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.

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: The car vibrates at a certain speed

Hello. Since the vibration is vehicle speed sensitive, it is likely that it is related to the wheel/tire assemblies, driveline, and/or suspension. An expert would sequentially look at these systems to isolate the problem. The causes can be quite surprising....

Q: How do you check the brake and clutch fluid?

Keeping an eye on the clutch and brake fluid in your car isn’t hard to do. It is important, though. Both of these systems are hydraulic, and low fluid can lead to low pressure and reduced operation. Here’s how...

Q: Windshield wipers not working

Hello. The first thing to check with any electrical device is to check the fuse. If the fuse is blown, replace it and try the wipers again. If the wipers work, then you are set to go. If it blows...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.