View Full Version : Searched tons! Mystery startup noise 2.8 12v

02-21-2013, 05:58 PM
Hey all,

I have been experiencing an unusual sound during the first few minutes of driving on a cold start, no matter if I let it heat up to running temp before driving it. I have attached a video that slightly catches the sound, but the best way to describe it is sloshing or swooshing/whining, sounding like a very large vacuum leak. I have searched a ton on this issue and cannot find anything similar [confused]
My 2.8 12v is currently at 176k and has a clogged heater core, and I believe the head gasket is on it's way out, but I am doing a compression test tomorrow to check the overall engine health.

In the first clip, you can hear the sound kick-in around 7-8 seconds when I shift from park to reverse.


You can slightly here the whining sound when I rev, but this does not show the sloshing sound like I experience once I start driving..


If anyone has experienced something similar please chime in. This is my daily driver for school so it has been difficult to get any downtime to really get after this issue.

02-21-2013, 06:06 PM
Is it just the sound or are there any other symptoms?

When were the transmission fluid and filter last changed?

02-22-2013, 12:01 PM
Only other symptom that may relate to it is the red flashing oil light on startup(3 times), but that has been going off long before the noise started acting up.
Tranny flush has not been performed since I bought the car @ 135k, don't know how long before that it was changed but its been shifting normal through all the gears and I was told that I shouldn't change it at this point... the trans propshaft seal has a slight leak though.

02-22-2013, 12:26 PM
Hmm, strange that it only occurs when you put it into reverse.

Could be a cam chain tensioner -- my 2.8 rattles and sloshes a bit when I first start it up but doesn't share the same RPM dependent whining sound.

Next thing I'd do would be checking it for codes. If you don't have VCDS or VAG-COM, etc, you can stop by an auto parts store.

02-26-2013, 02:18 PM
It's not just in reverse, it continues to swoosh and slosh while accelerating but does not fluctuate evenly with the rpm

Pulled the plugs and performed a compression test, the results were not too surprising[headbang]

3 160(180) 6 120
2 200 5 160(165)
1 200 4 140(155)

The left bank is shot and due to other symptoms such as coolant loss and sweet smell/white smoke in exhaust, I am pretty sure it is the head gasket. I know the 12v is a pretty ticky engine but if I pull the heads, I should most likely send them to a machinist to get new valves/guides and lifters correct?

02-26-2013, 02:45 PM
Check ATF level. It sounds like it's low. Just pull that dipstick...oh wait. lol

02-26-2013, 03:36 PM
haha I guess if it is "lifetime" trans fluid you shouldn't need to check it right??? ....

I will def check the ATF level if I decide to go through with head gasket DIY

02-26-2013, 03:43 PM
I think by lifetime Audi means for how long the first owner will probably use the car. Should definitely be changed at your mileage.

02-26-2013, 04:09 PM
Yes it was flushed once @ around 100k before I owned the car, but its for sure time to replace again. The auto trans is overall pretty healthy for a 180k drivetrain, though.

My main concern at this point is the cyl head condition as I am getting the sh****** gas mileage and the compression test obviously shows very low comp on the left bank. I know I could pull the heads and slap on a gasket without re-machining the heads, although, would it be in my best interest to have the valves and rods replaced?

02-26-2013, 05:16 PM
All that work on a 96 12V with 176k I'd probably cut my losses unless I really loved the car.

But if you have the time and means to swap out the gasket, why not?

02-26-2013, 06:09 PM
Haha you could call it love lol, it's been my first car since I was a reckless 16yo and this has far surpassed my expectations of buying a 130k+ used audi. That being said...... I am ready for some boost in my life.

I don't necessarily have excess free time or money, as I am a senior accounting student, but I would love to use this as a learning experience to further improve my confidence of working on b5's, I def agree with you that the 12v is not the engine to fully rebuild tho

02-26-2013, 07:01 PM
A head gasket job on a 12v is no big deal. They are known to eat a head gasket now and again. I'd throw a gasket on there and keep on going. Or fix it and sell it if you want to get something with a turbo thingy.