Strange noise when idling/driving

55555

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Location
EU
TDI
Golf Mk4 1.9
I am new-ish owner or golf mk4 1.9 tdi and there is a strange sound coming from left side of the engine. Anyone has idea what could make that sounds? Sometimes its there, sometimes i don't hear it and sometimes it goes from high pitched to lower pitched. Its mainly happening from idling to 2.5k rpm. I have made a video, in which can be heard that it goes away after a few secs but it will come back at random times. Its happening when the engine is cold and also when its warm. Anyone has idea what could make those sounds?

Video:
 

runningallday

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Location
Iowa City, IA
TDI
1999.5 Jetta TDI manual
doesn't sound exactly like mine. but mine is the injection pump. but there are a lot of rollers etc that might be squeaking hard like that, when was the last time the timing belt and rollers were done? that's way more scary
 

55555

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Location
EU
TDI
Golf Mk4 1.9
I dont know exacly when was changed, but maybe its time to change that... Belts are not looking worn out tho.. There is also this click sound every 2s in the roller area.

Power steering fluid level is little above minimum. Although those noises do kinda change when i turn the wheel and are the "loudest" when the steering wheel is fully turned.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
2 troubleshooting ideas.
Remove top TB cover, probe with a stethoscope or hose in ear to find it.
Remove serpentine belt, see if goes away (rule ot alternator pulley, which is common, and other rollers on that belt).
 

Sauaciden

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Location
Lithuania
TDI
A3 8L 1.9TDI
I dont know exacly when was changed, but maybe its time to change that... Belts are not looking worn out tho.. There is also this click sound every 2s in the roller area.

Power steering fluid level is little above minimum. Although those noises do kinda change when i turn the wheel and are the "loudest" when the steering wheel is fully turned.
I had exact same noise when my power steering fluid was low. User above me gave you good way to check for possible problem. You can also use screwdriver to see where noise comes from. Start a car, place pointy end of screw driver on power steering pump and put your ear on handle. Be careful not to get screwdriver into running belt
 

55555

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Location
EU
TDI
Golf Mk4 1.9
Sry for the late reply, i have been busy and removed a serpentine belt. When removed the sound goes away. It also goes away then i tighten the belt (manually move it to more tighter position with a wrench) with a belt tightener...

So its probably bad bell tightener?
 

snakeye

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Location
Montreal, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta and Wagon, GLS 5sp
If the belt is off you can spin the pulleys by hand see if they're smooth or not. From my experience, the idler pulley, and steering pump pulley should be completely smooth, while the idler pulley can make a little noise but should spin freely.

The alternator has a clutched pulley that should spin the alt forward and free-wheel backwards. Try spinning it forward then backwards all of a sudden. If you can't then it's bad and needs to be replaced before it breaks off or breaks something else.
 

Nuje

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2003; 2016 A3 e-tron
To that point....here's what the idler pulley looked like after getting beaten down by a locked up alternator pulley that was no longer "clutching" properly.
(The latter will always precede the former.)
 

roadhard1960

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2004
Location
Covington, Ga.
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon GLS 5 speed
I had a squeak I could not find. When the alternator bearings seized up and started a fire I found the noise. That sounds like dry bearings someplace. Also there are bearings in the timing belt system that could go dry. Really you should not drive the car until you find the dry bearings fixing to fail. Alternator is however much you are willing to spend to change or have rebuilt. Timing belt failure can be thousands.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
I had a squeak I could not find. When the alternator bearings seized up and started a fire I found the noise. That sounds like dry bearings someplace. Also there are bearings in the timing belt system that could go dry. Really you should not drive the car until you find the dry bearings fixing to fail. Alternator is however much you are willing to spend to change or have rebuilt. Timing belt failure can be thousands.
OP has removed serpentine belt, sound is gone. So it's on the road to recovery. Usually the alternator pulley, but it can be anything that moves. Another telltale is the tensioner bouncing around w/engine running.
 

55555

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Location
EU
TDI
Golf Mk4 1.9
Now i know how it feels like owning a golf :D I will try the tension of a belt very soon, but it seems its too lose. Does mk4 have manual belt tensioning? If so it could be kinda right on top of serpentine belt and left from timing belt, is that correct? All things looks and feels normal tho, but if its not belt tension then it really can be alternator pulley...
I am dealing with other small inconveniences like car going into "limp" kinda mode (code p1556-negative deviation in pressure)which i am also trying to fix besides the belts :(
There was also abs light on the dashboard after changing the tire, but i sorted that out.
 

roadhard1960

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2004
Location
Covington, Ga.
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon GLS 5 speed
Tensioner is spring loaded with a dampener. Nothing to adjust. Go to idparts.com, enter your vehicle information, search for tensioner to see what it looks like.
 

55555

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Location
EU
TDI
Golf Mk4 1.9
Oh ty, i thought i can adjust the tensioner. Arent there two types of tensioners? hydraulic tensioner and a manual one, which u can adjust? It looks like i need new tensioner and a new belt and i hope thats all.
 

55555

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Location
EU
TDI
Golf Mk4 1.9
Alternator got very hot and started to smoke. I can move the roller but not as freely so i guess it seized up and started to fail. Old alternator is out of the car and tomorrow i will install a new one.

Maybe kinda offtopic, right behind left fan are two hoses(one that goes from power steering pump - which i had to remove to get to the alternator to the reservoir) and it seems that one hose rubbed on metal case of fan and is kinda damaged but not reaking. The other one is also kinda perished, i have to find out which hose that is and if its connected and runned properly. Do u know where i can get stock golf mk4 1.9 tdi steering hose diagram? I suspect this hose has been runned differently than the original by a previous owner or its just poor design. I dont want to install new hose only to find out that one got damaged too.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Those hoses are pretty expensive, I would try salvage.
[just noticed you're across the pond, may not even be an ALH]
 

Sauaciden

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Location
Lithuania
TDI
A3 8L 1.9TDI
Those hoses are pretty expensive, I would try salvage.
[just noticed you're across the pond, may not even be an ALH]
We did get ALH in europe. I would suggest him to go to local scrap yard or somebody who is disassembling an 1.9 ans get the hose for like 10€
 

bmwM5power

Veteran Member
Joined
May 3, 2007
Location
Rochester NY
TDI
15 GSW TDI S 6MT / 02 JETTA TDI GLS 5MT
i had similar noise, not quite as whiny as yours, and i would hear it on acceleration when i turn the wheel at the same time, mostly to the right ( back and forth) no leaks, no squeeks, nothing. The only thing that fixed this was a new steering rack
 

55555

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Location
EU
TDI
Golf Mk4 1.9
Ok i will update about that strange noise. New alternator is installed and also that plastic -about 65mm in diameter.. "roller" wheel with a bearing inside which only function it seems to be belt rolling on it, because the old one probably had bad bearing. So i guess that roller and/or alternator was the cause of that sound. Now when i start the car that noise is completely gone and it also runs much quieter even than before i got that weird noise (almost as quiet when i took off the serpentine belt for troubleshooting). We can mark this problem as solved.

About that hose, i am sorry i think i meant the wrong hose. The one going from the front of the engine (its hose for water-antifreeze for engine cooling) going to the left front fan and going down to the end of the radiator where is merged (for cable managment purposes) with power steering hose(that one is kinda perished on the surface , but seems to do the job fine and its also not high pressure one) and then both hoses goes upwards one towards the water pressure reservoir and one in connected to power steering reservoir.

Hose for water cooling is kinda damaged in one area and it seems hose got quite thick wall. Should i change that hose asap or its worth patching it? This hose got the same pressure as water cooling loop.
 
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