It can best be described as a cross between whooshing air (as from a fan, or an open window at speed) and normal road noise, but:
- it is most apparent at very low speeds (3-10 mph) and becomes less and less noticeable as speed increases - perhaps it gets drowned out by genuine road noise. The noise is still present when coasting in neutral, but gone when stationary or reversing.
- listening carefully inside the van, it seems to come from the floor between the two front seats (above driveshaft?)
- the noise is undetectable from outside the van. I've walked along beside it and heard nothing but tyres and normal diesel engine tickover, while the driver can hear it plainly inside the van.
- The noise presented quite suddenly, in that we drove a few miles into town hearing nothing, parked up for a few minutes, then heard it as we drove away.
- There's no unusual vibration that I can detect, and nothing attached to the underside of the vehicle that's dragging on the ground (my first thought).
So, any ideas? On the one hand I'm thinking maybe we should take it to a garage and get it checked out, but on the other hand I'm not convinced it's loud enough at present for someone who doesn't know what the vehicle normally sounds like to notice it. Then again, if it's something that could be a cheap fix if caught early, maybe now is the time?
Any thoughts much appreciated!
This noise could be the prop shaft centre bearing but that is located further back around the second row of seats, below the front seats you are looking at g/box or transfer box if 4wd. Sound travels through a car so can sometimes be difficult to pin point but centre bearing is a good place to start as it is the cheapest option. I would put the car on axle stands and spin the wheels to see if you can hear anything amiss. DO NOT GO UNDER THE VEHICLE SUPPORTED BY JACKS ALONE.
I found this thread from David invaluable for DIY instructions
New bearing was £26 or so on e bay, and job took a couple of hours despite the obligatory heavy rain shower halfway through.
So the noise has gone, but also transmission shifts are noticeably smoother especially engaging from rest, and the little judder when going on and off throttle at low speeds (always done that in the 10 years we've owned it) has also disappeared.
All in all a fine result - thanks to all
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