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Jeromy Madison
Jeromy Madison,
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 71
Experience:  Owner/Technician at Mad Auto Repair
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Whining noise and poor performance I have a 2003 Jetta GL

Customer Question

Whining noise and poor performance
I have a 2003 Jetta GL 2.0 automatic with about 145k miles on it. When I drive the car it makes a whining sound that comes and goes at random. Also, the car is sluggish, lacks the power it once had, and sometimes misfires. The ignition coil, spark plugs, and wires have already been replaced. The timing belt/water pump were replaced about 1 1/2 years ago. I know for a fact that there is a coolant leak on the car because I can smell coolant when I open the hood and I have to top it off every 2 weeks.
What could possibly be causing the whining noise, misfiring, and sluggishness?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 10 months ago.

Can you tell me how long this has been happening?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

The whining noise started about 2 months ago but the sluggishness and occasional misfiring have been going on for a while (maybe at least a year). The car simply doesn't respond the way it should when you try to accelerate.

Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 10 months ago.

I think you need to check your timing.

The timing belt might be off 1 or 2 teeth. This would account for all of the symptoms that you have described.

It is not that difficult to check.

Let me know and I give you some simple instructions.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

As long as it doesn't involve removing major components out of the vehicle, I think I should be able to do it. I don't really have a lot of tools or any car know-how to be honest.

But if it's easy, I would like to know how to check it. If it turns out this is the case, does that mean the mechanic who did the timing belt job screwed it up?

Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 10 months ago.

Ok, this is something most shops would look at for no charge.

Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 10 months ago.

Can you please rate me?

Thanks,

Jeromy

Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 10 months ago.

You will have to remove the upper timing cover and the turn over the engine until the timing marks line up.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

But what is the process to do the check you are talking about? I know where the timing belt is located and I know how to remove the plastic cover that's held in with metal clips. If I took the cover off and had the engine running, would I know right away if something is wrong?

Expert:  Jeromy Madison replied 10 months ago.

Have the engine off. Line up the harmonic balancer to the tdc position and see if the mark on the camshaft pulley lines up with the timing mark. The mark on the camshaft pulley is on the top.

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