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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car's always been a little loud since I bought it, and I'm not sure if it's just normal (my dad [previous owner] said he got a shortcut done with the flex pipe, which might make it a little louder), or if it's something to worry about. I had a friend ask me if it was a diesel the first time he heard it.

Here's a video of it. I moved all around the engine bay to try and convey the location, which I think is right where the tensioner is, but is this considered noisy?


(This IS really close to the engine, so it doesn't actually sound like a ratchet like it does in the video, but it's still noticeable)
 

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Any history of oil sludge? Mileage? Does sound like the CCA, although sometimes they do tend to be louder, so if someone could chime in. In the mean time, I recommend not driving it. You don't want any engine damage. Furthermore, get a guage to monitor it at all times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's always been synthetic, so no sludge. Mileage is pretty high at 265000km (~163000mi).

It's pretty much always sounded like this (as I've known it for a number of years), so I'm not too worried about immediate failure, and if it could use some doing, I'm planning on getting it done with the timing belt just after the winter.

However, if consensus is that this is a serious issue, I can get it in the shop this weekend...but I actually have to drive it about 150km till then.

Any other thoughts?

gostivar: I've never heard of a gauge to measure the CCA condition. Only think I can think of is oil pressure, but I've never had oil pressure issues (no sludge).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pretty sure that was cold, and here in Canada that means quite cold. I don't recall because I took that video a couple weeks ago, and didn't even think about it being the tensioner till today, so I posted it now.

I'll check when I leave work, and compare to how it sounds when I get home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I've taken 2 more videos of it (one before leaving work, cold, and another after arriving home 20 - 25 minutes later, warm)

Here's the cold one:

And the warm one:

Still sounds to me like a noisy tensioner, so now my question is how long is this ok for? As I said before, I still need to drive it Saturday, but I can probably take it out of commission for a week or 2 if I really have to after that. What about putting it off a couple months to get it done with the timing belt?
 

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Personally, I wouldn't take the chance. There's a small possibility that there won't be any engine damage, but who's to know? It could last for months to come or could give up the next day. Ask yourself if It's worth waiting?

Sorry if I'm putting pressure on you :)
 

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Use a long screwdriver like a stethoscope and put it on top of the CCT. You will know if it is bad as the noise will be very loud. Also try the exhaust as it may well be an exhaust leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I should mention I regularly run VAGCOM scans on my engine, transmission, and abs modules. I've had no codes since clearing an intermittent gear signal code from the abs module ~3 weeks ago. That means no retarded/advanced timing at the inappropriate times.

I tried the screwdriver stethoscope thing, but I didn't have the plastic cover off, so I tried doing to a metal piece as close to the CCA as possible, and compared that sound to the exhaust manifold doing the same thing. They had about the same volume and type of sound, except the exhaust sound was deeper. I suppose I should really do it with the engine cover off though eh.

Well, it's snowing right now, and I only have a driveway, so I can't do it right now, but I'll dive in saturday or sunday.

In the meantime, any other ideas? Anyone got any experience with catastrophic failures of the CCA? I've looked and looked, but I can't find any case where it outright broke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
About 3 weeks ago when my battery started dying (started getting cold, turns out I needed a new one) I had no idea what the issue was, so first thing I did was make sure the oil was OK. Pretty much right in the middle of the pattern range on the dipstick. It's due for a change in the next month, so I'll see if that changes anything.
 

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Sounded to me in the first videos (OP and second post you made) that your SAIP was on because the engine sounded like it was idling high and then toned down after a minute. This is completely normal, put your ear next to the airbox, you'll hear the pump cycling for sure (at cold starts.) The rapid clicking noises sounds like my car to be honest. It's just a noisy design (or maybe my chain, IDK.) I replaced the shoes (plastic slides) on my tensioners sometime in July and the noise didn't really go away. I think you're fine, it would be a much louder click like the videos below, second video is more apparent when he revs the car.

What it would sound like if it were bad:
 

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No expert here but it sounds pretty normal. Keep in mind it's not a brand new car has lots of miles on it. I think mine sounds about the same. I did replace the cam chain tensioner and senor along with timing belt about a year ago. It all sounded the same pretty much just had the CEL popping up every once in while. It has since not come on.
 

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I just replaced mine today.
It was not as loud as urs, but after taking the old one out i could see groves where the chain runs. After installing the new one no more rattling sound...
There is a good write up here somewhere.With the right tools and time on hand its pretty easy.
 
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