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Old August 17th, 2018, 16:03   #1
Crop Doc
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Default 2003 Jetta TDI - Noise under hood - battery warning illuminated

Made a 150 mile trip on Wednesday, as usual, the Jetta ran great. Got up Thursday morning and started it up - at idle, pulsating-metal grating noise under hood; front of engine, passenger side. Red battery warning illuminated on dash. Decided to park it and take other car.

Started it up Friday morning. Battery light no longer lit, grating noise is gone. Took it up to local repair guy - alternator is producing correct voltage, pulley inspected good, no trouble codes stored.

What's the next step here? I drive the Jetta a lot and have a 1400 mile trip coming up. Any advice? Purchased Jetta new, it has 102,000 miles on it - mainly my "non-winter vehicle". Thank you for your input!
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Old August 17th, 2018, 19:02   #2
STDOUBT
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Verify the accessory belt and all pulleys rollers etc are working well. Check carefully in the timing belt case.
For the acc. belt (serpentine belt), you can use the 16mm nut on the tensioner to release tension, then pin it (so belt is loose) and check all the rolly stuff including the tensioner wheel.


At 102,000 miles, how old is your timing belt? Hopefully about 15k miles?
edit: the acc. belt kit should be replaced along with the TB, generally.
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Old August 20th, 2018, 19:20   #3
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Could be the alternator pulley about to give up the ghost.
Another thing it could be is the alternator shaft bearings can start to make noises and cause the battery light to flicker or come on at times. It will not get better on its own.
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Old August 21st, 2018, 04:18   #4
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Put a new belt, its cheap, easy to fit, and it probably needs a new one.

If the symptom persists I would pull out the alternator, check the pulley, if the pulley is ok (not stuck both ways), replace the alternator.
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Old August 26th, 2018, 10:40   #5
Cleenlivin
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Default Alternator...

I just had a similar problem, horrible rattling and metal grating sound from serpentine drive belt area. I initially thought it was coming from under the valve cover...luckily not so. I had replaced the alternator pulley a couple of thousand miles ago. After an initial mis-diagnoses of changing the serpentine belt tensioner and still having the problem, I went to the alternator.

When I got the alternator off, it definitely feels rough when you turn the shaft. Once replaced, the car runs fine again.
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Old September 18th, 2018, 07:24   #6
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THANK YOU TO STDOUBT!
"At 102,000 miles, how old is your timing belt? Hopefully about 15k miles?"

The timing belt was still the original from 2003. Your suggestion seemed like a smart move to let the mechanics check around that section of the engine compartment. I took it to Nordstrom's just outside Sioux Falls who I have great trust in. When they pulled off the timing belt, there was an idler that was not turning freely and had been slowly rubbing away at the timing belt. You saved me from a major mess...THANK YOU! These guys work with parts manufacturers who say ignore the miles guideline from the car maker, timing belts in our hot-cold climate need to be traded out every 5-6 years. My wife's Subaru is going up their soon for its timing belt kit.
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Old September 18th, 2018, 10:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crop Doc View Post
THANK YOU TO STDOUBT!
"At 102,000 miles, how old is your timing belt? Hopefully about 15k miles?"

The timing belt was still the original from 2003. Your suggestion seemed like a smart move to let the mechanics check around that section of the engine compartment. I took it to Nordstrom's just outside Sioux Falls who I have great trust in. When they pulled off the timing belt, there was an idler that was not turning freely and had been slowly rubbing away at the timing belt. You saved me from a major mess...THANK YOU! These guys work with parts manufacturers who say ignore the miles guideline from the car maker, timing belts in our hot-cold climate need to be traded out every 5-6 years. My wife's Subaru is going up their soon for its timing belt kit.
I disagree with them on ignoring the mileage component. Some people drive 25-33K miles a year, or more. In those cases the belt would be changed in 3 or 4 years. Waiting until 5- 6 years would be ridiculous.
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