Diagnosing and pinpointing squeaks and rattles in vehicles has always been a challenge for automotive technicians.
Suspension systems have evolved with lightweight components and modified bushings to give the driver a sense of comfort which has also increased the wear and tear on these components. In the modern motor vehicle there can be multiple suspension mounting points that could be the cause of that squeak or rattle so how do you diagnose which one it is? Enter the STEELMAN Chassisear.
Chassis ears are an electronic device that transmits vibration from suspension points via clamps to a main unit where they are converted to sound. I bought my first set of wired STEELMAN ChassisEars when I was an apprentice and they still serve me well. I’ve used them to diagnose suspension, brake and driveline faults. However, securing the cables into the vehicle to the receiver unit and preventing them from rubbing on the tyres and has always been difficult with one or two casualties on the way.
The newer STEELMAN Wireless ChassisEar is an essential piece of diagnostic hardware when it comes to identifying and verifying squeaks and rattles in the modern vehicle. The kit contains four transmitter units, a receiver unit, Velcro straps and batteries to power the transmitters and receiver all in a blow moulded case. The system is easy to use and can be set up in a matter of minutes.
This Tool Test was carried out on a KDJ120 Prado with an annoying squeak from the left hand front suspension. After securing the transmitter units to several suspension mounts with the supplied Velcro straps (be sure they are secured to the vehicle) it was as simple as going for a drive and checking which channel the noise was coming from. After a few potholes and speed humps it was verified the noise was coming from the front sway bar mounts.
When it comes to noise diagnosis the STEELMAN Wireless ChassisEar can be used on multiple systems from fuel injectors to under dash squeaks. Not only can it determine where the noise is coming from it can avoid costly repairs from misdiagnosis. There is no doubt that the STEELMAN Wireless ChassisEar is an essential diagnostic tool in the modern automotive workshop.