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2002 Passat, 1.8t GLS Wagon, 160,000 + miles
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
It's probably not the case here, but the water pump in my AWM made sounds similar to that as it was going out.

I know you changed it just a few miles ago, but try your stethoscope screwdriver closer to the water pump just in case.
FamousDan -- I can hear the knocking sound at the water pump with a stethoscope but I can also hear it almost just as well to the right on the drivers side of the block. The sound seems to radiate. I can even hear it in the EGR valve, though not quite as strong. How long did your water pump last before it failed? I have had this sound for months and still drive the car every week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
If it's noisiest at the front, I would pull the alternator belt and a/c belt and see if the noise stops. If not, I would remove the timing belt covers and check the water pump and tension damper pulleys. Have you checked the oil pressure?
PZ -- that is a good idea. Checked the TB tensioner and water pump and can hear the knock at the water pump but also in other places. Have not checked the oil pressure other than the gauge on the dash and it is always the same. No dips that I can tell. Not sure how to check the oil pressure manually.
 

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There is a brass plug in the oil filter bracket. Remove that and plug in a mechanical gauge. Some parts stores rent them for free with a deposit. I bought one years ago from Harbor Freight and I have checked several cars with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
There is a brass plug in the oil filter bracket. Remove that and plug in a mechanical gauge. Some parts stores rent them for free with a deposit. I bought one years ago from Harbor Freight and I have checked several cars with it.
Thanks, PZ! I learned something new today, thanks to you!
 

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Thanks, PZ! I learned something new today, thanks to you!
IIRC, it is not an NPT thread. I believe it is straight, last time I checked.
 

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Have you removed the belts and checked if the noise stopped?
Since it's non-rhythmic, I would rule out an internal engine problem. It does sound like a bad bearing, maybe the water pump, but could just as easily be the belt driven fan bearing, which is just below the alternator. They usually whine when they go bad.
 
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FamousDan -- I can hear the knocking sound at the water pump with a stethoscope but I can also hear it almost just as well to the right on the drivers side of the block. The sound seems to radiate. I can even hear it in the EGR valve, though not quite as strong. How long did your water pump last before it failed? I have had this sound for months and still drive the car every week.
I don't remember how long my water pump lasted, but it was several months at least. Several knowledgeable people had listened to it in person during that time and they all said "you need to change your timing belt soon, real soon." Even then there was enough time where I dillied and dallied for a while and eventually bought a Timing Belt Kit which then sat around for several weeks or longer. And then there came the point where I should have lost my engine because the water pump bearing completely gave out but amazingly didn't seize up and I foolishly nursed it home and did the maintenance there the next weekend.
 

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I changed one on a 2.7T that had a small coolant leak for several weeks. The last week it got worse, so he drove it the 6 miles to my house. When I pulled it apart, I found the pump had seized and had just started burning through the belt and turning the pulley blue from heat. Luckily, it did not skip time and survived. I've heard several water pumps and bearings fail and they can sound similar.
 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Most of you who have helped me with perspectives on this thread probably have wondered what happened with that engine knocking sound! Well, here is what I can share with you:
The sound switched to really bad one day and I limped the car home and parked it. It sounded like engine death! I ordered a Gates timing belt/water pump kit and after reading several posts on PW, I started the project. Before pulling the timing belt components, a friend advised me to run the engine without the serpentine and AC belts. Same sound, so I knew it was not either the AC pump or the power steering pump. When I pulled the old water pump off, it was corroded of course, but also the shaft was not straight and there was a little play in it. That would explain why the water pump spindle seemed to move in a more oval motion than round. I have attached a pic of the old water pump. Put everything back together (new timing parts) and double checked the timing (ok, I checked the marks multiple times to be safe) and started it up... no more engine death sound! Problem solved! The noise a bad bearing can make is unreal! Put the whole front of the car back together and it sounded... normal. No nocks or clangs. For all the work I did, I almost expected to be able to feel something stronger or better, but all I got was no more noise. In the end, I'm ok with that.
About a month and a half later the top camshaft seal started leaking oil really bad. Just replaced that last night and so far all seems to be well on the engine front. I also changed the transmission (AT) fluid and filter (used almost 6 liters of Liquimoly Top Tech 1200 ATF) after reading some very helpful reviews here. No shavings in the pan or on the magnets. But shifting doesn't seem to be any better than before, if not a little worse. I can hear the trans spinning up louder than before too. Might have to start a new thread on that one.
The support you all have given me and narrowing in on the water pump was invaluable!
Just wanted to close the loop and say thank you to everyone!
 

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