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Any ideas on these weird noises my car is making?

Old 07-09-21, 04:25 PM
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EJ123
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Any ideas on these weird noises my car is making?

Not super up to speed with car mechanics, but I think I have a bad starter (makes this screech noise about 60% of the time on ignition), and also now have some resting cyclical clicking up at the hood (made the noise even w/ the AC off).

Any ideas on this 04 Jetta? Assuming the first noise is the starter, these things are like $600+ to replace at the shop!

Noises
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Old 07-09-21, 08:41 PM
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sounds like it could be a bad pulley bearing. which pulley i couldn't tell you. you'll just have to pull the accessory belts off and turn all the pulleys by hand to see if any are dry

or a/c clutch. it spins even with the a/c off

is the power steering working right? ie. no spots where it gets stiff when you're making a hard turn?

could be a dry water pump bearing, too. any idea when it was last replaced?

start with the belt pulleys and the a/c clutch

Last edited by thook; 07-09-21 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 07-09-21, 08:50 PM
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Find a mechanic who is good with a stethoscope.
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Old 07-09-21, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
sounds like it could be a bad pulley bearing. which pulley i couldn't tell you. you'll just have to pull the accessory belts off and turn all the pulleys by hand to see if any are dry

or a/c clutch. it spins even with the a/c off

is the power steering working right? ie. no spots where it gets stiff when you're making a hard turn?
^ There’s that. If the accessory belt has never been changed or been a long time, getting that changed would allow a mechanic to check the play on all the pulleys.

Best case would be idler pulley.

But again, a good troubleshooting mechanic is your best bet.
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Old 07-09-21, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
^ There’s that. If the accessory belt has never been changed or been a long time, getting that changed would allow a mechanic to check the play on all the pulleys.

Best case would be idler pulley.

But again, a good troubleshooting mechanic is your best bet.
right!! a stethoscope. those are cheap at an auto store. i have one, very handy
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Old 07-09-21, 09:08 PM
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2 blowouts and a cracked windshield in just 2 weeks Anyways if there is a noise that sounds bad or not normal for your car it’s probably not good.
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Old 07-09-21, 09:15 PM
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Some years ago I was in an engine company innovation group, and we investigated the feasibility of collecting engine sounds via smartphone, and comparing them to an online database of known failure sounds. We were somewhat surprised to find it seemed feasible for many really common failures. Pretty cool project. It turns out smartphone microphones were not really up to the task though. More importantly, neither the suits nor the service guys were terribly interested. I think it will happen eventually... if it hasn't already. I'm out of that industry.

Is this the noise:

Description of a DIY fix. There are many others.
https://forums.tdiclub.com/index.php...starter.90249/

No clue on the cyclical clicking; need more info.
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Old 07-10-21, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
sounds like it could be a bad pulley bearing. which pulley i couldn't tell you. you'll just have to pull the accessory belts off and turn all the pulleys by hand to see if any are dry

or a/c clutch. it spins even with the a/c off

is the power steering working right? ie. no spots where it gets stiff when you're making a hard turn?

could be a dry water pump bearing, too. any idea when it was last replaced?

start with the belt pulleys and the a/c clutch
Yup power steering works OK. It's not the smoothest and effortless like in newer rental cars I've driven, but never felt like anything was off. I think I had the water pump replaced about 4 years ago with the timing belt at 96k miles (it's 116k miles now). Have to make some long road trips here soon, so hoping no car issues
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Old 07-10-21, 08:41 AM
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Yeah, I think it is a bearing somewhere on the accessory drive. A common issue. Since it is a VW, you must disassemble everything - probably start in the back seat.


Here, I am replacing front struts. Starting in the back, of course.
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Old 07-10-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by StupidlyBrave View Post
Yeah, I think it is a bearing somewhere on the accessory drive. A common issue. Since it is a VW, you must disassemble everything - probably start in the back seat.


Here, I am replacing front struts. Starting in the back, of course.

This sounds priceeey
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Old 07-10-21, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by EJ123 View Post
This sounds priceeey
I was kidding. Mostly.

I did have two Passats at the same time and an Audi tech asked me if I thought I could do the heater core faster the next time. I told him that I am never doing that job again.

The pic below was when I was prepping the car to give away to my daughter's husband. I did put new struts, new brakes and new bearings on that evening. It still needed tires for inspection. So after I gave it to him, it sat at his grandfather's barn for 2 or three years and has now disappeared.

That car did have an idler pulley explode (it was plastic!). Fortunately, some of the aftermarket parts are better - I replaced it with an aluminum one.
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Old 07-10-21, 09:06 AM
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My brother had 2 VWs (Passat then an A8). Both were gotten rid of due to premature failures.
Then he got a turbo golf.

He’s a slow learner.
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Old 07-10-21, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by EJ123 View Post
Yup power steering works OK. It's not the smoothest and effortless like in newer rental cars I've driven, but never felt like anything was off. I think I had the water pump replaced about 4 years ago with the timing belt at 96k miles (it's 116k miles now). Have to make some long road trips here soon, so hoping no car issues
i think downtube42 has you covered. ie. it's the starter
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Old 07-11-21, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by StupidlyBrave View Post
Last heater core I did I was impressed I had only 2 leftover screws when I was done
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Old 07-12-21, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by EJ123 View Post
Not super up to speed with car mechanics, but I think I have a bad starter (makes this screech noise about 60% of the time on ignition), and also now have some resting cyclical clicking up at the hood (made the noise even w/ the AC off).

Any ideas on this 04 Jetta? Assuming the first noise is the starter, these things are like $600+ to replace at the shop!

Noises
I have an 02 GTI VR6, it goes through periods of making that post-start screeching noise (sometimes like your recording, usually much less) after starting. I was able to reproduce it for my mechanic (he owns a an independent VW shop) and he said it's common with VW of that era and nothing I should worry about. This car did have the starter die a few years back, so this is a 'new' starter (maybe actually 50K old by now)
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Old 07-19-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
My brother had 2 VWs (Passat then an A8). Both were gotten rid of due to premature failures.
Then he got a turbo golf.

He’s a slow learner.
Still a lot of plastic in these VW's as well as other modern vehicles...I know we need weight savings but plastic water pump setc? I haven't learned my lesson yet and replaced a few, but have not spent 40+ to buy another plastic plastic equipped car that has the same problems I am trying to avoid.
Best, Ben
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Old 07-19-21, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
Still a lot of plastic in these VW's as well as other modern vehicles...I know we need weight savings but plastic water pump setc? I haven't learned my lesson yet and replaced a few, but have not spent 40+ to buy another plastic plastic equipped car that has the same problems I am trying to avoid.
Best, Ben
I had to have my plastic 'crack pipe' replaced
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Old 07-19-21, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I had to have my plastic 'crack pipe' replaced
HAHA, Well I hope the change of the pipe at least made you "Not worry and be Happy"....
Best, Ben
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Old 07-19-21, 11:46 AM
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It was apparently the last straw that triggered a whole-cooling-system replace. I might have gotten ripped off by the shop, about $2k is close to the BBK value of the whole car. It's a good strong engine and I bet will go for years more, but other things are dying. AC is dead, headliner is propped up with headliner pins, driver's side door handle basically ripped off the door, clearcoat is peeling in many places, trip computer display is only legible in temps under 60F, etc.
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Old 07-19-21, 02:38 PM
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Bummer. I hate spending money on cars.

I enjoy bikes and motorcycles. I need a car.
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Old 07-24-21, 08:03 PM
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Part of me never wants to get rid of that bad boy. Cheap insurance, reliability, and boxy.
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Old 07-24-21, 09:59 PM
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I have noticed people are holding on to their cars much longer. Waste of money drive a new one off the lot there goes thousands FRIKIN rip off. I know this one person that will by like a Honda Civic with over 100K miles trick it out run it another 100K then by another 100K + car for next to nothing take the tricked out parts off the previous car then run that on the next car 100K + … Smart if you ask me. And fun fixing up those sporty small cars that get over 30mpg.
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