Lately I've noticed a sound like a faint wind chime in the distance. I don't know if it's coming from my engine or elsewhere. At first I thought it correlated with the HVAC fan but now it doesn't seem to. It seems to happen at part throttle but I'm not sure. It's barely audible.
It doesn't sound even remotely like the spark knock I experience with low octane fuel, excessive ignition advance, and heavy throttle.
Is there any engine ping sound that would match that description, or should I be looking at my coat-hanger exhaust hangers, rotted catalytic converter with loose shell, improvised clutch inspection cover, etc?
Is it a repeated sound? i.e. tink, tink, tink... or just once and a wile?
Can you reproduce while stationary?
Does it happen when fully warmed up?
My first thought is that is coming from something in the exhaust, like a heat shield.
edit: I didn't even read your last sentence. yes I think that could be it... though a better description of when it happens could help the diagnosis, I think it's a exhaust thing and you can ignore it.
Come back when you have a real problem. Every time I park for more than 24 hours there is half a pint of oil, and 3 lbs of rust on the ground... not to mention all the cats swarming around trying to drink up that anti freeze puddle.
I'm not even going to get into the problems I have when my car is running, let alone moving....
If your worried enough to do something about it, I'd suggest getting under it and taking a good look at the exhaust. Tap on things with a stick, or a wood hammer handle, and see if anything makes the same tone (assuming you can hear pitch well). It really seems like some flashing would make a sound like that, and I can't think what other problem it could be... maybe, maybe (but really unlikely) some suspension thing, like a anti-sway bar could make a "tink"... but that would be obviously connect to driving conditions (bumps turns)
^Well, my experience recently is with the Civic and having put off replacing something that was known about before: the tie rods(outer specifically)
During the past 1-2 months it's been making a 'pop, pop, pop' noise, low speed and cornering(similar to CVs ironically which were replaced over a year ago). Almost as though it's in direct correlation to when there is torque(lower speed/gear) and it pulls at the wheels(FWD) where the tie rods are at, and the rods are popping somewhere near the wheel(perhaps the knuckle?).
I don't know how 'bad' they are but it's going in the shop tomorrow as I don't want to risk a wreck/seized up or steering failure. It didn't make sound before, but it's something that was known about.
On the other hand, your situation may/may not be anything. If it's something worth tracking down, you'd really need some method to try to find this sound. It seems like it only occurs while the vehicle is moving though. Try to simulate this and do so away from traffic, in a quiet area where you can hear more clearly and try listening with windows up/down. If it's something worth replacing, it will show it's ugly 'sound' more prominently(lets hope) before something does happen.
...or just relax and hope it's nothing.
EDIT: Great suggestion checking for things that may be loose exhaust wise etc and 'swaying' around; no direct reference to a sway bar mind you. He could have some old granny under the car trying to pick ax some precious metals away and cash them in for her spending money.