Diagnosing many car problems is easier with an automotive stethoscope, a tool that lets you hear inside the engine. Here's an introduction to using one to track down trouble.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:October 2007
Start with the sound amplifier attachment to locate the general area where the problem is.
Touch the scope's metal probe to the non-rotating
part of the suspect component. If it's
worn, you'll hear an unmistakable metallic
If you want to be a real car
doctor, you've got to use
the right tools. An automotive
stethoscope can be the
most effective diagnostic
tool in your toolbox. It
works just like the ones doctors
use, allowing you to
“hear inside” a mechanical
component. The stethoscope
we chose comes with two
attachments—a metal probe
and a sound amplifier (first photo). Use the amplifier to
narrow down the source of
the noise. Then switch to the
metal probe (second photo)
to locate the exact source of
Connect the amplifier
attachment to the hose and
move it around the engine
compartment. That will narrow
your search to a smaller
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
You'll need an automotive stethoscope (available at auto parts stores or online).
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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