2.0 TDI Turbo Whine/Police Siren noise

RSW46

Registered User
Hi All,

I'm looking for the truth on the turbo whine/police siren noise that can start to happen on the 2.0 TDI (140) engine. Basically my car is doing it and I've read/been told a few different things. Some of them contradict each other too, which is even more confusing! The car has no loss of power, still drives perfectly normally etc. The noise comes in around 1100-2000rpm and I've had two people ask me now 'is that your car making that police siren noise?'.

So these are the things I've read/heard:

1) The turbo is knackered, it's about to blow up, get a new one.
2) The noise can be heard on some cars from new, don't worry about it.
3) The noise can start if you use incorrect/non-longlife oil
4) Even if I change the turbo the noise will come back within a few months because it's got something to do with wear rates, and when it's 'bedded in' it will whine
5) The noise is normal and it's the variable veins kicking in at lower revs.
6) The noise is related to resonance on the downpipe

These are things I've found on the internet, and I'm even more confused than I was before! The car is under warranty and I'm thinking I could just leave it and see how it goes if I can't get an definitive info.

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers
 

Sayam

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Generally speaking the answer is a failing turbo.

The question being do you change immediately or see how long it lasts. Some people report turbo going on for thousands of miles and use this as their justification for not changing it straight away.

Others will advise change straight away.

If they can change it under warranty then I'd get it done if I was in your shoes
 

RSW46

Registered User
Generally speaking the answer is a failing turbo.

The question being do you change immediately or see how long it lasts. Some people report turbo going on for thousands of miles and use this as their justification for not changing it straight away.

Others will advise change straight away.

If they can change it under warranty then I'd get it done if I was in your shoes

Thanks for the reply, it's just a confusing one because there are so many contradictory answers that I've found. I think I'll give the garage I bought it from a call tomorrow and see what they say. I have a feeling they'll want it to actually go bang before they will fork out for anything but it's worth a try I guess.
 

vw754

vorsprung Durch Technik
as sayam says its a failing turbo mine did it for 2 years 20k miles before it ent pop........my friends touran just under 2 years 24k and it failed last week.....carry on when it blows ,get a new one.
Generally speaking the answer is a failing turbo.

The question being do you change immediately or see how long it lasts. Some people report turbo going on for thousands of miles and use this as their justification for not changing it straight away.

Others will advise change straight away.

If they can change it under warranty then I'd get it done if I was in your shoes
 

Geraldy212

Sportback owner
My advice would be to write a registered letter to your garage, advising them formally of your concerns re the turbo. Then if they ask you to continue to use the car in this state, they cannot say they were not properly informed. Your best bet is to ask for a new turbo and see what happens. Good luck.
 

Sayam

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
My advice would be to write a registered letter to your garage, advising them formally of your concerns re the turbo. Then if they ask you to continue to use the car in this state, they cannot say they were not properly informed. Your best bet is to ask for a new turbo and see what happens. Good luck.

Simply because you have a warranty that may run out before the turbo goes bang I'd do this. Sounds like sensible advice. It may stop you paying £xxx for a new turbo plus labour
 

Boon

Registered User
Mines been sounding like that for 3 years, around 25k miles with a stage 1 remap and gets driven, not labouring

It really depends on how loud the whine is, mine is quite suttle

I know it'll give up one day as everything eventually does but it doesn't bother me much!

If you can get it replaced under warrantee then snap it up, but be prepared that the new one could whine too.... They spin at many 10's of thousands rpm and every turbo makes a noise to a degree, ours just seem to be a little more vocal!!
 

crazyjay91

If in Doubt, FLAT OUT!
My turbo was over boosting and going into limp mode. It then started making the awful police siren noise. So last week I stripped it all down and check it out.. The turbo was knackered. So I went for a reconditioned turbo and changed the oil, oil filter, oil feed to the turbo and the exhaust manifold gasket. Whilst I was at it I also did an egr delete. Now the police siren noise has gone and the car is running like a dream! :)
 

RSW46

Registered User
Thanks for the replies everyone. I've been in touch with the warranty company and apparently it's Black and White - if the unit hasn't actually failed yet and there's no loss of power or fault codes/limp mode, then they can't do anything about it. The noise isn't that bad, so I think I'll just change the oil for Castrol Edge as I've read on some forums that this has cured the noise before (how true this is I don't know but an oil change can't be a bad thing!) and I'll just see how it goes. If it goes pop then I have the warranty so hopefully it will all be okay.

I'll update you on what the oil change does! The garage I bought the car from said the warranty company would be best to talk to, and they can't help until it goes bang so short of shelling out the cash myself I'll just see what I can do with an oil change for now.
 

Geraldy212

Sportback owner
Let's get this quite clear. A turbo should NOT whine or make any other audible noise that disturbs a car owner. We all know that a noisy turbo is not operating correctly, and whereas many may operate like that for a while, it is sure to fail. Wheel bearings also make a noise when they are failing, and they get changed right away. My point is that a noisy turbo has already failed to do its job correctly, and is not operating within its proper specification. I sure hope that an oil change may make this turbo quieter. Sorry for the rant, but I am angry that a warranty company will not recognise that this turbo is already out of specifications, and need changing before it goes 'pop' and strands their good customer in some awful situation. End of rant.
 

Boon

Registered User
Every turbo will make a noise to an extent as I said above... The type and volume of the noise could well be due to wear or failure & unfortunately in front of a keyboard instead of the offending vehicle no one could say for definite it's goosed.

The likely hood is that it will fail soon, the certainty is that one day it will, but that could be hours, days, months, years...

Warranty company's are quite simply @r5eholes. Anything that moves get the, Wear & Tear shrug of shoulders

Hopefully you'll be lucky enough that it'll explode before the warrantee runs out and they pay for it
 

mike foster

Fossie
VCDS Map User
Bear in mind that if the turbo actually ' blows ' then bits of the vanes could get drawn into the engine. If that happens will the warranty company pay for repair/new engine ?? I think not !!

I was with Warranty Direct with my old A3 and they require you to inform them asap of a possible problem and the blurb says it is your responsibility to mitigate any possible damage.

As soon as I reported the whine, after having it checked at an independent specialist, they asked me to have it replaced and paid for the new ( recon ) turbo.
 

RSW46

Registered User
All sorted now, the oil and filter change made no difference at all but at least now I've got somewhere with it all! I spoke to the warranty company again and they were beyond useless. If you're offered a Customer Protect warranty in the future don't take it.

Today I went to an Audi dealer and asked if one of their technicians could come with me for a quick drive to get his opinion on it. Before we had even left the car park he had told me the Turbo needed replacing and said that 'if the car was under an Audi warranty we would replace it asap'. Anyway armed with the information I went to the dealer I bought the car from who has now agreed (after his mechanic had a listen and we went for a short drive) that the car does need a new turbo and he will supply and fit it free of charge. To say I'm relieved is an understatement; I only bought it two weeks ago!

Thanks for all the helpful advice :)

EDIT - for the benefit of anyone else reading this with the same problem as me, the Audi technician said that 'its not going to get any better', 'it will eventually fail' but that as my car wasn't under warranty with Audi themselves 'it really depends on how annoying you find the noise as to whether you change the turbo now or whether you wait until it starts to get worse and go in to limp mode'.
 
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crazyjay91

If in Doubt, FLAT OUT!
All sorted now, the oil and filter change made no difference at all but at least now I've got somewhere with it all! I spoke to the warranty company again and they were beyond useless. If you're offered a Customer Protect warranty in the future don't take it.

Today I went to an Audi dealer and asked if one of their technicians could come with me for a quick drive to get his opinion on it. Before we had even left the car park he had told me the Turbo needed replacing and said that 'if the car was under an Audi warranty we would replace it asap'. Anyway armed with the information I went to the dealer I bought the car from who has now agreed (after his mechanic had a listen and we went for a short drive) that the car does need a new turbo and he will supply and fit it free of charge. To say I'm relieved is an understatement; I only bought it two weeks ago!

Thanks for all the helpful advice :)

EDIT - for the benefit of anyone else reading this with the same problem as me, the Audi technician said that 'its not going to get any better', 'it will eventually fail' but that as my car wasn't under warranty with Audi themselves 'it really depends on how annoying you find the noise as to whether you change the turbo now or whether you wait until it starts to get worse and go in to limp mode'.

Glad you've got somewhere with it all! I've had my car 3 weeks now and because I brought it private I had to pay for the turbo and everything else. The annoying this was that I had to change to oil and filter again after putting the new turbo on - 2 changes in 2 weeks!
Luckily I didn't have to pay for labour because I did it all myself, but nevertheless still cost me a fair bit!
 

Brennan

Former Audi Driver
This happened on my old 07 3 series, the turbo was knackered. Get it repaired/replaced soon as possible because the turbo vanes can be ingested into the engine, and you'll know about that when you have several sharp pieces of metal going into your engine at speed
 

RSW46

Registered User
I'm currently in the process of getting this sorted but it's not moving quite as quickly as I had hoped! Basically I put the car in for diagnosis at the Warranty company's request last Monday lunchtime and by the evening they called back and said it was definitely the Turbo knackered. It then took three days for the Warranty company to authorise the repair, so that the garage could buy the replacement Turbo... Anyway, come Saturday when the car should have been ready for repair I was called by the garage who said it was all fitted but making a strange noise still. They invited me to drive it and see if the noise was the same as the original noise, which I quickly realised it wasn't! It was a very very loud screech between 2-3k on load, and definitely wasn't right. They've spent the last couple of days checking all the boost pipes etc. and today diagnosed the new (reconditioned) Turbo to have a faulty Actuator, so now I've got another few days to wait.

I wouldn't mind if I had a nice courtesy car but the dealer I bought it from only had this monstrosity available...

 

RSW46

Registered User
Just to let you all know the conclusion of this, I have the car back and the Turbo noise is now gone, it's back to how it was when I bought it now. I've just got to hope it doesn't come back now...
 

JamesVAG

Member
VCDS Map User
My turbo was over boosting and going into limp mode. It then started making the awful police siren noise. So last week I stripped it all down and check it out.. The turbo was knackered. So I went for a reconditioned turbo and changed the oil, oil filter, oil feed to the turbo and the exhaust manifold gasket. Whilst I was at it I also did an egr delete. Now the police siren noise has gone and the car is running like a dream! :)
Hey Jay. I did the exact same thing you did. But now a few hundred miles later I'm getting the police siren again. Power is great no smoking. I'm starting to think this is just how they sound.

Sent from my ZTE B2017G using Tapatalk
 
T

T8DPR

Guest
I'm glad the garage who sold it to you gave in, some of them don't, but warranty or not, having only bought it two weeks earlier puts the garage responsible for the repairs anyway... Legally!

Out of curiosity, how much "warranty" were you given and did it cost you extra?
 

mazza7282

mazza7282
Hi all

I got my a3 2.0 tdi 140 bkd at 110.000 back in sep 2017.

Receipts said it had a recon turbo at 100k, i rung the garage that did it and they confirmed.
looking around the turbo area it was a little oily (dry) but ive seen this many times when garages replace a turbo and dont clean out all the pipework/intercooler out properly so wasnt too bothered.....
Anyway that 100k was over 2 yrs ago so no warranty....at 111k with a big bang the turbo had blown itself to bits whilst pulling onto a main road (it had been overboosting and going into limp mode a few weeks prior)

After getting AA to drag it home, I started the process of removal, exhaust brackets out the way/exhaust from turbo/flexi/egr pipework/manifold with turbo etc all had to come off.

After the removal of the so called “recon” turbo that was only fitted 11k/2 yrs ago it was definately a “used one” and not a recon.

I cleaned out all the pipework as it was all full of oil/flushed intercooler, dropped the sump to removal a multitude of turbo pieces that were sat at the bottom, cleaned out egr and anti shudder valve and up into the inlet manifold.
The turbo pipework was full of oil, it also contained metal shavings and tbh some quite large pieces, i was extremely lucky it didnt hydrolic itself with all that oil/or bent a rod or scored a piston with all that mess in there !!

I then replaced with a recon turbo from Euro car parts with 2 yr warranty, have done a few thousand miles since and all was well :)

Then 4 weeks later/2000 miles later (today) i am getting intermitent loss of power and police siren/limp mode. All hoses are as they should, ive removed engine under under tray, had it revved and unfortunately yes...the siren is comming from the recon turbo !!! :(
Its worse when the turbo is underload.

Yes by design turbos are supposed to whistle to a degree as per actuator rod as it either dumps out or reuses some of that pressure to be used as a vaccum for other ancillaries.

But to siren like a police car, absaloutely not ..... imagine driving that outa the factory brand new,

As it hasnt blown up this time like before i wont have clean out all the pipes and other ancillaries to the same degree as before, so i should have the turbo out in an hour or so, then i have to get a replacement out of warranty.

My advice to others, if it doesnt go today....it will at some point, try and go for a recon garrett unit if possible with warranty.
Or if a garage does it insist they clean out any excess oil and do their best to look for foreign objects in the pipework.

When i dropped the sump, i even cranked the engine by hand many rotation so I coukd check the condition of the crank/conrods and pistons (as much as can be viewed from underneath ifcourse)

I am very disappointed that this recon garrett unit from euro car parts is whining like a banchy literally 2000 miles later.

When I said my turbo exploded previously, I really do mean exploded.see pics.
Which includes the do called “old” recon and “new” recon units.

From what ive read/been told these PD 140 u nits are shocking to say the least.

My old 1.9 pd130 in my Fabia Vrs a few yrs back was an abaloute joy !

Hopefully this post can show that it isnt scare mongering for which I read in an alternate thread and that it can and will go wrong @ some point down the line.
 

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mazza7282

mazza7282
Is the car mapped?
Nope, bog standard.I was going to a few months ago but changed my mind as it would only get me 180+ bhp and just under 300lbs of torque on a stage 1 so i left it. im aware the pd140 is generally a weak lump anyway.

Ive recently come down from a remapped cr170 octavia vrs which was at 210bhp/350 lbs ft dsg.

With the a3 I thought, if its not broke.....
 
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