Question about 1997 Volkswagen Cabrio

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1998 VW Cabrio loud humming from what sounds like the transaxle

1998 VW Cabrio w/manual trans and once I hit about 15-20 mph this humming starts under the front of the car. Inspected the drive axles and ended up replacing passenger side but humming is still there. Replaced wheel bearings too. The noise and vibration increases when turning left and decreases when turning right but car tracks straight and tire wear is normal. Is it possible that a bearing in the transaxle is failing? Is it possible for the trans to get knocked out of alignment with engine? If so what would be the likely culprit? I really believe the answer lies in the transaxle but I could be wrong. The car shifts into every gear fine and noise isn't affected by gear selection as the noise stays the same with trans in neutral and car coasting. I also checked gear fluid level and it was fine. Any tips greatly appreciated.

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  • David Kunz
    David Kunz Dec 12, 2016

    Did you ever find the problem? I'm experiencing the same issue. Loud humming from transaxle increases with speed in any gear. Not tires or brakes as the car is now on blocks with those removed.

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Have you checked that the noise is not tyre noise?
Interchange the wheels front to rear (or left to right) to see if it has any effect on the noise.

Only do the test below if the car is securely chocked so as not to move, take great care not to contact moving parts!
Securely jack both the car drivewheels off the ground, then 'drive' the vehicle through through the problem drive speed/gears while listening for the noise. If the noise occurs under these circumstances you may be able to further localise the source by listening (very carefully!)with a short hose pipe held to the ear.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

  • John Bloomfield Jul 21, 2009

    'Chunky' type tyre patterns are renowned for 'whirring/humming' running noise.

    Smoother, finer tread patterns, especially those that run around the tyre in uninterupted rings are quieter.

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