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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

I would like to ask your opinion about the whining noise, which is coming from the front end of my car.
I will try to explain the behavior as much I can:
I bought a well serviced Passat B6 nearly one year ago (2008 year, 1.9TDI, BXE engine, 5 speed (JXC) manual transmission) with guaranteed 200 thousand km-s. Not long after purchase, I noticed a soft humming/whinning sound during acceleration and deceleration, but I did not care about it.
I made 3500km-s since then and the sound became much louder.

The characteristics of the sound:
  • it is proportional with speed,
  • typically noticeable in speed range between 70 kph (43 mph) and 90 kph (56 mph), the most loud at 80 kph (50 mph) ( in 4th and 5th gear).
  • noticeable during acceleration and deceleration, when the engine is loaded. But there sound is disappear for a moment if you change between acceleration and deceleration.
  • in 4th gear you can find a pedal position when the sound (and vehicle speed) is continuous.
  • not exist in neutral and with clutch pedal applied.
  • disappears if you turn left (at 80 kph/ 50 mph), sound is not changing at right turn and straight drive.

In first step I supposed that the left wheel bearing is gone, because of behavior while cornering left. So I jacked up the car and checked the front wheels for play, and sound while turning it by hand and with engine slowly. Unfortunately no play and no strange sound. :(

I talked with a mechanic, and he said that since the bearing is totally quiet while coasting, and makes sound while accelerating/decelerating, he would say that the differential bearings are gone.

I read on forums, that symptoms of bad bearings in differential are similar, but nowhere mentioned changing sound while cornering. So I am totally confused.

Since these parts and related operations are quite expensive I would like to ask if anybody here experienced such symptoms? What steps/checks shall be done before repairing/replacing the gearbox?

Thank you in advance for your help!
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