Transmission Whine
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This is a discussion on Transmission Whine within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; If anybody can help with this I'd really appreciate it! I've got an '03 wrx wagon with 88k miles on ...

  1. #1
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    Transmission Whine

    If anybody can help with this I'd really appreciate it! I've got an '03 wrx wagon with 88k miles on it. Completely stock transmission which has never given me any problems. Over the last 6 mos or 5k miles I began noticing a distinct whine which I think is coming from the transmission or driveline. It is a relatively low pitched whine coming from the front of the car that is speed variable. The faster I go the higher pitched the whine (but not really louder), it is actually more noticeable the slower I go because there is less engine and wind noise. It disappears when I am almost stopped. Interestingly it is only noticeable after I've been driving for 10-15 minutes and the engine/transmission are warm. Once the car is warm it is continuous until it cools down again. It is definitely not engine or rpm related and does not change whether I have the car in gear or not. I have not noticed any change in shifting or performance of any kind. It's been awhile since I changed the transmission oil, about 30k. I checked the level and it's fine, but I'm planning on changing it in the next few days. I've been running 2 qts of redline 75W90NS and 1.8 qts of Redline MT-90 for the last 70k miles with excellent results. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!
    Last edited by wrxdude; 05-09-2009 at 04:27 AM. Reason: more info

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  3. #2
    Registered User evoeater1985's Avatar
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    what color is your tanny fluid it should be clear if its not do a change my does that too but it cuz i havent done any thing to my tranny

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Does this whine start when you just start moving or does it start at a specific speed? This whine wasnt there before changed your gear oil? As mentioned if this is true pop the hood and check the level first...you said This happens no matter if the car is in gear or not?...does the noise get louder as you turn?
    Last edited by EvoEatr; 05-15-2009 at 02:29 AM.

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    The whine starts whenever I am moving but the car has to be warm to do it. I have to be driving at least 10 minutes until I start to notice it and it disappears when I am almost at a dead stop. Pitch varies with speed. I just changed my tranny fluid which was somewhat dark. There was even a scary piece of metal stuck to the magnet. It was about 1/2" long 1/4" wide and maybe a 1/16" thick. It was sort of twisted. No idea what it's from... The whine is much better since I changed the fluid but still noticeable. It's almost like the whine you get when you are in reverse, but slightly less obvious. I definitely think it is coming from the transmission. Thanks for your help!

  6. #5
    Registered User Sarra's Avatar
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    If the whine changes pitch based on gear, it's probably something in the gearbox. If it doesn't, it's most probably something to do with your diffs, bearings, axles, brakes, or similar.

    Typically wheel bearings make a growling noise. CV joints make popping noises. Diffs will whine or grind while accelerating, cruise, or decel, but not more than one or two at a time.

    Other thing is, you might have a gear in the gearbox that's messed up, like 3rd or 4th gear. I'd be tempted to say that when you're in that gear, it would get louder, but that may not be the case... I'm betting on the front diff, since the front diff shares fluid with the main gearbox.

    Do you still have the mangled piece of metal you got from your drain? Pics if you do, might help... Though, I'm going to guess your gearbox will be needing a teardown, and that's only really something a dealership can do.

  7. #6
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrxdude View Post
    The whine starts whenever I am moving but the car has to be warm to do it. I have to be driving at least 10 minutes until I start to notice it and it disappears when I am almost at a dead stop. Pitch varies with speed. I just changed my tranny fluid which was somewhat dark. There was even a scary piece of metal stuck to the magnet. It was about 1/2" long 1/4" wide and maybe a 1/16" thick. It was sort of twisted. No idea what it's from... The whine is much better since I changed the fluid but still noticeable. It's almost like the whine you get when you are in reverse, but slightly less obvious. I definitely think it is coming from the transmission. Thanks for your help!

    Yeah If your starting to pull pieces of metal out of there...Well I hate to say this but usually at that point its kind of to late...as mentioned Im thinking your gearbox will need to be split...Its odd though if you said you dont notice any change in shifting..Im thinking maybe something with the front diff..nonetheless as mentioned if you have a picture of this chunk of metal we might be able to tell you more....Has the car been beat on raced/launched etc..?

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    Transmission Whine

    Hey Guys, I am having the same exact problem. But I did the differential fluid change and didn't have any color change and absolutley no metal on the magnet. I have about 88K on my tranny. No problems untill about 3 months ago. No trouble shifting. The sounds are the same as the guy in this thread. No Tanny mods either. Thanks for the help.

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    Registered User Pavia's Avatar
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    Could be syncro wear. You could try the USC ****tail and you may see the problem disappear, but eventually you'll need to pull the tranny.
    06 GTO M6 Quicksilver, SLP 455 Bobcat, LS7 Clutch w/ SS line (RPM tune:373rwhp/373rwtq)
    07 WRX TR M5 Garnet Red Pearl w/ Straight PPGs and Cusco front LSD (Agile tune:307whp/343wtq)

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    Hows it going? I just bought my '08 WRX and I have a whine in second gear. My mechanic says that its because the engine is litterally too powerful for the transmission and has "separated" the gears to the point that they are only barely touching. This could also be wrxdudes' problem. Mine is only in second and it gets louder as I go through the revs. Speaking of which, any suggestions? Aside from a new tranny

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