Q: Faint pulsating sound during idle

asked by on January 21, 2016

After starting my vehicle and driving for less than 5 minutes, I heard my car making very faint pulsating noises at stop lights. A friend suggested that it may be because the heater was on. Is this anything serious?

Car is making a noise Inspection $94.99 - $114.99 Get a Quote

If the noise you are hearing is coming from the dash area then you may be hearing the blend door electronic actuator controlling the temperature output to the vents. Try to turn off your a/c or heater controls and see if the noise goes away. If it does then this is the noise you are hearing and may be normal. If the noise is clicking or thumping noise then a problem is indicated with the actuator and would need further diagnosis or replacement. If the noise is coming from the engine compartment from the engine, then you may have a problem with the variable valve timing solenoids. The manufacturer just came out with a new technical bulletin for replacing the parts but the parts may not be ready till after Feb. 2016 or later. I would suggest you have a mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, inspect the noise for you to determine if it needs to be addressed and repaired or if this is a normal noise of a component.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $70/hr

What others are asking

How do you erase codes stored in the Car2U® garage door opener?

You can use your Car2U® garage door opener to store codes for a number of automated systems. However, you may find that the time comes when you need to delete a code. You might be moving or selling the car,...

How do I turn on the side view mirror defrosters?

The side view mirror defrosters increase your visibility by eliminating condensation from the side view mirrors. The side view mirror defrosters will automatically turn on when the rear window defroster is turned on by pressing the Rear Window Defroster button....

Car not accelerating

Hi there. The two most common causes of this vehicle not accelerating are either a transmission failure or a clogged catalytic converter. If the engine seems to just lack power, then it may be the converter. If the engine power...

Air not blowing cold

Hi there. The "AC is not working" unfortunately does not provide enough details for me to provide a specific answer. There are many components that if they fail will cause the AC to not work, such as a low refrigerant...

I have a starter/solenoid/starter system failure

Hello, the whirring sound is a mechanical failure possibly created from an electrical fault. The starter solenoid controls power to and starter and moves a starter drive assembly into a ring gear (flex Plate). It is two gears that...

Car makes one click and won't start

Generally, this type of clicking sound will be heard when the starter solenoid is bad or the battery is simply just too weak to turn the motor over to start. Since you just replaced the starter, it is likely that...

I changed the battery in my ford explorer 2013 and the lights and radio work but it won't start. It says to push the brake but it won't work.

Hi there. Check to see if the battery cables are tight. If the cables are tight, then check the brake switch on the brake pedal. It may not be responding to the computer as it could be damaged or shorted....

I have a 2009 Audi Q9 and everytime I drive it it has a strong gas smell. The car does not hesitate to start and no check engine l

Hi there. On modern automobiles, fuel odors should not be detectable at anytime beyond refueling. A strong smell of gasoline can indicate a leaking fuel supply component (fuel filler hose, filter, or lines) or an evaporative emissions component (purge valve,...

What is a chevy hhr Lt 2006 2.2 or 2.4

The transmission used in the 2.2 L version of your car is not interchangeable with a transmission from the 2.4 L version. To determine whether you have a 2.2 L engine or a 2.4 L engine, please look at the...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Honda Accord
The The 2012 Honda Accord has a lot to offer. From great fuel economy to comfortable features and a sleek, modern look, it’s no wonder so many people love the Accord. Though, unlike the Civic, Honda has yet to offer...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2011 Mazda RX-8
The The 2011 Mazda RX-8 is a sporty, two-door coupe that is able to seat four people (two in the front and two in the rear). While this was the final year of production for the RX-8, it definitely made...
The Best Used Cars to Buy For Fuel Economy
Saving money on gas is an important factor to consider when buying a car. The Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, and Ford Fusion all have great fuel economy.