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Old 21-07-2012   #1
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'Wheezing' engine noise

‘Wheezing’ noise coming from under bonnet.

Hi – I am hoping that somebody will be able to give me some advice about a noise under the bonnet. I have read a few comments on various forums, but everybody seems to have a different idea about what the problem could be, so I am hoping that somebody on here may have had the same issue so can give me an accurate (ish!) idea of what it may be.

2 weeks or so ago, my car started drinking engine coolant, so I took it to the garage who replaced the whole radiator, and – obviously – replaced the coolant. Since then, however, my car sporadically makes this ‘wheezing’ noise (I can’t really think of a better way to describe it). It always happens towards the end of a journey, and when I stop and turn the car off, the noise carries on for a few minutes or so. During the journey itself, it will happen every now and again for various lengths of time, and the temperature gauge will gradually rise up to about ¾ before the noise stops and it returns to ½ again. (It never reaches the ‘red’ area unlike before the radiator change, however it still goes as far as ¾).

Has anybody else on here had the same problem before – and if so – what was the diagnosis?

Thanks

P.S if it helps, the car is a 2002 reg punto, the 1.2 ‘sporting’ 8v version
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Old 21-07-2012   #2
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

there isn't a sporting 8v

the sporting is 16v only

unless you've got an Active sport which has the lovely 8v engine

Anyway - If the guage is hitting 3/4's thats too hot
Most punto's sit at 1/2 way marker

So suspect sticking/lazy thermostat

or a Dying HG

Ziggy
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Old 21-07-2012   #3
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

Sounds like your cooling fan is what you are describing. Comes on every so often if the car is not moving fast enough to cool the radiator and sometimes runs for a bit after stopping. It should come on if the temperature goes over the halfway mark and switch off again when it drops back.
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Old 21-07-2012   #4
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

tend to agree it sounds like rad fan gone noisy,run engine with car stationary have bonnet up and when noise sounds see if fan is moving,no hands needed
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Old 21-07-2012   #5
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

Quote Originally Posted by carefreeant View Post
Has anybody else on here had the same problem before – and if so – what was the diagnosis?]
I had something very similar -- especially with the temperature gauge 'jumping' between just less than half, and then to three-quarters, and then back... -- after having the car serviced (including replacing the timing belt -- and therefore the water pump).

I don't really want to create a cacophony of suggestions: but have you simply tried bleeding the cooling system (which is renowned for airlocks...)? There's a great guide to it, on the forum, here.

It can require the patience of Job; but the key things, I found, were (1) lots of squeezing of hoses; (2) keep adding coolant; and (3) keep opening and closing the two bleed screws (until no more air comes out...)!

If this makes no difference (my temperature gauge now sticks rigidly to about two-fifths, once warmed-up...): (1) I apologize; and (2) then it certainly looks like a problem with the fan.

Good luck...!
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Old 21-07-2012   #6
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

Quote Originally Posted by homeward View Post
If this makes no difference (my temperature gauge now sticks rigidly to about two-fifths, once warmed-up...): (1) I apologize; and (2) then it certainly looks like a problem with the fan.

Good luck...!
If my temp gauge was stopping at two fifths I would be thinking of replacing the thermostat. Nearly all are set up to sit in the middle when at operating temperature.
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Old 21-07-2012   #7
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

Quote Originally Posted by Brendan W View Post
If my temp gauge was stopping at two fifths I would be thinking of replacing the thermostat. Nearly all are set up to sit in the middle when at operating temperature.
I appreciate what you're saying: but, to me, it's only the difference between 40% and 50% -- and the thermostat was tested when it was serviced.

[The Punto was over-heating slightly, before it went in -- probably because there wasn't enough coolant in it; and hadn't been serviced for quite some time... -- so, as part of a long list I gave to the garage (poor souls!) -- as the car was new to me... -- they investigated this thoroughly, as is their habit; as well as blasting the cooling system through....]

PS: After rebuilding the engine on my last car (due to a head-gasket failure and cracked cylinder head (ouch)), and replacing most of the cooling system, it ran considerably cooler than before (for over 50,000 miles), with no problems.

Famous last words...?!
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Old 21-07-2012   #8
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

garage cant test thermostat without removing boiling a kettle and plonking it in
take the good advice of the members on here and have it replaced
they cost £15 with the housing and take 10 minutes to fit
no time for garages that wont swap thermostats on fire engines
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Old 21-07-2012   #9
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

Quote Originally Posted by s and b View Post
garage cant test thermostat without removing boiling a kettle and plonking it in
Last time I saw them do it, they used a pan...! (And they're the type of garage who would rather do such a thing than charge you -- at cost -- for an unnecessary item: even one that's priced at just a few quid....) And, to be honest, I'd rather they tested it, than simply swap it for something not proven: as the last two 'stats I sourced for the Clio (from a supposedly reputable supplier...) were duds, and had to be returned.... (And, of course, it was only when about to fit the second one that I decided to test it first! As you say: the kettle is a wonderful tool...!)

[BTW: the only reason I don't do much of this sort of thing myself, anymore -- which I miss, frankly... -- is three no-fault road traffic accidents-worth of damage to my body: including a rebuilt cervical spine. Makes life interesting, anyway...!?]
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Last edited by homeward; 21-07-2012 at 21:36. Reason: Reference to Clio...
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Old 21-07-2012   #10
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

Sounds similar to what happened to a punto I know of - bleeding it as mentioned above fixed the problem. The coolant cap had been left off, the system got filled with air which made the car overheat and the wheezy fan come on frequently
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Old 21-07-2012   #11
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

one thing people forget is in winter car is so cold your lucky fan comes on at all,in summer it will heat up more quickly and show more problems,like fan been used more often and overheating issues are very common at this time ,when was the last time you checked all levels in car?that long ago
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Old 22-07-2012   #12
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

Hi everyone, thanks for the replies

Right, to answer a few questions asked in return, I have been checking fluid levels regularly. As mentioned in the initial post, it was only a few weeks ago that my whole radiator was changed, and – when doing so – the garage also checked the fluid levels for me, drained the coolant, and replaced it for me.

As for the cooling fan – it is definitely this that is causing the problem. As suggested by dirtyhands I popped the bonnet open last night when I got home (whilst the issue was still happening), and the whole of the front of the bonnet was vibrating (particularly the bonnet release) and – sure enough – the fan was whizzing around like lightning – even for a couple of minutes after the car was turned off.

The next question I have – therefore – is, is this a fault with the fan, or is it a fault elsewhere? In other words, is the car still overheating after the radiator change, causing the fan to go into absolute overdrive which is where the noise is coming from? Or, is the car overheating and the noise coming from the fan because the fan is not doing it’s job properly?

Sorry about all the questions, but the problem has certainly worsened since I went to the garage. I therefore want to get to the bottom of what the issue probably is before going back to the garage, because I do not want to potentially accuse them of not sorting the issue in the first place if this is a completely new issue that has developed!
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Old 22-07-2012   #13
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

going up to 3/4 isnt good and it may be argued that because the fan isnt up to best spec due to failing bearings it is still working and if it was pulling too much amps to get it to spin the fuse would blow
i guess you have a faulty thermostat a possibly faulty impeller on the water pump (made of plastic these so easily damaged after your car overheated) or a blocked water system somewhere (did you or a previous keeper put an elixior or something like rad weld in at any time?

anyway needs garage to have a look for you no need for any pointy fingers though because if it came in to them with a busted radiator and they changed it and ran the car up to temperature then theres not a lot more they could do especially as at the moment your head gasket hasnt popped due to temperature extremes

so to summarise,you need a new fan assembly (or good second hand one) theres two types and unfortunately if you get the wrong one they dont line up on the bolt holes on your radiator so be warned if replacing yourself
and you need garage to assess reason temperature goes up to 3/4 before fan kicks in
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Old 22-07-2012   #14
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

ok noisy fan thats one sorted,is there a rad fan switch in radiator as i think that may not be cutting in at correct temp.
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Old 22-07-2012   #15
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Re: 'Wheezing' engine noise

One other suggestion -when the radiator was replaced, were the rubber mounting bushes all fitted correctly?

Check them top and bottom to ensure that the rad was fitted correctly, otherwise you might get excessive vibration.

(It does sound like a duff fan bearing though, and it's normal for them to continue to spin after engine off, as well as something else)
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