Initial Setup of the NVH App

The road test procedure will allow the NVH app to record and analyze vibrations while your vehicle is vibrating. Proper initial setup of the NVH app and your iPhone or iPad will allow the NVH app to perform accurate diagnostics without interruption.

  1. If using the optional Bluetooth data link adapter, plug it into the data link connector under the instrument panel on the driver’s side. Then enable Bluetooth Data Link in the Settings Screen.
  2. It is recommended that you close all other open applications while using this application.
  3. Receiving or placing a phone call and many other app notifications may interrupt the NVH app while recording data. If an interruption occurs, a prompt to continue recording will be displayed; select continue to keep recording. You can temporarily enable the Do Not Disturb feature on Android devices or the Do Not Disturb Focus on iOS devices to avoid any interruptions.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini with iOS 15.2.1

Do Not Disturb Focus

Google Pixel 5 with Android OS 12

Android Do Not Disturb
  1. A power adapter is recommended to help maintain the iPhone or iPad battery level while using this app since the screen stays on. The NVH app disables the Screen Auto-lock feature by default. This prevents the Phone or Tablet from sleeping during the use of the NVH app. This setting can be adjusted in the NVH app Settings Screen. Try to use a power source or USB port that is not connected to the vehicle audio/entertainment system.
  2. Start the NVH app. A prompt asking for permission to allow the NVH app to use Bluetooth is displayed. The NVH App can use an optional Bluetooth interface to read engine RPM from your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) connector. The NVH app cannot function properly without this permission. You can enable or disable this function in the iOS settings under the NVH app. Press OK to continue.
Bluetooth Prompt
Bluetooth Prompt
  1. The Warning screen contains three important pieces of information.
    1.  A button to provide us with any feedback regarding the NVH app.
    2.  The version number of the App. Always check the App Store to ensure you have the latest version available.
    3.  A safety warning you must agree with before continuing to the NVH app main menu. Press Agree to continue.
Warning Screen
Android Warning Screen
  1. The Main Menu has seven selectable options:
    1. Select Pick your Vehicle from the main menu and follow the prompts at the top of the screen to set up your vehicle for a road test.
    2. Select Unlisted Vehicle If your vehicle is not in the list of supported vehicles, follow the prompts at the top of the screen.
    3. Select Diagnostic help to access the Tutorial and diagnostic procedures.
    4. Select Tools to access helpful diagnostic tools.
    5. Select Recordings to access recordings of previous road tests.
    6. Select the ? button to access help on any screen.
    7. Select the gear button to access the NVH app settings.
  2. You are now ready to Mount your Phone or Tablet in the vehicle and then Prepare for the Road Test.
Main Menu
Android Main Menu

How to Mount Your Phone or Tablet

Proper mounting of your Phone or Tablet in the vehicle before the road test procedure will allow the NVH app to perform more accurate diagnostics.

It is essential to secure or mount your phone or tablet on a solid surface close to where the driver is feeling the vibration. It may be necessary to move the phone or tablet to other locations inside the vehicle to obtain good diagnostic readings. For example, If you can feel the vibration but the NVH app is not displaying any diagnostic results, move the phone or tablet to another location closer to where you can feel the vibration. Example locations are shown below:

The Dashboard: The dashboard is a great place to place your phone or tablet during a road test. It would be best if you weighed down the phone or tablet with a bag of rice (or equivalent) to prevent the phone from moving while driving. A bag of rice can also prevent the device from overheating due to direct sunlight.

Dash mount with rice bag

Phone on dash secured by a bag or rice

The Floor – Placing your Phone or Tablet on the floor near the driver’s seat can also be a good location during a road test. Be sure to weigh down the Phone or Tablet with a bag of rice (or equivalent) to prevent the phone from moving while driving. WARNING: Ensure the Phone or Tablet are adequately secured to ensure they do not move forward and interfere with the vehicle’s foot controls.

The Center Console – If your vehicle has a center console or a cup holder, those locations can be an excellent place to secure your Phone or Tablet during a road test. Be sure to weigh down the Phone or Tablet with a bag of rice (or equivalent) to prevent it from moving while driving.

Optional Suction Cup Mounting
IMPORTANT:

  • Using a suction cup mounting can dampen (decrease) the vibration amplitude levels the NVH app reads. This dampening does not affect the ability of the NVH app to accurately diagnose the type of vibration the vehicle is experiencing since the frequency of the vibration, not the amplitude of the vibration, identifies the type of vibration.
  • Some vehicle manufacturers have established an amplitude threshold to determine if a vehicle vibration is considered “acceptable” or “unacceptable.” If you are a professional automobile or truck technician, do not use a suction cup mount with the NVH app. Use a bag of rice to secure the device to the vehicle to obtain accurate amplitude measurements.

The Windshield or Side Glass – WARNING: Do not block the driver’s view of the road or the rearview mirrors. The windshield or any glass window in the vehicle is a good solid place to mount your Phone or Tablet using a suction cup attachment (IMPORTANT: Shorter attachments will give better results. We have used the Scosche ihw10-sp1 mount). During the road test, you can have an assistant move the suction cup mount to any other window in the vehicle to help detect or isolate the vibration. This is especially helpful when isolating which corner of the vehicle has the highest vibration amplitude level.

Phone in rigid windshield mount

Phone in rigid windshield mount

How to Prepare for a Road Test

The road test procedure will allow the NVH app to record and analyze vibrations while your vehicle is vibrating as you drive. Proper preparation of your vehicle and the location of an adequate test drive route will allow the NVH app to perform accurate diagnostics.

IMPORTANT: When Road Testing a vehicle, the following precautions should be taken:

  1. Make sure you have performed the initial setup of the NVH app on your Phone or Tablet
  2. Get familiar with what the NVH app can and cannot do.
  3. Although the NVH app is designed to be used by one person, you may need an assistant to drive the vehicle if you wish to operate or observe the NVH app during the road test.
  4. By reading the Tools Needed information, determine if your vehicle may require the optional Bluetooth data link adapter to diagnose engine speed-related vibrations.
  5. Visually inspect the vehicle to make sure it is safe to drive. Look at the tires; make sure they do not have any visible bulges and have adequate tread.
  6. Ensure your tires are inflated to the correct air pressure (see the tire label on the doorpost with the driver’s door open for the recommended tire air pressures). Low tire pressures can cause vehicle vibrations due to excessive tire sidewall flexing.
  7. Look under the vehicle, make sure no under-vehicle covers have come loose and are dragging on the ground.
  8. Locate a long, smooth, level road where the vehicle can be driven at the vehicle speed where the vibration is most noticeable.
  9. Avoid heavy acceleration or deceleration.
  10. Avoid driving uphill or driving downhill.
  11. A steady throttle (steady engine RPM) must be maintained to obtain accurate readings on all vehicles. This is especially true on vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. This will keep torque converter clutch slippage to a minimum.
  12. For best results, maintain a steady vehicle speed for several minutes while the vibration occurs. Longer recording times (5 minutes +) give better results.
  13. Educate yourself of state and local laws and regulations regarding windshield and front-seat side glass mounted devices.
  14. Attach or secure your Phone or Tablet to a solid surface in the area where the driver is feeling the vibration occur.
  15. Never mount the Phone or Tablet in a location that blocks the driver’s view of the road or the rearview mirrors.
  16. Do not move the Phone or Tablet during the road test procedure. Moving the Phone or Tablet can cause inaccurate and conflicting diagnostics.
  17. Educate yourself with the basics of vehicle vibrations and terminology by studying the Vibration Diagnosis School page in the app.
  18. The NVH app is programmed to always look for the highest average amplitude vibration frequency throughout the road test recording. Be aware that the NVH app will display vibration diagnostics for very low amplitude vibrations even if you cannot feel them. If you do not feel a vibration, IGNORE the NVH app diagnostics.

How to Perform a Road Test Procedure

The road test procedure will allow the NVH app to record and analyze vibrations while your vehicle is vibrating. Once the vibration is analyzed, the NVH app will display the type of vibration and display detailed diagnosis and repair help.

The following five-minute video shows the road test procedure.

  1. Be sure to perform the initial setup of the NVH app as described on this page before proceeding
  2. Be sure to prepare for the road test as described on this page before proceeding
  3. Be sure to properly mount your phone or tablet as described on this page before proceeding.
  1. After selecting your vehicle in the “Pick My Vehicle” or “Unlisted Vehicle” menu, press the Start button on the upper right side of the screen.
  2. Please use an assistant to drive the vehicle to allow you to observe the phone or tablet during the road test.

Apple iPhone 12 Mini with iOS 15.2.1

Vehicle Information Screen

Google Pixel with Android OS 12

Android Vehicle Information
  1. Next, a prompt requesting permission to access location services while the NVH app is in use is displayed. The NVH app uses Location Services to determine vehicle speed and elevation. The NVH app will not function
    correctly without Location Services. This screen only appears one time after the initial installation of the NVH app. You can enable or disable this function in the phone settings under the NVH app. Select Allow While Using App to continue.
Location Services
Android Device Location
  1. For Automatic Diagnostic Results, you must press the Start Recording button on the upper right side of the screen to begin recording.
Start Recording and Bookmark Buttons
Start Recording and Bookmark Buttons
  1. Drive at the vehicle speed where the vibration is most noticeable. You must maintain a steady speed to reduce torque converter slip to a minimum. Avoid hills and heavy traffic for best results. Place the Phone or Tablet in a position where it is detecting vibrations (glowing red parts on the Vehicle View Screen) while the vehicle is vibrating.
  2. DEFAULT VIEW: Watch the Vehicle View Screen for any glowing red components while the vehicle is experiencing a vibration. Driving for more extended periods (up to 15 minutes) with a vibration occurring will result in more accurate diagnostic results. The minimum recommended driving time with the vibration occurring is 3 minutes. In the example below, the group of parts that rotates at the same speed as the tires is glowing red. This indicates a Tire Speed Related Vibration is occurring. The NVH app will automatically determine the most severe vibration on your vehicle and display it for you after the recording is stopped and saved.
Vehicle View Screen
Vehicle View Screen
  1. OPTIONAL VIEW: You can also select the Live Graph view at the bottom center of the screen to view a bar chart showing the amplitude levels for the various rotating part groups on the vehicle and their vibration order.
    1. In the example below, the T1 Bar (T1 = First Order Tire Speed Related) on the graph shows a vibration with an amplitude level of 0.265. The amplitude values can change rapidly and even disappear at times while driving.
    2. The bar with the highest amplitude values throughout the Road Test represents the group of parts on the vehicle responsible for the vibration.
    3. Touching any bar on the bar graph will cause context-sensitive diagnostic and repair information for that specific type of vibration.
Live Graph Screen
Live Graph Screen
  1. OPTIONAL VIEW: You can also select the Live Data view at the bottom right of the screen to view a table showing frequency and the amplitude levels for the various rotating part groups on the vehicle and their vibration order. In the example below, a frequency of 12.5Hz is highlighted red in the first column.
    1. Red text indicates tire speed related vibrations,
    2. Blue text indicates driveshaft speed related vibrations
    3. Green text indicates engine speed-related vibrations.
    4. The three remaining columns display the detected instantaneous amplitude values in each of the three axes. With the screen in the landscape position facing the rear of the vehicle (as shown below):
    5. The X-axis represents up and down vibration amplitude values
    6. The Y-axis represents left and right vibration amplitude values
    7. The Z-axis represents front and back vibration amplitude values.
  2. If you rotate the screen to the portrait position, the x and y-axis will swap directions of detected vibrations.
  3. The frequency with the highest amplitude values throughout the Road Test represents the group of parts on the vehicle responsible for the vibration. Ignore vibration frequencies that do not match the rotational speed or multiple orders of the parts on your vehicle,
  4. Selecting the “?” in the bottom left of the screen (you may need to scroll down to see it) will cause context-sensitive diagnostic and repair information for that specific type of vibration.
Live Data Screen
Live Data Screen
  1. When you are satisfied that the NVH app has detected vibrations (glowing red components), press the Stop Recording button on the upper right side of the screen, give the file a name, and select Save. If no name is given, the date and time of day will be used instead. If Cancel is selected, no data will be saved, and no diagnostic results will be displayed.
  2. The screen will darken momentarily while the NVH app analyzes the recorded data.
Recording Name
Recording Name
  1. Automatic Diagnostic Results will be displayed next. In this example, the vibration is First Order Tire Speed Related. Next, select How do I fix this Vibration at the bottom of the page. Use the information in the context-sensitive help file to determine the cause of the vibration by following the step-by-step procedures contained within.
  2. If no vibrations were detected, repeat the Road Test with the Phone or Tablet in a location closer to the driver. Ensure the Phone or Tablet is contacting something solid (no seat cushions or padded interior panels).
  3. If using the Bluetooth data link adapter, unplug it from the data link connector under the instrument panel on the driver’s side.
Analysis Screen
T1 Diagnosis

How do I Fix this Vibration?

Access Identifying the Vibration Source by selecting Diagnostic Help and Diagnostic Procedures from the NVH app main screen. Follow the instructions in the context-sensitive help files to determine the vibration source identified on the Road Test. View the built-In Vibration Diagnosis School page to review vibration basics as needed.

T1 Diagnostic Help
T1 Help Detail

What the app can do

The NVH app is designed to automatically detect the type of vibration your vehicle is experiencing, provided the instructions of the road test procedure are followed.

There are 14 types of vibrations the NVH app can automatically detect:

  • Tire speed-related (1st, 2nd, and 3rd order vibrations)
  • Driveshaft speed-related (1st, 2nd, and 3rd order vibrations)
  • Engine speed-related (0.5, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th order vibrations)
  • Electric Motor Speed Related (1st order vibrations)

Each type of vibration has unique causes. A vibration type is not the same thing as a vibration source. There are many possible causes (sources) for each vibration type. The NVH app includes step-by-step instructions on locating the vibration source once the app has identified the type of vibration.

What the app cannot do

  •  The NVH App cannot automatically tell you the source of a vibration
  • Although the NVH app is excellent at identifying the type of vibration your vehicle is experiencing, you or someone else will need to follow the diagnostic steps described in the app help files to identify the exact cause or source of the vibration.

There are almost 300 possible sources of vibration concerns in today’s vehicles

T1 Diagnostic Help

THE NVH APP IS HERE!

Turn your Phone or Tablet into a Vibration diagnostic tool! Purchase our new App to use the internal sensors of your Phone or Tablet to diagnose the type of vibration your car or truck is experiencing. There are close to 300 individual vibration sources on a typical vehicle; the NVH App knows each one of them and can guide you through the entire diagnostic and repair procedures for each one of them.

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