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Old October 21st, 2011, 13:57   #1
brotha bran
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Unhappy turning noise, assuming front end...and i'm at wits end!!

I'll try to make this as concise as possible. This is pertaining to our 2003 Golf.

Long story short: Passenger front wheel bearing was replaced summer of 2010 after we noticed a whirring noise that increased with speed. Noise went away. Fast forward to a couple months ago, the same noise but slightly less loud reappears, and is quite evident when you turn the car to the right. Assuming we have caught the driver's side wheel bearing in it's early stages of death, we have a local VW shop replace the driver's side. Problem solved, right? Nope. Well the noise has now just shifted so when you turn left, you hear the whirring noise. It mostly only happens above 20 MPH or so, or at least that's when you start to hear it. No noise (from what I can hear) occurs when driving straight or turning right, but only when turning left.

So I bypass the VW shop and take it into my local Tire Factory. They've done a few jobs for us before with tires/wheels and they're good people. Their diagnosis, after throwing a Chassis Ear onto it and listening to various points, is that the wheel bearings are fine, but they believe it's in the transmission. Color me skeptical or maybe I'm just afraid of it actually being something that severe. I'm going to pick the car up in a few hours after they finish doing an alignment for me...so we'll see what's next..



So, I don't know what my next step is...I believe maybe a call to Matthew at Zahntech as he's the only guru I'm aware of here in WA. I wish someone was closer by in the Olympia area who could take a look at it.

ANY help at all would be highly appreciated. Could this be in the transmission? Should I check the transmission fluid?? Is it *really* a wheel bearing and everyone I've taken the car to is a dolt?

*Here's the kicker: I NEED this car to get us from WA to Oakland early next week, safely.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 14:15   #2
White Crow
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2 cents worth doubt if it the trans, shifting the weight right and left won't effect the bearing in the trans.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 14:33   #3
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Thanks White Crow. That was my initial thought too when he called and told me that. "How could turning create a noise in the transmission?!"
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Old October 21st, 2011, 15:12   #4
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Here's a thought:

Is there ANY chance it could be related to the serpentine belt? Maybe that's a stretch and forgive me if it's a stupid suggestion, but while it was at my local VW shop the mechanic mentioned the serp belt probably should be replaced as it's cracking in a few spots..

I'm grabbing at straws maybe...
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Old October 21st, 2011, 16:48   #5
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How about a cv joint? Are all the cv boots intact?
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Old October 21st, 2011, 16:58   #6
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It's getting dark here now and it's been raining all day anyways, so hopefully tomorrow morning I can crawl under and check things, CV's included.

So I spoke with the mechanic at Tire Factory for a good 10-15 minutes about the noise and his thoughts on what it is. He seems to be confident that it's one of the "side bearings" in the final drive. He explained to me that the axle rests in these side bearings inside the final drive and that the noise I hear is the play in one of those bearings when I'm turning the axle. Sounds logical I guess. I'm a novice at transmissions so I'm going to dig out the Bentley and see what I can find in there..

Thoughts?
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 21:26   #7
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Bueller? Anyone??
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 21:37   #8
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Noise when turning left would point towards the right front bearing and turning right would point to the left but you've already changed that but now you reckon the noise has moved? If the wheel bearings are not the problem and the cv joints are fine then maybe the brakes are making a bit of noise and the calipers are needing cleaned up. I'm not convinced about the gearbox theory, as said that doesn't usually alter with turning. Not sure what else off hand.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 21:53   #9
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I'm also not convinced that it's a transmission bearing. If the shop is trying to detect vibrations in a wheel/transmission/etc, they would have it up on a lift and let the wheels spin at idle in a tall gear. If the noise only comes about when you're turning right or left, and it's part of the transmission, I just don't believe they would be able to isolate that with the vehicle up on a lift. They would almost need to have someone driving the car with a super long stethoscope as he went around turns to come to an answer like that.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 22:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manual_tranny View Post
They would almost need to have someone driving the car with a super long stethoscope as he went around turns to come to an answer like that.

Sounds like a youtube vid I'd like to see lol
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 18:20   #11
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How are your wheel liner skirts? Are they rubbing the tires?

You know there are two separate fluids for the automatic transmission...

The automatic transmission's differential is checked and filled by unscrewing the speedometer sensor. The differential has gear oil.

The transmission has VW ATF1 or equivalent and is checked by removing a 5mm allen bolt plug in the bottom of the trans. This is done while the engine running and at temperature. If necessary, transmission fluid is added by removing a red-capped plug on the front of the transmission. When the fluid starts dripping out the bottom hole, you have it filled.

Our recommendation is to change transmission fluid and filter every 50,000 miles.

If you find that the differential oil is low, you might check the looseness of the output shafts that attach to the inner CV joints. If there is play going into the differential housing, you have worn differential bearings and/or differential gear sets. That is very bad...

For those who have automatic transmissions, the well that hold the gear oil is quite small compared to the manual transmission, which run both the gear sets and differential with the same gear oil. The #1 failure for the manual transmissions is loss of gear oil through the output shaft seals. This is also a failure rate experienced by the automatic transmissions. In our experience, most of the output shaft seals last 150,000 miles and can last much longer.

Visual inspection and replacement of the differential output shaft seals is the life-expectancy of the manual transmissions and with the autos, it's half the battle.

Any weeping of oil around the output shaft seals requires the seal replacement. It is not a difficult job and is much cheaper than a transmission.

Seatman, I was reading you can get injector sets cheaply... how many can you send? HA!!
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Old October 24th, 2011, 11:56   #12
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It doesn't take much to damage a wheel bearing on installation. I would guess there are more failed installs, where the integrity of the new bearing is compromised by not putting the install pressure on the outer race, than successful ones. Don't rule out a mishap on one or both of the wheel bearings...
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Old March 1st, 2012, 14:56   #13
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Thread resurrection. I'm back from NZ and preparing the car to go across the country from Oakland to Maine, with a two week stop in MN along the way. The car made it safely (towing a 4x8 trailer loaded with out belongings) from WA down here to CA, but I am still hearing the noise when turning the wheel toward the left. It really only is noticeable at 35mph and above. I am thinking I will rule out anything transmission related, as if I put in the clutch while the noise is happening, it doesn't change the noise.

Unfortunately the only good VW/Audi shops I have found in the Bay Area are quite slammed and we need to get on the road this weekend.

Anyone have any tips for me? I am thinking of rotating the front tires to the back and seeing if that changes anything. Also going to go out soon and jack the car up and do the old wheel spin check to see if I can tell on the bearings. Anything else?

Or, is anyone in the Oakland area and could lend me a hand at diagnosis, or offer an idea for a good shop to try and get into? At this point I'm willing to shell out to have all four wheel bearings replaced just for safety sake.

Or...do I just say, it's not too loud, we can at least make it to MN (where I'll have more time to get into a shop..)?
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Old March 1st, 2012, 17:50   #14
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I know it sounds strange, but one of the older techs at my dealership was telling me about noises like this coming from the transmission, and VWs fix was to change the fluid and that would fix it. I assume that the fluid was different from what was in their previously, but for a few bucks in fluid its worth a shot if you havent had the trans fluid changed with some fresh G70 already.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 20:34   #15
brotha bran
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So, here are some videos of me testing the front bearings (turn the audio way up as my mic on my camera is quiet). I am hearing more noise when spinning the passenger side, and there's some play when I move it with my hands at 3 and 9.

Passenger side:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrSSOf0vm8s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WqW8gvNEL8

And not much play on the driver's side at all, and less noise when spinning:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPKj4r9hhlI


Any suggestions?

mlemorie...I'm going to try and find a 17mm hex key tomorrow and change the transmission fluid. I don't think it's transmission noise though...but it needs a change anyways probably. We're about to hit 200k miles.
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