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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old December 29th, 2009, 12:48   #1
mjwilson
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Default 2004 PD: odd "whirring" noise on cold start

Greetings all:

I've recently experienced an odd, fairly loud "whirring" noise emanating from the engine area after a cold start (i.e. after the engine has turned over and is running). Sounds similar to the windshiled washer pump when it's activated. The sound is a bit loud but is only brief then goes away and doesn't repeat with subsequent restarts and never when then engine is warm.

Temps here have been in the high 30's - low 40's and I've never experienced this noise in similar conditions. I did have the ECU reflashed during the recent GP recall (reflash only as I had the NGK ceramics already installed). The car starts and runs fine with no codes but I'm a little concerned this noise might be related to some pump starting to go bad.

I've done considerable searching but can't seem to find someone with similar problem so any help here would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 12:52   #2
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That's probably the starter. They can get a bit loud when they get dirty. There is a thread about it on here somewhere about how to clean it so that it stops making the noise. My car often makes the whirring noise on cold starts as well.

Edit: Here's the thread about how to clean the starter: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=90249
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Old December 29th, 2009, 20:24   #3
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join the club mine does that too
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Old December 29th, 2009, 20:51   #4
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Thanks James...starter makes sense. Looks like a pretty elaborate fix. What's the risk of letting it make noise for a while?
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Old December 30th, 2009, 06:54   #5
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I would describe it as more of a screetch. My mother's 2000 Jetta TDI's starter does this periodically. No problem if left alone. The fix is either removal and installation of another starter, or removal and disassembly, cleaning and light lubing, and re-assembly and installing it again, a royal pain in the a$$.

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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:30   #6
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Thanks guys for all of the input. What's new starter + install cost?
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Old December 30th, 2009, 08:24   #7
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I don't think its anything to really worry about, mine has been making the noise for years.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 08:32   #8
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I would not allow my car to run long like this.

I would assume that eventually the starter will undergo energetic disassembly due to excessive RPM - grenade causing flywheel and potential housing damage as well.

This is probably causing unusual wear on your starter ring teeth with every start/disengage cycle.

These potential repairs are much more expensive and time consuming than simply replacing the starter now.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 08:38   #9
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Dan, read the post above...alot of people go YEARS with this noise. Personally, mine does not...but plenty do. Doesn't seem to be much consequence to allowing it to continue.

FWIW, I have been wrenching for longer than I care to remember, and I can't say I've ever seen a starter grenade and take out a flywheel and/or housing. VW or otherwise.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 08:52   #10
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I pulled one apart within the last year. 2002 New Beetle, I think. The starter housing broke into shards, went into the clutch and flywheel area.

Required new clutch flywheel pressure plate, etc. lots of work.

The whirring you hear is your starter still engaged at 900 rpm engine speed - or higher. It normally disengages long before this, and is not intended to be spun this fast. As the problem gets worse and worse the rpm that it takes to disengage gets higher and higher.

It is your car, and your money. You pays your money and you takes your chances. It is no skin off my nose in either case.

Enjoy.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 18:34   #11
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I think this sound may have been missidentified in the posts above.

OP: could you clarify this "whiring" sound? Is it cyclical like a slight rub?

Please take the TB cover off your car when it is cold and start the car. You will see the TB turning and should hear the noise. Place the edge of a wax candle against the inner and outer edge of the TB. Does the sound go away?

If it does then this is an indication that your TB is rubbing against the outer edge of the tensioner. The sound tends to happen when the car is cold because the TB is cold and migrates more. While this in and of itself is not cause for concern, what is cause for concern is the question of what is causing the migration.

Check the bearings on the upper roller (the one you can reach), if those are going bad then replace it. Otherwise it could be one of the other tensioners, or the WP. If any of those fail you will likely break the belt and end up with a big repair bill.


Anyway, just check the belt to see if that is the issue, if it is then you have some decisions to make about whether or not you are going to have your TB job done.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 19:51   #12
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puter thanks for the input...I'll check out the TB possibility. However, I think PDJetta's description of the noise ("screech") is more accurate. The noise only occurs briefly after the start of a cold engine then goes away. Based on the comments so far, it sure points to the starter. If anyone knows what it would cost to replace+labor from a reputable shop I'd appreciate it. However, if it's not that serious I may postpone it as I'm trying to save up for a new TB job.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 05:42   #13
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My guess would be around $500 - $600 charge for a shop to replace the starter. $300 for the starter it self and $100 - $200 for the labor.

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Old January 2nd, 2010, 08:53   #14
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Interesting how each TDI makes slightly different sounds. I emplore you..."let it be, let it be" Unless you are wealthy and totally OC, listen to the advise of some of the most competent auto technicians I know..."if it it ain't broke...don't mess with it!" It took me a long time and years of therapy to get there (only now am I recouping my copay expenses) My 04 PD makes a new sound each day. But, Praise my Lord, it does it's job of transporting me.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 14:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dejettatdi
Interesting how each TDI makes slightly different sounds. I emplore you..."let it be, let it be" Unless you are wealthy and totally OC, listen to the advise of some of the most competent auto technicians I know..."if it it ain't broke...don't mess with it!" It took me a long time and years of therapy to get there (only now am I recouping my copay expenses) My 04 PD makes a new sound each day. But, Praise my Lord, it does it's job of transporting me.
How many TDI's have you owned?
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