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    Thread: Engine Loud Whining Noise - Normal?

    1. Junior Member
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      10-21-2009 05:16 PM #1
      Hi Everybody. I never noticed it before, (because I'm always inside the car when I start it) but the other day when my Phaeton was running and I got out to move a garbage can, I noticed the sound of my engine (the V8). It is quite loud and somewhat whiny in nature. Is this the normal sound of this engine or should I have it checked. I've only had the car for about 3 months. It has a VW certified service on it and the dealer (a good one) never mentioned it. My son says its always been there.

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      10-21-2009 06:19 PM #2
      Bob,
      I would definitely not call mine a whine, but from the outside you can certainly hear the engine at idle: subjectively, it's a little louder than some cars in its class, like the S class or Lexus LS.
      Stefano

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      10-21-2009 10:18 PM #3
      Bob,

      I've had two Phaetons and they were both a bit noisy. Both from the respect of camshaft noise and general growly/whiney types of noises. This may sound silly to some, but the Phaeton V8 has always brought back memories of a 1975 Chevrolet Camaro I owned as a young man. It had a 350 V8, a 4 barrel carburetor and dual exhaust. It was not modified in any way, but was rather growly much like both of my Phaetons have been.

      Frankly, that's one of the many things I like about the Phaeton V8. It really takes some engineering to roust 335 BHP out of 255 cubic inches without a turbo or super charger. In my opinion, it's an impressive engine.

      Bill


    4. Member remrem's Avatar
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      10-22-2009 12:56 AM #4
      Hi Bob,

      The first time I stood outside my car after starting, I was sure something was terribly wrong. When I reported it here on the forum, Michael and others pointed out that for the first few minutes within starting the car the air suspension is being pressurised and that the system that does this generates much of the odd and substantial noise I was hearing.

      Since we have different engines, I can't say for sure that this is the source of the sound you are hearing, but we do both have the same air suspension, so I'm guessing it's a good possibility.

      Regards,
      Ron

      "The main difference between a VW Phaeton and something like the S-Class, both of which are very large, very advanced German automobiles, is that one seems like a pitiless cyborg, while the other, dare I say, has soul." - Justin Couture - Automobile.com review (http://www.auto123.com/en/volkswagen/phaeton/2006/review?carid=1066301001&artid=58804)

    5. Member chrisj428's Avatar
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      10-22-2009 08:40 AM #5
      Mine has always made a whining/growling noise from the first day I had it. At one point, we replaced a power steering pump, thinking that was the culprit. The noise diminished a little, but the majority remained.
      --Chris

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      10-22-2009 09:19 AM #6
      I'm really surprised at what you all say.

      My V8 is purring smoothly, and is therefore very impressive when driven slowly past someone.

      Typically, before my wife got used to it, she repeatedly told me that when I approached her at idle to pick her up, for instance, when coming from the garage 30 yards away, the car always made a huge impression upon her as this massive car came gliding silently with a very low pitched hum. She kept telling me how it always gave her the creeps, although she got used to it now.

      I could compare the V8 with my older 1989 V6 jag as we had both for a couple of weeks. From the outside, the Jag (which was also a very quiet car) was louder and the sound quite different, much higher pitched.

      But this does not only happen to my wife. Very often, people turn their heads at the car before I get past them, if, for instance, I'm driving in a small town at walking speed. In the summer, we were at the seaside in a crowded town, and had an unpleasant moment as, everyone became conscious of the car while it was at idle.

      Then, the growl at acceleration is also a terrible head turner... 2 weeks ago, my wife was stopped at some traffic lights next to a high school. She was a bit in a hurry to get to the kindergarten to pick up our girl, and stepped on the accelerator when it turned green. She told me how she instantly regretted it, as all the teenagers's heads turned towards the car, to look at what produced this impressive sound.

      It's impressive because it's very quiet, but very low pitched, and upon acceleration, you get a impressive deep growl that makes the difference with any other car. This effect may be accented by the fact that we have a very inconspicuous short silver version, that looks like any other passat.

      We enjoy this inconspicuousness, so in fact, the volcano engine that produces such a deep and low powerful purr is a "problem" for us as it draws attention. We try to be very gentle on the throttle to keep it low.

      Certainly no whining noise coming out from our V8.

      P.


    7. Member VWGlf00GL's Avatar
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      10-23-2009 01:35 AM #7
      Quote, originally posted by Bob S. »
      Hi Everybody. I never noticed it before, (because I'm always inside the car when I start it) but the other day when my Phaeton was running and I got out to move a garbage can, I noticed the sound of my engine (the V8). It is quite loud and somewhat whiny in nature. Is this the normal sound of this engine or should I have it checked. I've only had the car for about 3 months. It has a VW certified service on it and the dealer (a good one) never mentioned it. My son says its always been there.

      Can somebody post an audio clip or video of the noise?

      I ask because another board member (Francisco) is having a gremlin of a whirring noise. We can't figure it out, nor can the master VW Phaeton Tech at one the VW Dealerships.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3765219

      Francisco, where are you buddy? Chime in here..

      That specific thread ended on a PCV Valve that needed to be replaced on somebody's Jetta. .

      Adrian
      ---

    8. Member george777's Avatar
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      10-23-2009 08:56 AM #8
      I love it when the valets [from 1 block away] 'turn on' the car... Love the low frequency growl.

    9. 10-23-2009 09:05 AM #9
      My V8 has a whine under acceleration, it's done it ever since I got the car. It appears to be transmission related since the tone changes as it goes through the gears. It's not particularly loud, you can only really hear it with the radio off, and I don't even notice it anymore unless I listen for it. I've always assumed that it's just normal noise that's only audible because the interior of the car is so quiet. In retrospect, now I know there are some transmission issues on the V8, I wish I'd remembered to have it investigated before the warranty expired.

    10. 10-23-2009 10:12 AM #10
      Mine is definitely NOT a common noise. It is a total Gremlin noise. I spend over $1,000 chasing it last year to no avail. No codes or anything else.

      It happens as follows:

      - AFTER a highway and/or long drive (at least 20 minutes) when putting the car in Park and left idling, the whirring noise starts. It s very loud.
      - Smaller trips do not make the sound happen, nor does it do it when you start the car after the night.
      - If the car revs the engine a little bit a little bit (move the steering wheel, put the car in gear, pump the accelerator), the noise goes away, but comes back 30 seconds later
      - The sound comes and goes, sometimes it goes on vacation. One time it didn't make the noise for a whole week, But it came back.
      - We've checked many valves and timing belt. Nothing there.
      - It is definitely being caused by air flow, When the noise is there, squeezing some hoses makes it go away while the hose is being squeezed

      My suspicion is perhaps a throttle valve or something similar not closing all the way. But I am baffled and broke, so no more time or $ to go after the noise.

      Other than that, no issues at all. I am at 96,000 miles on a 2004 V8.


    11. Junior Member
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      10-23-2009 10:20 AM #11
      Thanks for all the replies. The noise is definitely at initial startup and diminishes very quickly. That's why I suspected the compressor for the suspension as remrem suggested. However, after reading Zaphh's post, I am left wondering if one V8 is quiet...why aren't they all?

      I'd be happy to record and post the sound as VWGlfOOGL suggested....but I don't know how.


    12. Member VWGlf00GL's Avatar
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      10-23-2009 11:39 AM #12
      Quote, originally posted by Bob S. »
      Thanks for all the replies. The noise is definitely at initial startup and diminishes very quickly. That's why I suspected the compressor for the suspension as remrem suggested. However, after reading Zaphh's post, I am left wondering if one V8 is quiet...why aren't they all?

      I'd be happy to record and post the sound as VWGlfOOGL suggested....but I don't know how.

      Hello Bob!

      I can post the sound for you if you'd like, or one of our moderator can post it as well. If you email the audio clip, I can listen then post..

      My email is pocketmacag @ me .com (without the spaces).

      Thanks!

      - Adrian

      PS: Francisco glad to see ya, I'll call you later today..

      Adrian
      ---

    13. 10-23-2009 03:57 PM #13
      That sounds like a louder version of mine from your description. Mine's definitely not loud enough to spend any investigative money on, at least in terms of ear discomfort.

      Good to know yours is going strong at 96k! I'd really like to hang on to this car indefinitely. My two big worries are the suspension struts and the gearbox.


    14. 10-23-2009 04:21 PM #14
      Mine plays something of an engine symphony at start up. There's the loud whirring sound that might be the compressor sound you describe (although in my garage I'd describe it more like a roar, which also seems to suit the car better!), I also assumed it was something to do with the suspension, plus various other bells & whistles, including all that whirring that comes from the glove box at start up and at various other random moments. I decided long ago to just make sure the door's closed before I start it!

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      10-23-2009 04:33 PM #15
      I think the whirring from the glovebox area is the navigation player searching the CD for info and to locate your current position on its map.

      I'm at a loss as to the whirring or roar on startup. In the V8s There's a reported few second clatter on startup due to the cam chain tensioner bleeding down when the vehicle sits for a period. This is supposedly not a concern as long as it stops promptly after startup.


    16. 10-23-2009 04:45 PM #16
      What I find amazing is not the noises it DOES make, but rather the noises it DOESN'T make. Mine's now 5.5 years old with 63k on the clock, and there's not a squeak or a rattle to be heard in the cabin, despite the females of the family apparently being genetically configured as to be unable to close a car door without slamming it!

    17. Member
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      10-24-2009 08:22 PM #17
      Hey guys, I'm here to tell you what the problem is. I battled with my whiney noise gremlin for close to a year and after moving my new dealership got it on the first try.

      To be sure my noise was like yours, it seemed to be load dependent, and seemed to be worse at slower speeds. Transmission didn't seem to make a difference when engaged or not. Steering didn't affect it. Revving the engine would sometimes make it go away.

      The problem with my car was a crack in the intake manifold. What tipped them off, other than the LOUD whining noise, was the leakage of some kind of fluid into the bottom pan (oil I think). They ended up having to replace the manifold and the gasket. Noise never came back after that.

      Hope this helps!


    18. 10-25-2009 10:53 PM #18
      Quote, originally posted by zenmoused »

      The problem with my car was a crack in the intake manifold. What tipped them off, other than the LOUD whining noise, was the leakage of some kind of fluid into the bottom pan (oil I think). They ended up having to replace the manifold and the gasket. Noise never came back after that.

      Interesting theory. My car doesn't leak anything. How much was it? Or was it covered by warranty?


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      10-27-2009 04:54 PM #19
      Adrian has generously agreed to post the recording of my engine noise. I just sent it to him so he'll post it when he gets around to it I expect.

      Its not really a serious noise (I don't think). When you hear it listen for the intermittent high pitched squeaky/whiny noise. Does your engine sound the same? Its a 2004 V8 with about 62k Km on it.


    20. Member VWGlf00GL's Avatar
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      10-27-2009 05:26 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by Bob S. »
      Adrian has generously agreed to post the recording of my engine noise. I just sent it to him so he'll post it when he gets around to it I expect.

      Its not really a serious noise (I don't think). When you hear it listen for the intermittent high pitched squeaky/whiny noise. Does your engine sound the same? Its a 2004 V8 with about 62k Km on it.


      Hello Bob!

      Ask, and you shall receive. I've posted the file on my Apple (.Me) account everybody can download the file: --> http://files.me.com/pocketmacag/rzq19u.mp3 <--

      The noise sounds like a hose or pump that could be broken or on it's way out.. I could be way
      off here, I don't know. KCPhaetonTech, Michael, anybody else wanna take a listen?

      A couple of questions:

      1. No CEL (Check Engine Light)?

      2. Your file said "cold start", was this after the Phaeton was sitting for 24 hours?

      I ask because, it could be one of the air shock's maybe as it's pumping up air in the front to bring the car level before the driver takes off, perhaps one of those are going out.

      Just speculating here..

      Thanks!

      - Adrian


      Modified by VWGlf00GL at 2:39 PM 10-27-2009

      Adrian
      ---

    21. Member
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      10-27-2009 08:16 PM #21
      Bob S:

      My guess, and that all it is, a guess, is that it could be a belt or a compressor that is not working properly. Maybe bearings are going or gone inside a rotating part. Something could be needing lubrication.

      See if your dealer can locate the source of the noise with a stethoscope. That is what some garages do.

      Good luck.

      cai


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      10-28-2009 12:17 PM #22
      Thanks for posting so fast Adrian. The recording was done after the car had been sitting overnight (i.e. cold start). The outside temperature was about 15 degrees C. The sound disappears after a short period of time...which made me suspect the air shocks. (the car is fairly new to me and the first I've had with air shocks). Do all Phaeton's make this noise on a cold start? (its worse when the temperature is colder)

      Cai, I was going to take it to the dealer, but by the time I get there all is quiet.

      Thanks for the input.


    23. Member VWGlf00GL's Avatar
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      10-28-2009 01:27 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by Bob S. »
      Thanks for posting so fast Adrian. The recording was done after the car had been sitting overnight (i.e. cold start). The outside temperature was about 15 degrees C. The sound disappears after a short period of time...which made me suspect the air shocks. (the car is fairly new to me and the first I've had with air shocks). Do all Phaeton's make this noise on a cold start? (its worse when the temperature is colder)

      Cai, I was going to take it to the dealer, but by the time I get there all is quiet.

      Thanks for the input.

      Hi Bob!

      No problem! Glad I could help.. Thanks for forwarding the email over!

      So I forwarded your email to a good friend of mine (Phaeton Tech), he listened to it a few times. He said: "Sounds like power steering to me. Sorry had to wait until it was cold before I could listen to the noise."

      It's been pretty cold out west here, low 40's last night.. Around 55 this morning, nice windchill too. We're not used to that around here.

      Let us know what you find out..

      Perhaps, leave the car there overnight (at the Dealer)? Have them "cold start" like you typically would.

      This gives them the option to listen to the noise on a cold morning.. (no mad, just a cool .gif)

      Thanks!

      Adrian

      Adrian
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      10-28-2009 01:44 PM #24
      Bob S:

      If you can, leave the car at the dealer overnight and explain to them, very explicitly, that they need to listen to it when they first start the car in the morning.

      I am not sure about the air shocks/suspension theory. I do not know, specifically, how they work, but the threads seem to imply that they have to pressure up when one starts the car. If it does, shouldn't the noise return every time the car is turned on? Also, if the shocks/suspension loses pressure, shouldn't the car be lower than when it was turned off? I do not notice the car raising itself when I turn it on in the morning, but I will check this tomorrow. Also, does the compressor for the shocks/suspension keep on working all the time while the car is being driven?

      cai


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      11-05-2009 10:34 AM #25
      Is there an update on what was causing the noise?

      Thank you.

      cai


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      11-05-2009 01:04 PM #26
      Cai, no update yet. I've been travelling and haven't had a chance to take it to the dealer, however, I arrived home on this week and started it...and it didn't make the noise. Hmmmm. either the rest or the threat of taking it to the "doctor" cured it. But I'm sure it will return.

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