1999 Vw Golf Tdi --weird Engine Sound?!?
I have a 1999 VW GOLF TDI which I acquired recently from a friend of a friend -- I trust where it came from. The previous owner calimed to have performed regular maintenance with a VW mechanic, he said he had glow plugs replaced within the past month and said he also had an oil change done and put in a new battery. I have been driving the vehicle a lot, as I acquired the car at a good rate but live out-of-state in CT, bought it down in Jersey. I totalled my Toyota Camry about a month and a half ago and was fortunate enough to get this car as a replacement, I have found it to be in fairly good condition, the coolant was low after I got it and I went to the VW dealer and added that G4 stuff I think it's called, also there is a tiny coolant leak from one of the hoses as I discovered today. Oil was low today when checked and I had an oil change done in hopes it would solve the problem. It did not. Here are the details of the car: VW GOLF TDI (turbo), only 80 K miles, 5 speed trans manual, 1.9 liter 90 hp engine 4 cylinder diesel engine. There car has been driving all right, first time I've driven standard, no warning lights have come on aside from coolant light once and I added collant soon after. Temp gauge was not high so light came on bc collant was low. Also it accelerates slowly on ther highway, hard to gte it above 65 mph unless going downhill -- don't know if that is just normal 90 hp diesel or if something is wrong. So here are the details of the problem:
On Friday, I went to Boston, upon arrival when I put car in neutral I notcied this loud rattling sound coming from under hood. I could also feel the rattle through the floor under the clutch. However, when I put it in gear it went away. The sound has been getting louder, it seems, since then. It's just like an intermittent rattles, it comes and goes, and the engine kind of jumps when it makes it. Sounds like something is loose, but then it goes away, then it comes back again. Don't know if it is fuel supply, maybe it needs de-gel? Has not stalled or anything and starts right up, but when it is making the rattle always feels like it will stall although it has not. I had a mechanic friend (non-disel specialty) check it out today, he said it could be the fly wheel maybe, or the piston hitting the engine head/block, but he does not really have exp. with diesel. He turned the car hard left and right while driving and stated it is not the CV joints because no sounds from that. We determined a couple of salient points about the odd rattle, which he scowled at and said, "That sounds awful":
1) Engine makes rattle when in neutral
2) Engine makes sound when deceleraing
3) Sound is intermittent, even in neutral it comes and goes inconsistently
4) Seems to go away when thermostat comes ona nd makes the temp go up and smooths out the engine?
I have no idea if the engine is damaged or if something is just loose or if this is a normal diesel thing or what. Really cannot afford too much work be done, as I spent most of my savings to acquire this vehicle and was hoping it to be a good investment because of the great gas mileage and long wear diesel engines are reputed to have.
Does any of this sound familiar? I don't understand how the sound cam just come and go inconsistently...at higher rpm's, it goes away...in neutral or idling, the rattle sound is very loud...
Please let me know if you have any suggestions, there is a blizzard coming across the northeast, and I won't be able to go to a sho[ till next week sometime, if that is necessary. Hopefully it would not be too much money to fix, if it is something very pertinent...I am not so experienced with diesel engines so do not know how things should or should not be or sound...before, I would start up and drive away right after glow plug light goes out, because I thought it was bad to let the car idle...but a friend who owns a diesel told me today that I should always warm up the car for 10-15 mins, esp. in the cold weather we have been having here, so I am starting to do that now, as well. Hopefully the rattle is nothing serious...please provide any advice if you can...thanks so much...