Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Need an experienced VW mwchanic's ear on an odd sound

asked by on

After getting back my GTI I had loaned out for a while, it had a new strange sound, which is most noticeable at low revs, when there is not much other noise. Seems to have a louder resonance at some frequencies. I don't notice it so much listing under the hood.

It has a bit if a whine like a toothed belt or noisy electric motor armature.

Here's a recording from the interior passenger foot well (might be louder on that side) , during a slow drive through a parking lot.

  • soundcloud.com/user-839875510/gti-whine/s-vyXLu *

Any clues as to what I should examine would be appreciated.

My car has 35000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hi there. Look for anything that rotates on...

Hi there. Look for anything that rotates on the engine as accessories, like the pulleys, water pump, power steering pump, alternator, and A/C compressor. There could be a harmonic vibration admitting from one of the items making the noise.

Try this, with the engine cold, remove the serpentine belt. Start up the engine and see if the sound is still there or not. If the sound goes away, then it is an accessory that is driven by the belt. If the sound is still there, then the noise could be either transmitting from the engine or the transmission. Transmissions tend to have a whining noise when a clutch is slipping or when a pilot bearing is going out.

If the noise is present when the transmission is in a gear selection other than neutral, and when put into neutral it goes away, then there is an issue with a clutch between the transmission and engine.

If the noise is constant all of the time, then there could be a harmonic vibration admitting from the engine or engine compartment somewhere. It also could be a loose exhaust shield that is causing a vibration. Try listening to the vehicle and locate where the sound is most heard. Then look in that general area for any out of the ordinary. If you need further assistance pinpointing the source to the sound, then seek out a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, to help you with your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car Starts but Shuts off

Hi there. It is possible that your MAF sensor combined with a dirty EGR valve that is causing this issue. Although cleaning these components might clear things up for a while, if they have never been replaced, it is probably...

Q: Car is idling rough - 1983 Jeep CJ7

Hello. This behavior sounds like the power brake booster has a leak or rupture, which acts like an air leak to the engine. Since the brake booster vacuum is generated by the engine's air intake, their functions and potential problems...

Q: Shifting problems

You may have a clutch problem. Try shifting it through gears with the engine off. If it will shift with engine off, but not go into any gears when it's running, that indicates a clutch rather than a transmission issue....

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...