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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.

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