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How do I properly use a mechanics stethoscope?

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here How do I properly use a mechanics stethoscope?

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  • #446973
    jspe8437jspe8437
    Participant

      I just got a mechanics stethoscope to help me find a creaking noise I having from the wheel of my car when it is turned in a parked position and for other issues I will have because I have a hard time finding noises at times. I’m looking to see whats the best way to use it and if I could get some tips on using it because I thought the tip of the stethoscope before I bought it was hollow to pick up the sound but it’s a solid rod, is the only way to use it is to touch the suspect part? How pin point do I have to be with it, like I was told to check my ball joint on the problem I have, where would I put it on the ball joint to find the noise on it, any part of the suspect part? And how much better is the digital mechanics stethoscope vs regular

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    • #446974
      Shaun_300Shaun_300
      Participant

        Just have to be careful with them, be sure not to touch any moving parts if you’re looking for a pulley noise when the engine is running. You touch something moving and you’ll get one heck of a blast of noise in your ears! Noises will also resonate through other parts so make sure you check multiple places to see where the noise is the loudest. For example you may put it on the ball joint and hear it creaking but it could be a seized tierod end and resonating through the spindle and still hearing it in the ball joint.

        #446975
        EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
        Keymaster

          I have just the video for you

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mpNRJ7m-c8

          I’ll throw this one in for good measure

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scFbb43fwqk

          #446976
          WDHewsonWDHewson
          Participant

            30 years ago my motorcycle mechanic friend, Steve, gave me a brand new Snap-On stethoscope still in the box. I’ve played with this thing on and off for all these decades for things ranging from engines, gearboxes, electric motors, clocks, and transformer hum.

            My conclusion is that it is a fascinating tool that amplifies mechanical sound with startling intensity, and it is really remarkable to bring out sounds not heard with the unaided ear.

            However, the range of sounds that come through the stethoscope is so large, and so many things are heard, because metal transmits sound so well, the a diagnosis is generally confounding and not any better than a knowledgeable unaided ear. At least for me.

            Consider how much medical traning an MD gets just for some simple “lub-dub” heart valves, or a bit of pulmonary air flow. And the MD is only looking at a few “machines”.

            What was really neat is the attachment of accelerometers to vital equipment (nuclear primary heat transfer pumps) to get a “sonic signature” when the equipment is new, then watch and diagnose the changes over its service life.

            But I’m not throwing away my stethoscope any time soon.

            #446977
            jspe8437jspe8437
            Participant

              So I used my mechanics stethoscope once so far on my car that had a creaking tie rod and seems to be a good investment it help me definitely pin point the problem area, being also I have a bit of a hard time finding problems on a car, but ya it’s worth it because mechanics stethoscope is just a couple bucks

              #446978
              johnzcarzjohnzcarz
              Participant

                Quoted From jspe8437:

                So I used my mechanics stethoscope once so far on my car that had a creaking tie rod and seems to be a good investment it help me definitely pin point the problem area, being also I have a bit of a hard time finding problems on a car, but ya it’s worth it because mechanics stethoscope is just a couple bucks

                I’ll agree it’s a good investment but be careful what brand you buy.I compared mine (a ‘house brand’ I bought at a chain autopart store) to a ‘pro’ model made by Lisle by listening to a fuel injector ‘tick’ and the difference was night and day. The Lisle unit was at least 5x louder and much clearer than the one from AZ – and it only cost a few dollars more. So, if you are in the market for one, I’d recommend getting the Lisle or some other pro model – it really does make a difference.

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