I sat in my auto technician apprenticeship class, waiting for it to start. Everyone was chit-chatting away… three guys in front of me were talking about how they went off-roading and one got his truck stuck. The other’s truck couldn’t pull it out so they had to call in the third guy to rescue them in his bigger truck. It was a great story, the guys (in their 20s) definitely got a kick out of the adventure…and I was thinking ‘you did what? In the middle of where? And it was a school night?’ (Note to self, turn off mothering instincts in class).
I reflect on my own boys, aged 4 & 5, and they’re all about the trucks and cars. They smash, crash and bash them, they get so much laughter and excitement from it! My husband and I decided to take them to their first Monster Jam at the Rogers Centre this year. I was dreading it…large crowd, lots of commotion, unsure if our kids would get bored, etc. I was mostly telling myself that I would be going for the kids but I found myself caught up in the races and the tricks. The amount of skill to pull off some of their stunts is amazing and respectable. If you’ve never been and you’ve got kids who love everything that moves, I strongly suggest you go!
What’s best about the Monster Jam is the Pit Party before the race. You get to see the monster trucks & their team up close and personal, those things are huge! Weighing in around 10,000 lbs, these trucks definitely command the monster title. Also part of the program were FMX bikes (they do some pretty awesome tricks!), ATV race and a good ol’ fashion demolition derby.
Don’t forget your earplugs though, it gets very loud in there with the engines revving up. Your heart pretty much beats at the same rate as the engines. Let’s not forget to mention that when the classic Grave Digger monster truck made its grand entrance, grown men are cheering like us girls at a Backstreet Boys concert. This year's Monster Jam debuted our very own All Canadian Monster Truck team—Northern Nightmare, driven by Cam McQueen.
It was a great family event and our boys loved it. And as I tucked them in that night, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ll ever have to worry about them getting stuck in their trucks in the middle of nowhere—on a school night! As they say, boys will be boys. (sigh)
Have you ever had a hard time explaining a car noise or feel silly that your sound effects just can’t duplicate it for your technician? We’ve had clients report noises that sound like a sewing machine, laundry machine, etc. I have to admit, I can’t make realistic noises if my life depended on it. In general, I’ve noticed that guys tend to make pretty good sound effects. My husband and boys duplicate sounds like sirens, horns, explosions and engine revs to a tee. Yet as good as the guys are at these sound effects, they are so terrible at imitating women’s voices! I swear my voice doesn’t sound anything like what my husband makes it out to be!
If you lack the sound effects talent, you’re not alone. Honda has a technical service bulletin (these are manufacturers’ bulletins that help technicians service your vehicle) on noise descriptions. When Honda technicians call into Tech Line (Honda’s own telephone help line for their technicians), they want to ensure that both the technician and the Tech line Specialist are on the same page in terms of what the noise sounds like. For example, I might describe a noise as chatter and you might call it light tapping. To minimize confusion, Honda’s bulletin lists common noise names with a description of what it sounds like. Here are a few:
Not everyone would describe these noises the same way but it’s a good attempt at putting words to noises…though when my children whine, it’s not so much of a distant siren!
When you’re on the road, you may love to turn up the radio and listen to the music, but it’s important to turn down the volume regularly and listen to your car. If there’s a problem, you’ll often hear it first.
We often have clients who didn’t know there were problematic noises with their car because they thought it was a ‘normal’ sound for their car – the car’s getting older so they think it’s common to develop different noises. Well, yes and no…it depends on the type of noise. But if they’ve never listened to their car when it was newer and ‘healthy’ how would they know what it sounds like when it’s ‘unhealthy’?
Being able to describe the symptom also helps us in our diagnosis. When you take your car in for service because of a noise, we may ask:
Remember, if you don’t turn down the volume once in a while to listen to your car, by the time you hear the noise over the radio it may have been there for weeks, and has likely become worse. Next time there’s a break between songs on the radio, instead of flipping channels think of listening to your car for a bit.