High pitched noise when at low speeds

starrman

Registered User
Hey,

I recently picked a 55 plate Audi A3 2L TFSI quattro, it drives really nicely but a couple of days ago I noticed a high pitch sound when parking up after my morning commute, it was definitely from the front end and it sounded like it was from the driver side, but honestly it could have been central or left as I had the driver window down and I don't really hear it in the cabin.

At first I thought it was breaks, but it seemed to do it yesterday when I was just turning onto my street at a low speed, but again this morning when I was just breaking. I struggle to replicate it it seems to be more prominent when the car is warmed up a little.

From my searching it looks like it can be a number of things, but if anyone could shed some light onto it that would be great and I appreciate any help!
 

leonwilliams

Registered User
Hey,

I recently picked a 55 plate Audi A3 2L TFSI quattro, it drives really nicely but a couple of days ago I noticed a high pitch sound when parking up after my morning commute, it was definitely from the front end and it sounded like it was from the driver side, but honestly it could have been central or left as I had the driver window down and I don't really hear it in the cabin.

At first I thought it was breaks, but it seemed to do it yesterday when I was just turning onto my street at a low speed, but again this morning when I was just breaking. I struggle to replicate it it seems to be more prominent when the car is warmed up a little.

From my searching it looks like it can be a number of things, but if anyone could shed some light onto it that would be great and I appreciate any help!
Warm it up good replicate sound. Take it back to where you got it I'm guessing it's got warranty?

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starrman

Registered User
Warm it up good replicate sound. Take it back to where you got it I'm guessing it's got warranty?

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

No, it was a private sale. I'm going to do what you said tonight and see if I can hear the sound at any other points during driving. I was just wondering if anyone had any idea, although admittedly it could be any number of things!
 

S3RTB

Registered User
I've had a similar noise with mine. It's got worse over time. Took it to a garage to get it checked out. I thought it was the turbo turbine catching in the turbo housing. Turns out it's the gearbox. Drained the oil and it was very metallic. I've got it booked in to have the gearbox rebuilt

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Daveyonthemove

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
Could be low/no oil in transfer box at the front.
Only way to check is to get new fluid and drain it to see what comes out, and then refill. Would be worth doing the rear too.
Does it have any service history? If so, when was the Haldex changed. This is situated at the rear, but it's an important quattro service item.
 

starrman

Registered User
Could be low/no oil in transfer box at the front.
Only way to check is to get new fluid and drain it to see what comes out, and then refill. Would be worth doing the rear too.
Does it have any service history? If so, when was the Haldex changed. This is situated at the rear, but it's an important quattro service item.

Yes it has a full service history, the haldex was changed at about 55k miles I think it's on 70k now. Was serviced and MOT'd a few months back and nothing serious came from that, well that they could tell. I will take it to a garage I just wanted to sense check what it might be, turns out, it could be quite a few things! I'm gonna listen out on the drive home today and see if I can hear it at any other times. Brake pads are the desired issue.
 

Daveyonthemove

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
I would think Brakes would be easy to see for yourself as you should be able to look at them through a gap in the alloy wheel spokes to view them.
Also, they would make more noise under braking, so you could pinpoint that easily enough.

Wheel bearing might be another issue, but again that is easily checked on the driveway.

If you can drive the front wheels on to a raised surface (high kerb) and get under the front, you should be able to see the transfer box and check for leaks.

Bare in mind, if the car is making noises you don't recognise there is a good chance something isn't right, so minimise your driving if you can until it can be sorted. If the transfer box is low or out of oil, it would be costly to drive too much on it.
 

starrman

Registered User
I would think Brakes would be easy to see for yourself as you should be able to look at them through a gap in the alloy wheel spokes to view them.
Also, they would make more noise under braking, so you could pinpoint that easily enough.

Wheel bearing might be another issue, but again that is easily checked on the driveway.

If you can drive the front wheels on to a raised surface (high kerb) and get under the front, you should be able to see the transfer box and check for leaks.

Bare in mind, if the car is making noises you don't recognise there is a good chance something isn't right, so minimise your driving if you can until it can be sorted. If the transfer box is low or out of oil, it would be costly to drive too much on it.

Thank you for the advice, luckily I don't have a very long commute and I have other ways to get to work should I have to stop driving it. I'm fairly new to all this as it is my first used car!

I will check the pads tonight, and try do some harder breaking.

Forgive my ignorance but how could I check wheel bearings?

In regards to leaks, I did check that yesterday and nothing is leaking, I thought it might have been power steering fluid, I don't seem to have anything to check though so I am not sure it works quite the same in my model? (Couldn't find anything to check under the bonnet).
 

Daveyonthemove

Well-Known Member
VCDS Map User
To check the whel bearings, park the car up and grab both sides of the wheel (9 & 3 oclock position) and yank hard on the wheel as if you are trying to pull it away from the car, then repeat all around.
If the wheel feels loose (as if it isn't bolted on correctly) then double check the wheel nuts. If they are tight, then it will be a wheel bearing.

Usually they make a 'humming' or 'squealing' noise, but we all interperate sounds differently so it won't harm to rule it out.
 

starrman

Registered User
To check the whel bearings, park the car up and grab both sides of the wheel (9 & 3 oclock position) and yank hard on the wheel as if you are trying to pull it away from the car, then repeat all around.
If the wheel feels loose (as if it isn't bolted on correctly) then double check the wheel nuts. If they are tight, then it will be a wheel bearing.

Usually they make a 'humming' or 'squealing' noise, but we all interperate sounds differently so it won't harm to rule it out.


Great cheers, again, it does only seem to make this sound when I'm turning into a corner at low speeds or breaking (haven't fully been able to figure out if it's both or just one of those things!) I haven't heard it at all during regular driving.
 

starrman

Registered User
So it only makes the sound when the engine is warm, as I am slowing to a halt or when I am moving off, it's like a long high pitched sound until I am moving then you can hear it rotating as the wheel (or engine) turns and once I am at about 15/20mph I can't hear it anymore. I have got in touch with a garage anyway to get it checked over.
 

starrman

Registered User
So in case anyone else has this issue, it was actually very simple (and the first thing I thought of and then cancelled out) it was a slightly seized caliper. Only noticeable when the breaks were hot as they expand (not the engine which is what I thought, although the two go hand in hand). Thanks for the help though guys.
 

Nessy

VW + Audi mad
Glad to hear you got it sorted.
As you’re new to the A3 8P, it’s worth knowing this series has an electric steering rack, so you won’t find any fluid reservoir ,lol.
That confused me when I first acquired my A3 after a succession of Audi’s all with a conventional PAS system!
 

starrman

Registered User
Glad to hear you got it sorted.
As you’re new to the A3 8P, it’s worth knowing this series has an electric steering rack, so you won’t find any fluid reservoir ,lol.
That confused me when I first acquired my A3 after a succession of Audi’s all with a conventional PAS system!

Yes, I did wonder! Thank you for clearing it up :)
 
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