The Noises Cars Make

Someone should put out a CD of all the noises cars can make. This would make it easier for going to the garage. You could just pull up the right noise. Of course, that might require a boxed set.
Recently my car started making a noise when starting up. I've heard it before, but can't place it. The usual suspects (seat belts, lights, etc.) don't appear to match. This noise goes off, and the car works fine. Do you have any ideas? I wish there was a way I could record it and play it here. Unfortunately, my audio options on Web TV are limited. It could be normal. But if you don't know that...? This board's been very helpful to me at times. On occasions I've felt insulted. My knowledge of cars is limited. But I know other stuff.
Sincerely, Darren Thornton
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Sounds like noisy hydraulic lifters. Could be normal for the engine, or could be a sign of oil starvation, leading to imminent demise. Or perhaps it's a timing chain ready to break and wreak havoc. Or the air conditioner compressor clutch? Or? Seriously, how can anyone help you? We don't even know if your vehicle is a brand new Town Car or a 1926 Model T. Come on!
One piece of practical advice (in addition to disclosing the secrets of what you drive and how old it is before asking for advice here): spend $10 on a mechanic's stethoscope at your friendly auto store. If you are brave and careful enough to poke around the engine while it's running without hurting yourself, it may help you pinpoint the noise and describe it better.

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It's a 1995 Escort LX. Overall, this has been a very good car. I tried to reply earlier, but a quick power outage erased my post. We had some longer ones after those hurricanes. We heard this type of noise once before. That involved a new ignition. The owner's manual mentioned that series of five beeps would indicate that the airbags needed servicing. This sounds consistent. Those noises did come on twice while on the road. Believe it or not, this is our first car with airbags. What year did they become mandatory? This car's been rear ended twice. No one got hurt. In neither case did the airbags deploy. Did anyone see the season opener of ER? Sam's hitting the antelope was quite realistic. But wouldn't the airbags have went off? Why was she and Luka on a country road anyway? They were headed for Colorado. Would anyone here buy a CD of car noises?
Sincerely, Darren Thornton
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OK, you were talking about warning beeps when you turn ignition on, not engine noise. You will not find many people offering advice on troubleshooting air bags. Too dangerous for the shade tree mechanic to mess with. If you suspect that there is anything wrong, run to the dealer or to some other qualified facility, ASAP. Your life may depend on them.

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