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Whining noise from the front


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Has anyone experienced this or knows what could be causing this. Sounds like a race car's fuel pump before being started. It definitely comes from the front (clearly audible on either side) and to a distance of 8 feet away. I can hear it inside up until about 2K rpms. Happens when the car is cold and warm. Fuel level on the tank does not affect it. The steady humm/whine is present at all rpms, and barely changes tone (lower) when the revs drop below 800, but from 800 and up, its the same. :cursing: :cursing:

Stealer wants me to drop it off so they can remove the front wheels and fender covers so they can see what could be wrong. They have no clue as to what it could be and they can't tell me if I am damaging anything or not. Oh, and I have to wait 2 weeks before they can look at it. :soapbox:

So, any takers? I guess I could pull the wheels myself and try and remove the plastic lining, but not sure what to even look for!

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Both. Just picked up the kids from school and even they (twin 4 year olds) asked me "what is that noise?"! Its not related to rpms (constant whine), unless they drop below 800. The noise is constant and permanent regardless of speed.

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Yes, emission canister is in the front, but so is the fuel pump, amp and cd shanger (if he has them), windshield washer pump, headlight washer pump (if he has one).

Usually when a fuel pump goes it just goes, windshield washer or headlight washer should not be running unless there is a short somewhere. The only other thing I can think of is a bad or leaking steering rack - hence I asked what it does when he turns the steering wheel.

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Nope, no change when I turn the wheel in any direction. No CD changer installed (wished I did so I could plug my iPod!), and no headlight or windshield pump noise (I can tell those when I activate it). The only noise I get when I turn the wheel is the VERY annoying clunking noise from the dried out strut bearings (just apply high water pressure to the area around the top of the springs and it quiets down for 2 days or so).

I just got back from an errand and I could have sworn that right before starting the car, the whine was there for a second, then as I started the engine, it was off, but as soon as the engine fired, it was back on. I am leaning towards the fuel pump, but as Loren mentions, usually when these go, its all at once. The local head tech did tell me that there is some sort of carbon filter "in there" that may be clogged, but unless they open it up (take the front end apart), they cannot give me a clue, nor can they receive my car there til first week in November! I just want to make sure I am not damaging something else, or possibly create a hazzard (fuel pump failure with gasoline?!).

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O.K., I found the culprit :jump: Its the fuel pump going bad :(

I figured this out by turning the car on, then removing the fuse for the fuel pump and as soon as I did this, the noise went away! :clapping:

The head mechanic at the local dealer told me that when he used to work on BMWs, they used to put some ATF fluid (half a quart) with the car having a full tank of fuel in it. The ATF would lubricate the pump and quiet them down that way with no ill effect on the engine (huh?! :unsure: ). Another alternative is to remove the fuel pump and run straight ATF though it to lubricate it and put it back in. He has done this many times on BMWs and Porsches.

So.... Anyone has instructions as to how to remove and re install a fuel pump? I understand that it sits below the battery. Anyone ever heard of this "ATF fix"?

Edited by GOB
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I hear ya Geoff. The ATF thing sounds fishy to me, but maybe it was one of those great "secrets". The thing that bugs me is that since I got the car 5 months ago, I have replaced: clutch, starter motor, all fluids, all filters, brake lines/pads, tinted windows, pro detailing, etc., etc. and I am just tired of sinking money into it. The evaporator has gone bad and I am just waiting for it to clunk out before having to replace it (delaying the inevitable). Guess I have to add the fuel pump to this list :blink:

ATF in the fuel tank will mess up things for sure then?

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Mine is a C2, so the pictures help. Looks like it needs recalibration by the dealer anyways, so I will have them do this job for me after all. I can get the pump for $245.92 in USA or $400 locally! Guess what I will be doing...

Since nobody said anything regarding the ATF in the fuel, I am guessing its a definite "no no" then?

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GOB-

I was at my dealer in St. Louis and asked one of the service guys about the ATF thing. He said, "WHAT?!!". They said that they never heard of anyone ever doing that and went on to reiterate that you'll probably screw up the fuel system. You could probably do the install yourself and then have the dealer calibrate it for you to save some cash.

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Thanks Geoff! Yeah, the local stealer will not reset the gauge for me since they insist doing all the work. They want close to $700 for the whole thing versus me doing it (pump and labor, no resetting) for close to $300. Guess I am going to have to bite the bullet on this one.

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Thanks Geoff! Yeah, the local stealer will not reset the gauge for me since they insist doing all the work. They want close to $700 for the whole thing versus me doing it (pump and labor, no resetting) for close to $300. Guess I am going to have to bite the bullet on this one.

ATF fluid has long been used in gasoline peiodically for cleaning and freeing things up. You can also use it to lubricate and clean the intake and valve system by injecting some into the top of the engine. You can also us 1 part mineral spirits to 10 parts gasoline to help free up lazy parts. Neither will do any damage whatsoever to your fuel system of any oher part of your car. ATF is also good when storing a car with the plugs removed by injecting the fluid into the cylinders.

I have no idea whether adding ATF to your tank will free up your noisey fuel pump, but doing so will not harm anything.

Edited by 1999Porsche911
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