheel and tire assemblies can cause a bouncing action called wheel tramp. This condition will eventually cause uneven tire wear.

Tap

A light, rhythmic, or intermittent hammering sound, similar to tapping a pencil on a table edge.

Thingy

That thingamabob under the watchamacallit next to the spinnaker valve.

Thump

A dull beat caused by two items striking together.

Tick

A rhythmic tap, similar to a clock noise.

Tip-In Moan

A light moaning noise heard during light vehicle acceleration, usually between 40-100 km/h (25-65 mph).

TIR

Total indicated run out

Tire Deflection

The change in tire diameter in the area where the tire contacts the ground.

Tire Flat Spots

A condition commonly caused by letting the vehicle stand while the tires cool off. This condition can be corrected by driving the vehicle until the tires are warm. Also, irregular tire wear patterns in the tire tread resulting from wheel-locked skids.

Tire Force Vibration

A tire vibration caused by variations in the construction of the tire that is noticeable when the tire rotates against the pavement. This condition can be present on perfectly round tires because of variations in the inner tire construction. This condition can occur at wheel rotation frequency or twice rotation frequency.

Transient

Momentary, short duration.

Two-Plane Balance

Radial and lateral balance.

Vibration

Any motion, shaking or trembling, that can be felt or seen when an object moves back and forth or up and down.

Whine

A constant, high-pitched noise. Also described as a screech.

Whistle

High-pitched noise (above 500Hz) with a very narrow frequency band. Examples of whistle noises are a turbocharger or airflow around an antenna.

Wind Noise

Any noise caused by air movement in, out or around the vehicle.

WOT

Wide-open throttle

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How about adding some sensors like 02s, VSS, CPS, MAF etc? Or other stuff like UDP, UIM etc? Those are common terms.

Edited by fdogg96

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How about adding some sensors like 02s, VSS, CPS, MAF etc? Or other stuff like UDP, UIM etc? Those are common terms.

Sure. Come up with a list and I'll add 'em in.

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SAS should be on the list as well

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