I have my doubts about this article.
The telltale clicking of a turn signal was once an artifact of the mechanical process that turned the light on and off. But that mechanism has long since been replaced by an electronic circuit that operates silently.
"Long since," they say, but I'm pretty sure my 2007 Toyota still has electromechanical relays for the hazards and turn signals. Easy enough to peek under the dash and see. I'll let you know. And then there was this bit:
But as you reduce the speed that the drive shaft is rotating, you lower the frequency of the sound it’s making. There comes a lower limit where the engine is making what Gordon calls “groan-y and moan-y” noises which people find unpleasant. The car sounds broken. So cars had to keep the engine’s RPM above a certain level, hurting their fuel efficiency, or risk alienating customers.
Trouble is, the speed of the driveshaft is a direct function of how fast the vehicle is traveling, not how fast the engine is spinning. There's a transmission in between, you see. I have no doubt that there's some active noise cancellation at play these days, but the engine speed is gonna be what it needs to be to enable a smooth idle, prompt throttle response, and maximum power output for minimum emissions and fuel consumption. Engine noise isn't really going to dictate how fast or slow they let the engine spin.
I have no doubt Kara Gordon knows what she's talking about. I do have doubts about Tim Maly, however.