Your Vehicle: 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 L4-2.0L DOHC VIN 3
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  Tools and Techniques  


Vibration Analyzer (VA)
The VA is a hand-held electronic diagnostic tool which will assist in locating the source of unacceptable vibrations. The vibration sensor can be remotely mounted anywhere in the vehicle for testing purposes. The unit displays the three most common vibration frequencies and their corresponding amplitudes simultaneously. A bar graph provides a visual reference of the relative signal strength (amplitude) of each vibration being displayed and its relative 0 force. The keypad is arranged to make the VA simple to program and use. Some of the functions include the ability to average readings as well as record, play back and freeze readings. The VA has a strobe balancing function that can be used to detect imbalance on rotating components such as a driveshaft or engine accessories.

The VA allows for a systematic collection of information that is necessary to accurately diagnose and repair NVH problems. For the best results, carry out the test as follows:

  1. Test drive the vehicle with the vibration sensor inside the vehicle.
  2. Place the sensor in the vehicle according to feel.
    • If the condition is felt through the steering wheel, the source is most likely in the front of the vehicle.
    • A vibration that is felt in the seat or floor only will most likely be found in the driveline, drive axle or rear wheels and tires.
  1. Record the readings. Also note when the condition begins, when it reaches maximum intensity, and if it tends to diminish above/below a certain speed.
    • Frequencies should be read in the average mode.
    • Frequencies have a range of plus or minus 2. A reading of 10 Hz can be displayed as an 8 Hz through 12 Hz .
  1. Determine what the normal frequency is for the vehicle at a specified speed. Multiply the rear axle ratio by the Hz (Hz per every 5 mph) . Example: A vehicle travelling 50 mph with a 3.08 rear axle ratio, the acceptable amount of Hz for the vehicle at that speed would be 10(1 Hz per every 5 mph) X 3.08 (rear axle ratio) = 30.8 Hz .
  2. Place the vibration sensor on or near the suspect area outside the vehicle.
  3. Continue the road test, driving the vehicle at the speed the symptom occurs, and take another reading.


  1. Compare the readings.
    • A match in frequency indicates the problem component or area.
    • An unmatched test could indicate the concern is caused by the engine, torque converter, or engine accessory. Use the VA in the rpm mode and check if concern is rpm-related.
    • Example: A vibration is felt in the seat. Place the sensor on the console. Record the readings. Place the vibration sensor on the rear axle. Compare the readings. If the frequencies are the same, the axle is the problem component. Also refer to the chart as a reference to acceptable vibration and noise ranges for the specified components.

Vibrate Software(R)
Vibrate Software(R) (Rotunda tool number 215-00003) is a diagnostic aid which will assist in pinpointing the source of unacceptable vibrations. The engine's crankshaft is the point of reference for vibration diagnosis. Every rotating component will have an angular velocity that is faster, slower, or the same as the engine's crankshaft. Vibrate SoftwareŽ calculates the angular velocity of each component and graphically represents these velocities on a computer screen and on a printed vibration worksheet. The following steps outline how Vibrate Software(R) helps diagnose a vibration concern:

  • Enter the vehicle information. Vibrate will do all the calculations and display a graph showing tire, driveshaft and engine vibrations.
  • Print a Vibration Worksheet graph. The printed graph is to be used during the road test.
  • Road test the vehicle at the speed where the vibration is most noticeable. Record the vibration (frequency rpm) and the engine rpm on the worksheet graph. The point on the graph where the vibration frequency rpm) reading and the engine rpm reading intersect indicates the specific component group causing the concern.
  • A VA or equivalent tool capable of measuring vibration frequency and engine rpm will be needed.
  • Provide pictures of diagnostic procedures to aid in testing components.

An electronic listening device used to quickly identify noise and the location under the chassis while the vehicle is being road tested. The ChassisEARs can identify the noise and location of damaged/worn wheel bearings, CV joints, brakes, springs, axle bearings or driveshaft carrier bearings.

An electronic listening device used to detect even the faintest noises. The EngineEARs can detect the noise of damaged/worn bearings in generators, water pumps, A/C compressors and power steering pumps. They are also used to identify noisy lifters, exhaust manifold leaks, chipped gear teeth and for detecting wind noise. The EngineEAR has a sensing tip, amplifier, and headphones. The directional sensing tip is used to listen to the various components. Point the sensing tip at the suspect component and adjust the volume with the amplifier. Placing the tip in direct contact with a component will reveal structure-borne noise and vibrations, generated by or passing through, the component. Various volume levels can reveal different sounds.

Ultrasonic Leak Detector
The Ultrasonic Leak Detector is used to detect wind noises caused by leaks and gaps in areas where there is weather-stripping or other sealing material. It is also used to identify A/C leaks, vacuum leaks and evaporative emission noises. The Ultrasonic Leak Detector includes a multi-directional transmitter (operating in the ultrasonic range) and a hand-held detector. The transmitter is placed inside the vehicle. On the outside of the vehicle, the hand-held detector is used to sweep the area of the suspected leak. As the source of the leak is approached, a beeping sound is produced which increases in both speed and frequency.

Squeak and Rattle Repair Kit
The Squeak and Rattle Repair Kit (Rotunda tool number 164-R4900) contains lubricants and self-adhesive materials that can be used to eliminate interior and exterior squeaks and rattles. The kit consists of the following materials:

  • PVC (soft foam) tape
  • urethane (hard foam) tape
  • flocked (black fuzzy) tape
  • UHMW (frosted) tape
  • squeak and rattle oil tube
  • squeak and rattle grease tube



Tracing Powder
Tracing powder is used to check both the uniformity of contact and the tension of a seal against its sealing surface. These tests are usually done when a suspected air leak/noise appears to originate from the seal area or during the alignment and adjustment of a component to a weatherstrip. Carry out the tracing powder test as follows:

  1. Clean the weatherstrip.
  2. Spray the tracing powder on the mating surface only.
  3. Close the door completely. Do not slam the door.
  4. Open the door. An imprint is made where the weatherstrip contacted the mating surface seal. Gaps or a faint imprint will show where there is poor contact with the weatherstrip.


Index Card
Place an index card or a piece of paper between the weatherstrip and the sealing surface, then close the door. Slowly withdraw the index card or piece of paper after the door is closed and check the amount of pressure on the weatherstrip. There should be a medium amount of resistance as it is withdrawn. Continue around the entire seal area. If there is little or no resistance, this indicates insufficient contact to form a good seal. At these points, the door, the glass, or the weatherstrip is out of alignment.