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Old 03-21-2009, 02:42 AM   #1
KCdave
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Default Manual Trans Whine

FINALLY I get to move away from pistons and sensors.

This is a new one for me. I've never had, nor heard, a manual transmission whine like an automatic low on fluid.

It's not as loud or deep sounding, but it's essentially the same sound.
Almost electric in tone.

So, what is it and what's the first step?

This car sat for over a year. It's made about 3000 miles of road time since I got it back on the pavement. The fluid level is good (according to the stick) and looks good.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
FINALLY I get to move away from pistons and sensors.

This is a new one for me. I've never had, nor heard, a manual transmission whine like an automatic low on fluid.

It's not as loud or deep sounding, but it's essentially the same sound.
Almost electric in tone.

So, what is it and what's the first step?

This car sat for over a year. It's made about 3000 miles of road time since I got it back on the pavement. The fluid level is good (according to the stick) and looks good.
still need more info, does the whine go away when in neutral?
does it whine or stop whining when cornering??
does the whine get louder as speed increases?
...
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
KCdave
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

How much information do you need to suggest the first step in investigating the condition of a transmission?

Are you suggesting that I risk dropping the transmission running a slalom course to hear noises?

not going to.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
How much information do you need to suggest the first step in investigating the condition of a transmission?

Are you suggesting that I risk dropping the transmission running a slalom course to hear noises?

not going to.
the first step to diagnose is to ask yourself
"does it whine or stop whining when cornering?
does the whine get louder as speed increases?
does the whine stop when the car is in neutral? "

i'm guessing you've already determined the answer to #3 is yes, only makes sense with your diagnosis of this being tranny related.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
How much information do you need to suggest the first step in investigating the condition of a transmission?

Are you suggesting that I risk dropping the transmission running a slalom course to hear noises?

not going to.
??? You didn't provide any manual transmission related answers to your diagnosis. If you didn't say otherwise I would have diagnosed you put an automatic in your car.

Does it whine in every gear? Does it whine when your on the throttle, off the throttle or both? Does the whine stop when you press in the clutch while moving. Does it whine above a certain speed or RPM?

There's a lot of unanswered questions to diagnose it properly.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Okay. Let me start over.

I need to put the transmission in the best possible condition it can be in before I do any exploring.

What in the transmission can cause that whine?
I'm a little surprised that the it looks like there's actually transmission fluid in the case and not just gear oil.

It whines in while being driven in a straight line and not while idling; not while the clutch is depressed. (Why would it? It's a manual transmission)
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
Okay. Let me start over.

I need to put the transmission in the best possible condition it can be in before I do any exploring.

What in the transmission can cause that whine?
I'm a little surprised that the it looks like there's actually transmission fluid in the case and not just gear oil.

It whines in while being driven in a straight line and not while idling; not while the clutch is depressed. (Why would it? It's a manual transmission)
When accelerating, engine braking or both? Give some more details.

I almost bought a Legacy Wagon that had a whine and grinding during acceleration and engine braking. It could have been as simple as a throwout bearing. Or, it could have been a major issue like the differential or transmission.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

IIRC, the S-series manual transmissions take Dex-III ATF.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

And, the manual transmission tends to whine. Its the cut of the gears. Depending on just how cheap you are you can quiet up a lot of it. Level is normal cold in the middle of the crosshatch. Fill it up with AMSOIL Torque-Drive or Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid 5W-30 or Super Shift Racing Transmission Fluid SAE 10W.

Now what we are all trying to figure out is this: Is the whine you have discovered ther normal whine or do you have a problem.

Quote:
It whines in while being driven in a straight line and not while idling; not while the clutch is depressed.
^^^^Does not leave a lot to go on. All gears loaded, float, light load, decelerate? How loud is it? Is it more of a squeal than a whine?
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
I'm a little surprised that the it looks like there's actually transmission fluid in the case and not just gear oil.
Why should it be a surprise that it contains what the owner's manual tells you to use?

Quote:
It whines in while being driven in a straight line and not while idling; not while the clutch is depressed. (Why would it? It's a manual transmission)
The differential (part of the tranny nowadays) is still turning when the clutch is down. Knowing whether it whines with the clutch down isolates the location of the whine.

Has it been whining the whole 3000 miles you've driven it recently, or did it start sometime in the interim?
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
And, the manual transmission tends to whine. Its the cut of the gears. Depending on just how cheap you are you can quiet up a lot of it. Level is normal cold in the middle of the crosshatch. Fill it up with AMSOIL Torque-Drive or Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid 5W-30 or Super Shift Racing Transmission Fluid SAE 10W.

Now what we are all trying to figure out is this: Is the whine you have discovered ther normal whine or do you have a problem.



^^^^Does not leave a lot to go on. All gears loaded, float, light load, decelerate? How loud is it? Is it more of a squeal than a whine?
I apologize for my confusion.
I don't want to miss thanks for the fluid info. I haven't been able to find it and I'm not prone to trusting the Parts Guy on a big item like a transmission.

I'll drain and fill tomorrow then take it on a road test and try to map out what I'm hearing.
I don't usually load the engine on deceleration.
Coming off the Interstate, I'll either keep 5th gear with the brake until I make my turn or I'll clutch.

It's most notable before I get on the Interstate.
It may have been there all along, but I couldn't hear it due to the increased noise from the bad valve timing.

Hopefully it will turn out to be common noise.
I'll try to give you guys something more concise to ponder.
Any driving tests you can suggest for me to put the car through would be helpful.
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

All 3 of those fluids come from your local AMSOIL dealer. The recommendation came from a dealer who spends time over on BITOG forum. It sounded reasonable to me. I would use the Torque-Drive as a first choice and the Super Shift Racing Transmission Fluid SAE 10W as my second choice and leave the syncromesh for the manual transmissions.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
I apologize for my confusion.
I don't want to miss thanks for the fluid info. I haven't been able to find it and I'm not prone to trusting the Parts Guy on a big item like a transmission.

I'll drain and fill tomorrow then take it on a road test and try to map out what I'm hearing.
I don't usually load the engine on deceleration.
Coming off the Interstate, I'll either keep 5th gear with the brake until I make my turn or I'll clutch.

It's most notable before I get on the Interstate.
It may have been there all along, but I couldn't hear it due to the increased noise from the bad valve timing.

Hopefully it will turn out to be common noise.
I'll try to give you guys something more concise to ponder.
Any driving tests you can suggest for me to put the car through would be helpful.
If you can tell me the simple answer to what gear it whines in or if it whines in all of them I can give you the answer right now. I don't understand why we're running around with questions. If you answer all my questions I can tell you the answer, simple as that.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

I'm most likely a victim of my inexperience on this one.
I'm not accustomed to manual transmissions making the noise of an automatic.
I've never put ATF in a manual either, so I'm on new turf again.

Changed the fluid. So all of this is on fresh lubricant.

The noise is more pronounced when cold at idle.
Consistent through 1st and 2nd gear and then falls into the sound of the engine and tire noise. You have to really listen to know it's there.

Nothing pronounced while cornering or in deceleration.
I cornered on deceleration and powered around a couple of corners.
Nothing notable to add.

The clutch has no effect on the sound. It's consistent at idle.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:20 AM   #15
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
I'm most likely a victim of my inexperience on this one.
I'm not accustomed to manual transmissions making the noise of an automatic.
I've never put ATF in a manual either, so I'm on new turf again.

Changed the fluid. So all of this is on fresh lubricant.

The noise is more pronounced when cold at idle.
Consistent through 1st and 2nd gear and then falls into the sound of the engine and tire noise. You have to really listen to know it's there.

Nothing pronounced while cornering or in deceleration.
I cornered on deceleration and powered around a couple of corners.
Nothing notable to add.

The clutch has no effect on the sound. It's consistent at idle.
OK so from the sounds of it, it doesn't necessarily have to be the same sound as a transmission. Which side is the noise coming from (driver's side or passenger side)? It's not the idler or tensioner going bad possibly?

If the clutch has no effect then it's either engine related or possibly the differential.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

If it whines with the clutch depressed/disengaged then its not a transaxle issue.

Quote:
The clutch has no effect on the sound. It's consistent at idle.
If this actually means what it reads then its an engine problem.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

sounds like my power steering.

my saturn's power steering whines like crazy particularly on cold mornings (45 and below F). the whine gradually diminishes into a soft whine that you can't hear without the hood popped. it's been that way for the four years i've owned it (up until this morning of course, when the timing chain snapped).

try removing the serpentine belt and running the engine (no longer than 20 seconds or so, because the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt), and listen for the whine. if you still hear it, i'd say it could possibly be the trans (but i'd still doubt it), if it's gone, power steering pump, or perhaps idler/tensioner pulleys.

just my $0.02
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

well SOB...
First off, the symptoms were changing on me.

If it was the Trans, then it was a matter or worn fluid.

It's the Power Steering.
It resonates in the garage but once I got it outside it was easier to track down.

Is that a problematic Pump or do they all make a little noise?
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Why should it be a surprise that it contains what the owner's manual tells you to use?
What's the most frequent item missing from used cars?

That's funny.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: Manual Trans Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCdave View Post
well SOB...
First off, the symptoms were changing on me.

If it was the Trans, then it was a matter or worn fluid.

It's the Power Steering.
It resonates in the garage but once I got it outside it was easier to track down.

Is that a problematic Pump or do they all make a little noise?
Power steering always makes a little noise, but anything pronounced is an issue. It will often whine loudly when you are low on fluid, signaling a leak.

I had that happen in my experience when my Vanagon's power steering rack developed a leak. It whines very loudly when it was low on fluid.
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