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Old 12-21-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
Civ2Sub311
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Default Whine noise all of a sudden in WRX - all gears at certain times

'04 WRX, stock except for catback. Car's been running great for a few months since I got it. Have changed the oil, gotten clutch replaced..no issues.

All of a sudden last Friday, I had just driven home from work (45 min. drive) and the last few minutes of driving and as I pull into the garage, I just start noticing a loud whine coming from the front of the car under the hood. Throughout the weekend and today, the whine keeps happening at random times- usually very noticeable to me.

The whining noise, similar to how the PPG/Dog Box gears sound on YouTube (similar to this- see here at 2-5 seconds in and again at 9-13 seconds)-
, happens at all different times- it can happen as I am accelerating from a stop in 1st (usually), at any random time in all other gears, as I am decelerating....really any time that the exhaust/other engine noises don't drown out the whine.

Now I know there is always the normal tranny whine of a WRX in lower gears when decelerating/engaging the clutch, but this is much more noticeable and definitely just started happening. In fact, this is definitely something else because I can hear both whines simultaneously if I listen carefully...I think.

I also notice that I can still get the noise sometimes when I rev while coasting but have the clutch in...which leads me to believe it is engine-related and not tranny related (right?).
On a side note, I had replaced the two drive belts myself a couple months ago, and went back a few weeks after to check the tightness, and then as well as this weekend, both belts still seemed tight and on correctly.

Can anyone give me any ideas before I bring it to the dealer? It's very noticeable every time I drive now like 75% of the time driving, and I'm afraid something's going to happen. Either way, it's not something to be ignored at all.
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Last edited by Civ2Sub311; 12-22-2009 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:46 PM   #2
MyOtherCarIsAMudkip
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Center differential and transfer gears would be my first guess... mine exhibited similar symptomology for about 2500 miles before finally giving out and I was forced to scrape the money together for parts. Definitely check your trans fluid condition and such.

Last edited by MyOtherCarIsAMudkip; 12-21-2009 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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Thanks, also wanted to add, tires are inflated, brakes are fine, and boost is hitting the normal 14 psi if I try (thought I was hearing a boost leak at first). Also, the driving of the car doesn't seem to be affected at all- yet.

Will check tranny fluid level. Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:54 PM   #4
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how many miles are on your wrx when you bought it ? replacing the clutch sounds like it was abused if its under 100k . i have a slight feeling another 5speed will go boom soon
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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mine is doing then exact same thing and has started ever since its been getting colder.

I've noticed its coming from what seems to be the power steering pump.

does it do it when you turn your wheels? mines related to rpm, it gets louder if my rpm is higher
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:03 PM   #6
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also I've heard that if you have power steering fluid and not auto transmisson fluid in your power steering reservoir it causes the pump to whine?
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:14 PM   #7
Civ2Sub311
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Just checked motor and tranny oil, both at correct level still.

I'm not sure if this is related to tranny or not...what do you think: If I am hearing the whine in any given gear while cruising, I disengage the clutch and coast and immediately the whine goes away...but if I rev while still holding the clutch pedal down, the whine noise comes back and goes up and down with the RPMs. Wouldn't that mean motor-related and not tranny since the tranny is not receiving any power during that time?

Also, mine does not seem to be directly coinciding in any way with wheel turning- at least not from what I've heard so far.

WRX has 78k when I got it, and I just assumed the clutch was due to lots of riding and whatever else the last two owners did to it. But other than having to replace that, there hasn't been any other issues and the Subie dealership who's seen the car twice now has not seen any other problems.

Also, I noticed that I don't hear the whine at all when the car is still cold after starting. It only comes up once the car is warmed and from then on, I hear it a good portion of my driving time on and off. Sometimes the whine will even cut off mid-cruise without me changing any throttle/clutch pedal pressure...it's very intermittent

Last edited by Civ2Sub311; 12-21-2009 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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I made sure the two drive belts were definitely tight and they still are. If the alternator was going bad, could it maybe whine like this? When I listen under the hood when the car idling, I could swear there is a different sound to the belt/pulley area up front where the drive belts are (although they are tight). Could it be related to the alternator itself?

Another description of the sound I forgot to mention was that at some points, the whining is so high-pitched that it literally sounds like a ban saw you'd use in shop class. Very high-pitched and sometimes like a slight grinding at times (seriously) and again it would go away the second you hit the clutch pedal but will still make the sound when you rev while coasting not in gear. Really worried here with my long drive to and from work every day.

Last edited by Civ2Sub311; 12-21-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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Default It's in the engine.......

Check pulleys, alternator bearings, water pump etc....

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Old 12-21-2009, 09:00 PM   #10
Civ2Sub311
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So since I am not versed in checking all of that in-depth, you think a Subie visit is in order? I'd love to catch this before anything happens and things get worse.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:48 PM   #11
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If you can remove the belts, you can just spin the pulleys by hand and listen for noise and feel for looseness and roughness.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:52 PM   #12
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You mean the alternator drive belt? I have removed and replaced that before. I just re-checked the tightness now...should the front part of the pulley that the belt is around spin? The front of the pulley with the 3 smaller circles on it...that front part spins in place (normal I think):

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Old 12-22-2009, 07:49 AM   #13
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yea def not a tranny issue . like others said . its probably a belt pully. or bearings going bad. could be alternator or any of the pumps bearings ...
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:38 PM   #14
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hmm... this is an interesting one...
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:01 PM   #15
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Another day of driving to and from work. Same thing pretty much, heard the noise most of the time driving after the car warms up, in every gear, at almost every speed/rpm. I'd say I hear it like 60-70% of the time overall while driving. The sound is so noticeable and obvious inside the car (and I think outside), it's just hard to record for the forum.

Again, the operation of the car hasn't skipped a beat. I haven't felt one thing wrong...it's just the sound. At certain points, my car sounds like a fricken ban saw driving down the road lol, like I said above. It's like the whine you get in a 5-spd car's reverse gear when going up in speed, but louder at times and higher-pitched as well. I know this sound happens normally in lower gears, but this is different, trust me.

Most likely going to bring it to Subaru Saturday, but this will be tough as sometimes, you don't even hear the sound for like 20 minutes while first driving. It's going to be tough to describe the problem if they don't hear it first-hand. I hope they know what to look for and do just from my description as I don't have too much money to spend on them experimenting.

Last edited by Civ2Sub311; 12-22-2009 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:44 PM   #16
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I know this is probably not it but, is your radio on will your driving, or is it completely off?
You can get a whine from the stereo's from the voltage feedback especially when accelerating.

And you said you dont hear it outside the car?
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:16 PM   #17
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Mine's been making the same noise as well...







































Wait, I got ppg's.

Jk, Gluck.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:11 PM   #18
Civ2Sub311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timskyline86 View Post
I know this is probably not it but, is your radio on will your driving, or is it completely off?
You can get a whine from the stereo's from the voltage feedback especially when accelerating.

And you said you dont hear it outside the car?
Nah not the radio. You can hear it inside and out..always goes up with revving when it's happening and is definitely related to how much the motor is goin' or revving- when the noise is happening. Not wheel related either since it goes up when I rev.
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #19
Civ2Sub311
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Okay, as a quick update..here is a short and quiet cell phone video of my car being revved from under the hood. If you turn all your volumes up a bit, you can hear the noise fine.

Right at the beginning, you can hear the whine go up at idle without me even revving at all which was a lucky capture. And then I opened the throttle a few times to show the whining better. Keep in mind this whining is much more prominent when actually driving at speed. Let me know whatcha think:



The noise definitely seems to be coming from around this area or underneath it a bit:

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Old 12-25-2009, 07:46 PM   #20
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sounds like a pulley or ac clutch take the belts off one at a time and run it if it goes away turn off the car and spin each one by hand but you may need a stethiscope if you cant hear it by hand.
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:56 PM   #21
Civ2Sub311
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So I can take off one or both drive belts and run the car with no issues? I thought the alternator one was needed no? Sorry, noob in that area...
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:58 PM   #22
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You've got a twin-charged Subie!
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Old 12-26-2009, 12:31 AM   #23
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you can run it without belts just not for daily use you wouldnt have charging or ps an such
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #24
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so what was the reason for that noise?
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:13 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civ2Sub311 View Post
Okay, as a quick update..here is a short and quiet cell phone video of my car being revved from under the hood. If you turn all your volumes up a bit, you can hear the noise fine.

Right at the beginning, you can hear the whine go up at idle without me even revving at all which was a lucky capture. And then I opened the throttle a few times to show the whining better. Keep in mind this whining is much more prominent when actually driving at speed. Let me know whatcha think:

YouTube- WRX whining noise


The noise definitely seems to be coming from around this area or underneath it a bit:

I'm having the same issue. Any idea on what the noise was?

It's coming from that same area.
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