What are normal turbo noises?
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This is a discussion on What are normal turbo noises? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi all, this is my first post here. I bought a 2008 WRX sedan (no mods at all) about a ...

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    What are normal turbo noises?

    Hi all, this is my first post here. I bought a 2008 WRX sedan (no mods at all) about a month ago and have been loving it. I'm looking forward to the first big snow dump to get this thing in the mountains.

    One question - in the last couple of days I noticed a noticeable sound that I haven't heard before. It started when the weather got cold in the mornings (low 30s), but lasts throughout the afternoon (mid 50s). This could be purely coincidental, but thought I would mention it.

    When accelerating past 3k rpm and the turbo kicks in, I hear a very loud and noticeable "whooshing" sound. It lasts until I shift or let off the gas. Closest description to the sound I can come up with is trying to blow out birthday candles as strongly as you can. It's a clean sound, no pinging or scraping, but loud. I can barely hear it over the stereo, but definitely hear it with the stereo off.

    Is this normal? I checked hose connections under the hood and things looked alright, but I'm not an expert and wasn't sure what I was looking for. I mentioned it to the dealer during an oil change and he kind of blew it off, saying it was normal. But it didn't sound like he was really listening and didn't give me a lot of confidence. I'll try to post a video on the way home from work.

    I appreciate any advise!

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    I probably should have added - I don't have a gauge for the turbo, so can't comment on psi. It doesn't feel like there's any major loss of turbo, though. Just the loud whooshing, air rushing sound. Am I being paranoid?

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Possibly. Whooshing sounds are not abnormal. If you cannot find a boost or vacuum leak, it could either be a gasket, or more likely simply nothing.
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    Yeah, it's hard to know with the subtle noises, especially in a new car (to me, at least). Anyone in the Salt Lake area know of a good place to get a boost leak checked?

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    Turbo noises are more like a whistling sound...
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    I uploaded two videos, but I don't think the audio is good enough to hear anything, especially in the first video.

    WRX noise - YouTube
    WRX noise 2 - YouTube

    In the second video, the extra noise at 3 and 10 seconds is the added whistle/blowing.

    I did notice that it's much more noticeable when I'm cruising at 50 or 60 mph and lay on the gas. I don't hear the engine rev as much and the whooshing or blowing sound is really loud. It almost sounds like a window is down a crack, but coming from the windshield.

    I'll see if I can get someone in the car to do a better video.

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    FWIW - I have had the same experience in the last week or two. The sound is just as you have described and comes on just as you described. I got the car last February, so I've driven it in colder temps but don't recall this sound, and I've just gotten the motor to the 10,000 mile mark. It does completely match, though, with the time that the motor is coming into boost, and it seems to stay there as long as it is in boost. There is no sign of any loss of power or any other impact on performance. I've just assumed it is a normal sound for the turbo unit in these temps, but I could be wrong. I guess I'll mention it next time I'm in for an oil change (15k miles).
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    any updates? i have the exact same noise. i just noticed it a few days ago when i went into boost at 5th gear. i've never heard this whistling noise before, and my first thought was because it was due to the weather, but now i'm not sure.

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    Sadly, no. I took it to the dealer for an oil change and mentioned it, but they mostly blew it off, saying "it has a turbo and noises are normal". I carpool with a friend at work and he notices it. I'll try to find a reputable mechanic in town and take it in there to see what they think.

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    that's what im afraid the dealer will say when i mention it on my next oil change

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    sounds like you are noticing the turbro for the first time. it goes away when you change gear because your bypass valve is recirculating all the boost you built
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    I'm not 100% sure if it is normal or not. My 2002 has a tbe and I could hear a whistle on the downpipe. But just recently, I had to pull the turbo, due to oil return line leakage... Which I still can't figure out... But anyways, now when the car is under boost, it is now making a whoooshing sound instead of the whistle. Check all my lines and all good. Npt sure what's going on either.

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    the whistling noise disappeared after a few days for me. quite strange.

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    I'm gonna take out the inter cooler today and check everything. I'll keep it updated on how it goes with the clamps and stuff.

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