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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    engine rattling intermittent at idle!

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    Hi guys,

    I could really do with some help as i am getting nowhere with this issue. the car is rattling at idle when warm, so i checked oil level and oil pressure both fine also scanned the car no codes. the car drives fine only problem is this damn rattle at idle when up to temp, as soon as i rev engine to 1k the rattle goes away. So far i have changed the oil with mobil 1 0w 40, replaced cam chain tensioner and half moon gasket, replaced valve cover gasket and still the same. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Four Rings Myst420's Avatar
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    Can you tell what general area the rattle is coming from?
    02 A4 Quattro 1.8T
    Votex kit, Neuspeed race springs and Koni struts, 18" AT Italia Flash Sport wheels, painted lowers.
    Nuespeed: Chip, Exhaust, Short Shifter, Rear Sway-Bar, Dual Side-Mount Intercoolers, Forge Splitter.

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myst420 View Post
    Can you tell what general area the rattle is coming from?
    It seemed to me like it was the back of the valve cover, that's why I just assumed it was the cct so I put in the new one and still the same annoying rattle, do you know if it could still be this and it may take time to wear in or adjust?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Four Rings Charles.waite's Avatar
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    2004 A4 1.8TQ 6MT USP 2006 A4 Avant 2.0T tip
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    Is it the Accesory Belt Tensioner? Mine wobbles/rattles like crazy at idle when I've been pushing the car on a hot day. Dealer replaced the belt and tensioner (so they say) when I bought the car 2months ago. Not sure if I should be nervous or not...

  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles.waite View Post
    Is it the Accesory Belt Tensioner? Mine wobbles/rattles like crazy at idle when I've been pushing the car on a hot day. Dealer replaced the belt and tensioner (so they say) when I bought the car 2months ago. Not sure if I should be nervous or not...
    I have had a quick look at this whilst idling but it didn't seem to have any play in it. I will check again in the morning. It's so difficult to pinpoint where the rattle is coming from.

  6. #6
    Established Member Two Rings
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    I had a hard to find rattle - it was the timing belt idler pulley self destructing. I caught it before disaster happened. I'd pop the timing belt cover and have a good look around.

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cps View Post
    I had a hard to find rattle - it was the timing belt idler pulley self destructing. I caught it before disaster happened. I'd pop the timing belt cover and have a good look around.
    Thanks, I will check this as well in the morning, just really want to find it because it's driving me insane and costing me way too much money!!!:(

  8. #8
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quick update, i've checked all belts tensioners etc and all seems fine! It really sounds like it's coming from the area where the cam chain tensioner is! Do you think an engine flush and a change of oil from 0w 40 to 5w 40 would change anything? Any other ideas still welcome.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings
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    I have this same problem, makes car sound like hell. Comes from rear of valve cover. I'll soon come off my wallet to have it diagnosed.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings Valve_Cover's Avatar
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    Time for a cam chain tensioner my friend. Have fun. :P

    Here's a DIY on a passat, same thing as our cars really.

    http://www.passatworld.com/forums/61...tensioner.html
    1.8TQM | UNITRONIC 2 | TT225 | APR | FORGE | EUROCODE | DDM | ATP | DYNAVIN | BREMBO |

  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valve_Cover View Post
    Time for a cam chain tensioner my friend. Have fun. :P

    Here's a DIY on a passat, same thing as our cars really.

    http://www.passatworld.com/forums/61...tensioner.html
    That sounds like my problem. I'll have to check if that was replaced with the timing chain or not. Mine doesn't throw a code though, did yours?

  12. #12
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quick update, ran wurth engine flush and put in 5w 40 castrol edge oil in, still same annoying rattle! any idea whether this could be cat rattle would it have any of the same symptoms?

  13. #13
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Any ideas anyone? still no fix to this annoying problem:( There must be someone out there who has had this problem?

  14. #14
    Veteran Member Four Rings old guy's Avatar
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    If you suspect the catalytic converter is rattling try banging on it with a rubber mallet and see if you can duplicate the noise.

    Another possibility is a worn cam chain.

  15. #15
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old guy View Post
    If you suspect the catalytic converter is rattling try banging on it with a rubber mallet and see if you can duplicate the noise.

    Another possibility is a worn cam chain.
    Ok, thanks for the reply! I will try this in the morning, also I completely neglected the fact that it could have been the chain itself;)

    Thanks

  16. #16
    Senior Member Three Rings fitMINT's Avatar
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    i have what seems to be the same problem, let us know what happens!
    interior crocodile alligator, i drive a chevrolet movie theatre?

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._5938197_n.jpg

  17. #17
    Veteran Member Four Rings EErie B6's Avatar
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    With the car running, does the sound go away when you push in the clutch?

  18. #18
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EErie B6 View Post
    With the car running, does the sound go away when you push in the clutch?
    No, the noise stays present! It's really strange how it comes and goes, sometimes it's not making a sound at idle then I move a metre forward and back to rattling continuously:(
    I will post a few vids later to see what you guys think.

    Thanks for everyone's help with trying to get this sorted.

  19. #19
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Here is a video of the sound. It seems most noticeable from about 1min 19secs. Also whilst listening to it again today I heard a pump/fan sound kick in for about 5 seconds whilst sat in the car and the rattle stopped. but when the pump/fan sound stopped the rattle returned.

    again thanks for your help guys much appreciated.



    This is what is heard with the hood down whilst sat in the car with the window down.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Three Rings fitMINT's Avatar
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    that shit sounds JUST like mine. heres a video i just made also. sometimes it does it constantly, sometimes its just when the car stops or has the ac on

    interior crocodile alligator, i drive a chevrolet movie theatre?

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._5938197_n.jpg

  21. #21
    Senior Member Three Rings fitMINT's Avatar
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    ttt
    interior crocodile alligator, i drive a chevrolet movie theatre?

    http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f3..._5938197_n.jpg

  22. #22
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old guy View Post
    If you suspect the catalytic converter is rattling try banging on it with a rubber mallet and see if you can duplicate the noise.

    Another possibility is a worn cam chain.
    I pulled the valve cover again today to inspect the chain. It all seemed in good condition and the cct looked good and it was holding the chain tight in place is this right or should it be in the lower position. Also when inspecting the chain is there anything in particular I should be looking for?

    Thanks again;)

  23. #23
    Veteran Member Four Rings old guy's Avatar
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    The normal position for the cam adjuster would be with the cam chain pulled tight across the bottom between the exhaust and intake cam gears. The adjuster should be holding the "slack" across the top. When the cam adjuster activates during a cold start the "slack" gets moved to the bottom which advances the intake cam in relation to the exhaust cam. In either position the cam chain should be taunt.

  24. #24
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old guy View Post
    The normal position for the cam adjuster would be with the cam chain pulled tight across the bottom between the exhaust and intake cam gears. The adjuster should be holding the "slack" across the top. When the cam adjuster activates during a cold start the "slack" gets moved to the bottom which advances the intake cam in relation to the exhaust cam. In either position the cam chain should be taunt.
    Ok, so with that said it does seem correct. Is there anything else that it could be from listening to my videos? Sorry to keep bugging you but you are very helpful and it's driving me crazy!!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Three Rings CamrideA4's Avatar
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    Have you inspected the cat yet? From your video it got louder when your camera was in that area. You may have a chunk that broke and is rattling around.
    2001.5 A4 1.8TQ Tiptronic - FrankenTurbo F4 - 440cc Green Giants - TT225 MAF - Borla exhaust - ST Coilovers - Malone Tuning - Garrett FMIC

  26. #26
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CamrideA4 View Post
    Have you inspected the cat yet? From your video it got louder when your camera was in that area. You may have a chunk that broke and is rattling around.
    I did try to hit it gently like "old guy" said but couldn't really get enough room to tap it hard enough:( I will try again tomorrow! Is there another way to test it? Also still no codes for anything.

  27. #27
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Get High Flow Cat and see if it goes away. You won't regret doing it anyways.

    You can try to use Stetoscope to narrow the the noise.

  28. #28
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antekaudi View Post
    Get High Flow Cat and see if it goes away. You won't regret doing it anyways.

    You can try to use Stetoscope to narrow the the noise.
    I can't afford a new hfc:( so I've ordered a stethoscope and will try to pinpoint this issue once and for all!!

  29. #29
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    With the brake or e-brake on, an in neutral and at idle, rev the engine (blip or goose the engine) up high and remove your foot from the gas pedal quickly. If you hear the sound when your foot is off the gas and the rpm's are decreasing it's with a high degree of certainty that your cat has some loose cells or is loosing its adherence to the inside walls of the cat. You will hear it, it is noticeable. I was experiencing a rattle at start up and when coming to a stop, coasting or downshifting into gear, at certain rpm's. If I put the car into neutral instead of coasting or downshifting the gears, I did not hear it because the engine went to idle too quickly. Every time I rev'd the engine I could hear the rattle every time as the rpm's came down quickly. As Old Guy said, hitting the cat with a big rubber mallet is also a way of verifying the cells are loose in the cat. The method I described worked for me.

    If it is your cat, I'd recommend 034's HFC and DIY. You can almost buy two of their cats for every one OEM cat. Your wallet will thank you and your face (big grin) will show it everytime you drive the car.

  30. #30
    Veteran Member Four Rings old guy's Avatar
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    I hate trying to diagnose from videos because the sound quality from my laptop speakers is atrocious. With that being said the noise sounds a little like a chain rattle to me. I know you already replaced the chain adjuster and checked the oil pressure so that shouldn't be the issue but the rattle could also be caused from the front of the motor. Be sure to check the timing belt tensioner. If it is bouncing it could transfer through the exhaust cam and cause a chain rattle on the back end. Also check your crank pulley for any side wobble.

    Another possibility is an exhaust noise through the combi valve. If the combi valve isn't functioning properly it could be rattling open and closed from the exhaust pulses at idle. The pulses smooth out as the exhaust pressure increases and the rattle goes away.

    When the motor is cold try reaching behind the turbo to see it the waste gate actuator is loose.

    The stethoscope you ordered will be very helpful in locating the source of the rattle.

    Good luck!

  31. #31
    Senior Member Three Rings CamrideA4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A4b61.8t View Post
    I did try to hit it gently like "old guy" said but couldn't really get enough room to tap it hard enough:( I will try again tomorrow! Is there another way to test it? Also still no codes for anything.
    I just posted this in another thread in the B5 section (you're not the only one currently having possible cat issues):

    The easiest way to see if the cat is really done for is to just unbolt it from the turbo, pry them apart and get a mirror down there so you can see the inside. If it looks clogged, or any pieces are broken apart, it needs to be replaced.
    2001.5 A4 1.8TQ Tiptronic - FrankenTurbo F4 - 440cc Green Giants - TT225 MAF - Borla exhaust - ST Coilovers - Malone Tuning - Garrett FMIC

  32. #32
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,

    I will be checking most of this today!! And if still no definitive answer, then there will be when i get the stethoscope!! (i hope) lol

  33. #33
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old guy View Post
    I hate trying to diagnose from videos because the sound quality from my laptop speakers is atrocious. With that being said the noise sounds a little like a chain rattle to me. I know you already replaced the chain adjuster and checked the oil pressure so that shouldn't be the issue but the rattle could also be caused from the front of the motor. Be sure to check the timing belt tensioner. If it is bouncing it could transfer through the exhaust cam and cause a chain rattle on the back end. Also check your crank pulley for any side wobble.

    Another possibility is an exhaust noise through the combi valve. If the combi valve isn't functioning properly it could be rattling open and closed from the exhaust pulses at idle. The pulses smooth out as the exhaust pressure increases and the rattle goes away.

    When the motor is cold try reaching behind the turbo to see it the waste gate actuator is loose.

    The stethoscope you ordered will be very helpful in locating the source of the rattle.

    Good luck!
    One word STETHOSCOPE!! if I had bought this tool 1 year ago I would have saved 1000's!! As soon as I put it on the catalytic converter all I could hear was my annoying rattle!! I am still so confused as to why it only seems to rattle when hot and never during acceleration and many other things, but I take it that it must be this due to the sound coming from it with the stethoscope. It's crazy that it's still in my head that the sound is coming from my cct !!

    So my next question is..... is it best to go OEM or other (please recommend) HFC maybe). also I'm in England so prices are HIGH and not so readily available as in the US. I am currently stage 1 and do not plan on going any further due to this being my daily driver and the biggest factor I can't afford to, also a test pipe is a definite no no as emissions in the UK are strict. Thank you so much for your help in this thread!!;) it is very much appreciated.

    Liam

  34. #34
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Since you are in england you can easily pick up HFC on ebay and let someone weld it in for you. You can also try to find used oem cat.

    You can also contact one of the usa vendors and see if they will ship it to you.

    Either way it will cost you 300-500$ to get it fixed.

  35. #35
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antekaudi View Post
    Since you are in england you can easily pick up HFC on ebay and let someone weld it in for you. You can also try to find used oem cat.

    You can also contact one of the usa vendors and see if they will ship it to you.

    Either way it will cost you 300-500$ to get it fixed.
    the only one i can find in the uk is a milltek which is 500 or $900+ which there is no way i can afford to pay that:( i would get it shipped from the usa but i may end up paying ridiculous duty charges. i really would like to go HFC but not at that price. Thanks for your help.

  36. #36
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Anyone else have a view on what type/brand and where to get new catalytic converter?

  37. #37
    Veteran Member Four Rings diagnosticator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A4b61.8t View Post
    Hi guys,

    I could really do with some help as i am getting nowhere with this issue. the car is rattling at idle when warm, so i checked oil level and oil pressure both fine also scanned the car no codes. the car drives fine only problem is this damn rattle at idle when up to temp, as soon as i rev engine to 1k the rattle goes away. So far i have changed the oil with mobil 1 0w 40, replaced cam chain tensioner and half moon gasket, replaced valve cover gasket and still the same. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Replace the cam chain, it stretches and wears longer than the timimg adjuster can control the slack.
    Vorsprung durch Technik

  38. #38
    Established Member Two Rings A4b61.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diagnosticator View Post
    Replace the cam chain, it stretches and wears longer than the timimg adjuster can control the slack.
    I will replace the chain as part of maintenance. But it seems my rattle was due to a bad catalytic converter. What replacement would you recommend? the car is stage 1 and not going any further, plus i live in England and parts are expensive and not so readily available as they are in the USA.

  39. #39
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    You can get universal HFC for cheap and get it welded in.

  40. #40
    Veteran Member Four Rings diagnosticator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A4b61.8t View Post
    I will replace the chain as part of maintenance. But it seems my rattle was due to a bad catalytic converter. What replacement would you recommend? the car is stage 1 and not going any further, plus i live in England and parts are expensive and not so readily available as they are in the USA.
    Stock Audi chain is fine.
    Vorsprung durch Technik

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