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  1. #1
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Cold Startup - Rattling Noise

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    Problem:
    Cold start of engine (IE sitting for a day or so) when engine first fires a noise is audible for 1-3 seconds. Common sounds is a "rattling", "ringing", "clanking", or otherwise described as a horrible sound. Then the sounds is gone, warm starts, I will never hear this sound.

    Audi's answer so far:
    The camshaft adjustment is hydraulically actuated and controlled by the engine oil pressure. If the engine has been turned off for a long time, the oil pressure drops down and the oil partially flows back into the oil sump.

    To ensure an efficient camshaft adjustment right after an engine cold start, the oil pressure inside the camshaft adjusters must be built up as fast as possible. During this time, a rattle or knocking noise may be noticeable.
    This noise is normal at engine start and will last until the oil pressure is fully built up, which takes about 1-2 seconds.
    Replacing the Camshaft Tensioner(s) or Camshaft Adjuster(s) will not eliminate this noise.

    My Issue with this answer:

    The car never did this new, it's progressively gotten worse over time. IE a part or parts are slowly going bad and should be repaired.

    So after hearing my local Audi dealerships answer I called around to various mechanics who service Audi's. They all said, this is very common especially in the 2004 Audi S4. The problem is one or both timing chain tensioners or the camshaft adjusters are going bad, symptoms all lead to this. The bleed off ball valves are clogged and the tensioners lose oil pressure over time. THIS SHOULD BE A FIXABLE PROBLEM FROM AUDI, IE CPO OR APPP and they can't see why a dealership wouldn't fix this issue, it's a 15hr paid fix!

    I have read over this entire post. http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=246077 and some of the information is relevant, but not specific to the question. This question isn't related to 100,000 mile cars needing regular service on a warn motor, this is related to even low mileage motors with a problem that SHOULD BE FIXED under warranty.

    So this seems to be extremely common with 4.2L S4's from my recent searches on various forums online. Nobody posted the year of the vehicle described. I can't narrow down this to just 2004 models yet.

    What I would like from the users of AudiZine is a extremely brief description of your cars year, mileage and if you hear the same noise or not? Have you gotten this fixed or looked into? CPO warranty covered, or Audi Pure Protection Plan Platinum covered?

    I have a 2004 Audi S4, 33k miles, Yes I hear the ringing sound on cold startup, then it goes away.

    Your time and information is greatly appreciated.

    PS. I'm going to add everyone info to an excel chart.

    Thanks for all your participation on this thread. I believe the results speak for them self. If this ever becomes an issue beyond 1-2 second startup, I imagine we'll all know about it.

    - - -

    I know the inside video is a little hard to hear with the clutter of the keys and whatever, but you can definitely hear it if you play it a few times.

    Inside the car video


    Outside the car video


    I condensed everyones posts into a Excel list so you can order results ascending/descending by post, year, mileage, symptoms(yes/no) and username.

    AZ_Chain_Rattle_Results.xls It's a safe file.

    Here is what the file looks like, a preview.

    Last edited by Naudi04; 05-28-2010 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Additions.

  2. #2
    Registered Member Three Rings DuncanC's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    I have a 06, 85000km. After sitting for more than a day it makes a bad noise at startup... I don't like it. But I'm not dropping the motor to fix it. Despite all the talk about those rear timing chains nobody seems to have issues with them failing. At some point my motor will come out to do a Stg 3 clutch and LT headers (hell who knows, maybe twin turbo instead now, thanks JHM) but at this point I still am not sure if I will do any service on the timing chain, guides, or Tensioners. JHMs car has twice the miles on it as mine, gets driven hard, and as far as I know they haven't done anything about it. I'm sure it has the same noise, it seems to affect all of them after a certain number of miles.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Three Rings Philosophyy's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by Naudi04 View Post
    What I would like from the users of AudiZine is a extremely brief description of your cars year, mileage and if you hear the same noise or not? Have you gotten this fixed or looked into? CPO warranty covered, or Audi Pure Protection Plan Platinum covered?

    2006 S4, 34,000 miles, not a peep

    2008 S4, 2000 miles, not a peep

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Four Rings boravr6's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    04 S4 with 99,000 - 110,000 KM (the time i had it) YES
    06 S4 with 55,000 KM not a peep
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member Three Rings theedge111's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    07 S4 32000km no sound

  6. #6
    Active Member One Ring
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2004 S4 65k miles YES...


    I was told it was due to the tensioners as well.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Four Rings Silver B6 S4's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    04 S4, 39k miles YES.


    It's not everyday though, car can sit for three days, and not make the noise (chain rattle).

    Some mornings, after sitting for 12 hours, the chain rattles for 1 second.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings CHECKERED's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2005 B6 S4 - 34K Yes

    noise was from when I bought it with 34500 Miles, noise got worse after using ultra thick oil Mobil 1 15W-50 + one quart of Lucas engine oil stabilizer (the consistency of which is slight thicker then honey) at 44K miles, no issues thus far and noise is getting better: quieter, shorter and less noticeable.
    B6 S4 Garage Queen: JHM Supercharger, JHM IM Spacers, Carbonio-JHM hybrid Intake, Fast Intentions DP&CB, CF Vented Hood. Mounts:034 Engine, Trans, Apikol Rear Diff, Coolers: JHM Oil, Power Steering & Trans. Susp:PSS9 Coilovers, Hotchkis F&R sway bars, Brakes: B7 RS4 Front (w/JHM LW rings) & JHM BBK Rear, StopTech SS lines.
    Daily Driver: BMW E92 335i Coupe, JB4 Stage 3 Piggyback w/Flash, Meth Injection, Intercooler, Charge Pipe, Quaife LSD 12.1@117mph

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings Mrdeezy's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2004 s4 88K Yes,it has had this problem on cold mornings or after a few days.
    If the weather is around 78 degrees it doesn't do it.
    Usually i bump the starter a couple of times in the morning to build pressure and it doesn't make the noise.
    Makes me want to get rid of the car a bit earlier than I planned on.
    Anyone ever have to do this repair?

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings Hyde's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2005 B6. Just passed 70,000 miles. Noise? Yes.

    Noticeable on cold days, or when car has been sitting for a couple days. Not normally heard during the summer. One thing I noted is that since I've gotten the oil changed at 70,000, the noise has slightly lessened.

  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings CtS4Driver's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    could somebody post a sound clip of this? my car makes noise at startup, but I was told it was valves, usually if I add a bit of oil the noise is lessened or not there at all...Not neccessarily a high pitched noise though...not sure if its what you're describing...

    2004 S4 just passed 100k miles
    Current: 2000 Imola 6MT sedan with Lots of goodies :)

    SOLD:2004 Imola 6MT sedan with milltek, RS4 reps, and H&R
    SOLD: 2000 S4 Silver Onyx/Silver alcantara
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    UUC SS 40%, APR Bi-Pipe,SnubMount
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  12. #12
    Active Member Two Rings notdisturbed's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2005 S4 w/52k miles - Yes

    Some days are worse than others, and i can only attribute it to the variances in temperature.
    2005 Nogaro Blue S4 6MT - JHM Tune, Piggies, FI 8" Res Cat-Back, Cayenne calipers w/JHM rotors & HPS pads, V708's, E-codes and HID fogs

    2004 Mini Cooper S(wife's car) - Remus Cat-Back, Alta 19% pulley, S&B Intake, Alta Intercooler w/spray, Custom Tune

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Three Rings justinperkins's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2005, 92k miles, yes I hear the sound

    It has actually started occurring more frequently in the last 5k miles. I used to only hear it on cold startups but now I pretty much hear it every time I start it. Goes away instantly of course. I have a feeling my chain tensioners are dying on me.

    Edit: Just read some other posts about it being temperature dependent. I hadn't even thought of that, might explain why I hear it more lately.
    -justin

  14. #14
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    The noise is not high pitch, it's more a clanking/ringing noise. Very noticeable from any other engine startup. Not a valve issue noise. If your noise continues after start we are talking about two different problems. This noise only lasts a second or two.

    I will try to get some video of this from inside the car, and outside on a cold startup. Will be a few days since the car is still at Audi currently.
    Last edited by Naudi04; 01-13-2010 at 11:59 PM.

  15. #15
    Active Member One Ring
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2005 S4 35000 miles, rattle on start-up for a few seconds and then gone. Told it was normal.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by mano View Post
    2005 S4 35000 miles, rattle on start-up for a few seconds and then gone. Told it was normal.
    Mano,
    I would love to think this noise is "normal", as the dealerships are replying to many of us. As posted in my original explanation above.

    So maybe at best a frequent occurrence so far from what I'm gathering. I really had no idea how many people had this same issue. The more posts and more information, I think we'll hopefully see a trend here. My goal is to get statistics together and see if it's just a year range, or mileage concern etc.

    I've paid a lot of money over the years for premium "Warranties" and haven't seen it used yet unless it's something catastrophic, not upset about that. But I only have 33k miles on my car, it's been completely babied.

    If a part is slowly wearing out or defective it should be fixed.

    If the noise can be fixed by a few hundred dollars in parts it's definitely something that shouldn't be overlooked, or a head turn to look the other direction from what I've seen.

    "Normal" in my eyes would be no sound at startup, like the car sounded prior to this issue arising. For some of us who have extremely low miles, we have barely even broken the motor in on these cars. Parts like a timing chain guide/tensioner etc shouldn't be showing signs of wear this early.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Two Rings Mr. Goodwood's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2004 S4 67,500 miles Yes

    Rattle noise right at startup for about a second.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    Picking the car up tomorrow from Audi, sadly nothing fixed. They have identified the issue, again I've been told it's a "non-issue" which is bs. They said they can't dive into this amount of work without knowing a solution, or they won't get paid.

    Sounds to me like nobody has made a big enough stink about the problem to release a solution to this fix. AKA the solution is "leave it alone".

    If anyone has had this issue solved by a part(s) fix, let me know!

    Please continue to post your information about this issue. The only way this problem can be solved is if enough people chime in and contribute.

    Has JHM or any other fabricators/mechanics dealt with this issue?
    Last edited by Naudi04; 01-14-2010 at 02:21 PM.

  19. #19
    Established Member Two Rings Mrdeezy's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    if most 2004-2005 have this this problem and no one gets it fixed is it a problem or is just an annoyance?
    I think i heard of someone getting it fixed because of a generous warranty.But i have never heard of "oh i had the start up rattle and then eventually my cam tensioner broke,car broke down"stories. Never any catastrophic failures directly linked to this right?Someone please chime in if im wrong.
    The repair for this is very intrusive and labor intensive there is no "part to buy" so its not
    really worth thinking about till we start hearing about our cars blowing up because of this.
    Last edited by Mrdeezy; 01-14-2010 at 10:41 PM.

  20. #20
    Registered Member Three Rings DuncanC's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrdeezy View Post
    if most 2004-2005 have this this problem and no one gets it fixed is it a problem or is just an annoyance?
    I think i heard of someone getting it fixed because of a generous warranty.But i have never heard of "oh i had the start up rattle and then eventually my cam tensioner broke,car broke down"stories. Never any catastrophic failures directly linked to this right?Someone please chime in if im wrong.
    The repair for this is very intrusive and labor intrusive there no "part to buy" so its not
    really worth thinking about till we start hearing about our cars blowing up because of this.
    Your correct. I don't recall anybody having a engine failure related to the timing chain system. Its a very expensive fix and not worth doing to get rid of a little noise at start up. I don't like it when my friends ask if my car is dieing... But I am getting pretty close to doing LT headers and a Stg 3 clutch and at this point I don't plan to do any servicing of the timing chain assembly even though the motor will already be dropped. If anybody would recommend different I would love to hear your thoughts.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by DuncanC View Post
    Your correct. I don't recall anybody having a engine failure related to the timing chain system. Its a very expensive fix and not worth doing to get rid of a little noise at start up. I don't like it when my friends ask if my car is dieing... But I am getting pretty close to doing LT headers and a Stg 3 clutch and at this point I don't plan to do any servicing of the timing chain assembly even though the motor will already be dropped. If anybody would recommend different I would love to hear your thoughts.
    I would like to believe you are both correct. This is only speculation though, no facts.

    Although one will never know until data on both sides are posted in one thread related to the same issue. Hence build onto this thread. So far nobody has stated whether they have had this fixed, or that is has been related to further damage at any point. I would like to know either way.

    Obviously it's a semi major labor fix, Audi doesn't want to pay to fix it unless it's causing something catastrophic. Is it, or is it nothing to worry about? FACTS.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Three Rings Sunny4's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing Noise - Sticky!

    2004 S4 57,500 Miles YES

    it happens, sound makes me cringe, is temp dependent, sometimes random, worse sound when siting for more than one day, after doing a fresh oil change with lubro moly i had this go away for a a week or so (oil weight dependent??), I think its getting progressively louder (could be wrong), I have brought it up but Dealer gives the same speech.

  23. #23
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2004 S4, 69,000 mi. , YES!
    Silver/Black 2004 Audi S4 4.2L V8 - AWE Non-Resonated Catback exhaust system, APR downpipes, 19" Matte Black VMR v710, APR CAI, AWE Sport-Pedals, Bilsteins coming in summer time :)

  24. #24
    Established Member Two Rings tomboonen's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    05.5 S4, 30k, Yes

  25. #25
    Veteran Member Three Rings szinkuti's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2005 60k miles...my car does it.....and its normal...its like every car I change the oil on when the car is first started up it sounds like there is no oil in the car.....and its not just the s4's that sound loud on startups.....its all of them.....

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Four Rings Silver B6 S4's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by szinkuti View Post
    2005 60k miles...my car does it.....and its normal...its like every car I change the oil on when the car is first started up it sounds like there is no oil in the car.....and its not just the s4's that sound loud on startups.....its all of them.....


    That is kinda reassuring coming from you. Just a thought though, wouldn't this problem do damage over time? I mean it can't be good for internally lubricated parts not being lubricated at start-up over time. My chain rattles, and it can't be good for the plastic guides if a metal chain is slapping against them.


    IDK, I guess since our engines are one of a kind, you wont notice this in other cars. My CRX hasn't been started in 2 weeks, and it doesn't make any weird noises when I started it.


    We are just all worried because this is an expensive engine to replace.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver B6 S4 View Post
    That is kinda reassuring coming from you. Just a thought though, wouldn't this problem do damage over time? I mean it can't be good for internally lubricated parts not being lubricated at start-up over time. My chain rattles, and it can't be good for the plastic guides if a metal chain is slapping against them.


    IDK, I guess since our engines are one of a kind, you wont notice this in other cars. My CRX hasn't been started in 2 weeks, and it doesn't make any weird noises when I started it.


    We are just all worried because this is an expensive engine to replace.
    you guys are hitting the nail on the head here.

  28. #28
    Veteran Member Three Rings road race s4's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2004 s4 47k yes (1-2seconds)

  29. #29
    Veteran Member Four Rings Silver B6 S4's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by szinkuti View Post
    2005 60k miles...my car does it.....and its normal...its like every car I change the oil on when the car is first started up it sounds like there is no oil in the car.....and its not just the s4's that sound loud on startups.....its all of them.....


    I also want to add, when I did my last oil change my chain didn't make the noise when I started it up afterwords.

  30. #30
    Veteran Member Three Rings szinkuti's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver B6 S4 View Post
    I also want to add, when I did my last oil change my chain didn't make the noise when I started it up afterwords.
    Every car will eventually wear out and break down....its all about having a warranty or extended warranty to take care of it....or funds in the bank to cover a serious repair....but there are not tons of cars out there that are prematurely breaking down (chains/guides/adjusters)....look at the 1.8T....the most common engine to get a new cam tensioner/adjuster....mainly caused by the sludging up issues....and thats it....in my 4 years with Audi (2 dealers/1 of which was one of the largest on the east coast) I have only seen 1 S4 that needed chain adjusters....


    and this is that car http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=322235

  31. #31
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by Silver B6 S4 View Post
    I also want to add, when I did my last oil change my chain didn't make the noise when I started it up afterwords.
    Just picked up my car from Sunset Audi. Oil change was done today, on startup there was no rattle noise. But the car was started earlier in the day. I'll try again tomorrow night or Sunday and see.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    Anybody else with '07 and up with higher miles having this startup noise?
    2004 Audi S4 6MT 40k miles, Light Silver (Metallic) w/Black-Silver Alcantara
    For Sale <- click link

  33. #33
    Registered Member Two Rings
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2004 S4, 65,000 miles, yes, i have my car over half a year and this sounds occurs when starting the car in the morning, after oil change the sound was quieter but now it is the same as it was before. As seen from this topic 90% of the S4 has it so I wouldn't worry about it, also I asked about this in Audi service and they told me the same, it is normal in this engine.

  34. #34
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2005.5 S4, 68k miles
    I will hear the noise maybe 1 in 6 startups.
    It sucks.

  35. #35
    Established Member Two Rings audimotion's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    04 w/67K miles. Have heard noise only a couple times...and only when sitting for a week or so. Something I really haven't worried about, but will if it gets real bad.

  36. #36
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2005 S4 - 50,500 miles - yes. Hear it more during cold starts on cold days. Haven't had the car during warm weather months yet so won't know if it goes away...

  37. #37
    Active Member Two Rings carpediem1230's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2007 S4 16,500 miles. No noise... knock on wood.

    Vids yet to see what it sounds like?

  38. #38
    Senior Member Two Rings Naudi04's Avatar
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    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    Quote Originally Posted by carpediem1230 View Post
    2007 S4 16,500 miles. No noise... knock on wood.

    Vids yet to see what it sounds like?
    Had to drive my car this afternoon (I was dying for Mad Greek Deli - food), so it only sat overnight. Took video of the start, but didn't make the noise. I'll try again tomorrow.
    2004 Audi S4 6MT 40k miles, Light Silver (Metallic) w/Black-Silver Alcantara
    For Sale <- click link

  39. #39
    Established Member Two Rings aks4avant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 16 2010
    AZ Member #
    53447
    My Garage
    Trailblazer SS AWD
    Location
    Anchorage

    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    2006 S4 and also hear it on random start ups, not just cold. Ive heard it's a normal sound and not to worry unless it does it all the time during operation.

  40. #40
    Established Member Two Rings mountainsnbirds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 25 2008
    AZ Member #
    35677
    My Garage
    05' S4 Avant 77' Puch Maxi
    Location
    WVU, Morgantown, WV

    Re: Cold Startup Ringing/Rattling Noise - Sticky!

    05 avant bought with 73k mi and yes, still heard at 102k mi. The noise is a rattle sound for .05 sec. But I only hear this occasionally.

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