Jump to content

Transmission Whine

Recommended Posts

Hi all!


My long suffering C8 has developed a new "issue" and, ahead of taking it in to see the doctor I can't help but wonder what it might be.


At first we noticed a ever louder whining noise, which seems to come from the transmission, and linked to engine speed (downshifting makes the revs rise, the pitch of the whine rise and increase in volume). The noise is now very noticeable on the over-run / under engine braking.

Now I have noticed that at idle in neutral, there is a similar, but less intrusive noise. I'm pretty sure that it is the same issue but without load. The noise goes away upon depressing the clutch pedal.


At first I suspected the clutch release bearing, but a noise from this wouldn't go away on pressing the clutch right? On the contrary, it is when it would be more noticeable?


Therefore, I am suspecting a gearbox bearing on the input side. Any known issues like this?


The car had a new clutch about 2 years / 50k kms ago, and it now has approx 210k kms.


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is the clutch release bearing then if you lightly press the clutch pedal at idle to the biting point and not all the way down, the noise ought to go away or change.


At the mileage though I would suspect gearbox bearing wear. I have replaced Saab gearbox bearings at around 150k miles when worn. The whining noise tends to be greater under load as you accelerate. On one the wear was that bad it would jump out of gear. Only way to see which ones are worn is to take the gearbox apart but if you are having to pay somebody then it is going to cost a lot less to fit another used gearbox. Once in bits you can get the bearing numbers off them so they can be bought at a bearing shop.


You should check the gearbox oil level - this is not a maintenance item other than just a look for any leaks. If you are not planning on keeping the car for many years it is possible you could live with it. On one of the Saabs I tried this but it got to the point it jumped out of gear frequently and as well as the bearings I also had to replace one of the gears.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I'll pay more attention next time I drive it and see exactly what clutch action affects the noise.


I'm certainly planning the "live with it" solution for the time being, but as you say, things could get catastrophic quite quickly... that said, I have a 32 yr old BMW with a layshaft bearing rattle that's been there for 10 years. That gearbox has 360k on it and still going.


Obviously I'm not expecting a C8 box to last that long, but it would be nice to know if this is the beginning of the end, or if we can eek another two years out of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In neutral, pressing the clutch partially down (to where the biting point would be if it were in gear) does make the noise go away, without having to depress the pedal to the floor..


In a very quiet garage, I can hear the output side of the clutch spin up when the clutch plates meet on biting point and the noise kicks in at that point, it is directly related to the clutch on the gearbox side or to the gearbox input shaft. 


I'll take it to the mechanic this week to get the box oil checked.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I have to say thanks to you all on the forum (mainly paul.h and Simple, it has to be said) for the help over the last few years.


My "faithful" C8 was delivered to the VW dealer last week in exchange (plus several bags of silver) for a Touran, so I will never know the cause of its various ills. But neither will I have to pay for the repairs...


Thanks again and Goodbyeeeee!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you clipper for the complement and good luck with your new car.


I have recently been viewing cars that may fit my family, but to be honest, I yet to find a car as an all rounder as the C8. After 7 years together and with all its idiosyncrasies, I have a soft spot in my heart for this gentle beast.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...