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Old 03-12-2011, 03:49 AM   #1
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'04 2.7 tiptronic whining noise

Please help!
My wifes boxster has developed a noise recently, which is still intermittent but increasing in frequency, and the time the noise remains during driving.

The noise is coming from where I imagine the engine/transmission join, though it is hard to pinpoint as you will agree. The noise is a whining, which does not necessarily increase/reduce with engine speed, but remains wether gearbox in park, neutral or drive. The noise remains (or did this morning on a short drive), whilst car moving.

I have obviously ruled out driveshaft/bearing whine, as it is happening when stationary.
I am not very familiar with the mechanical/viscous connection between engine and gearbox in the auto style, so not sure what could be causing the noise. Suggestions in other vague forums include serpentine belt and tensioner.

It may be worth noting that last year we noticed the signs of a leaking RMS (couple of drops of oil on drive), but that seems to have stopped a couple of months ago. If the leak was more internal, what could this affect and could it be our problem?

Is there an ATF level I can check relatively simply?

Thanks for reading, any advice appreciated.



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Old 03-12-2011, 07:51 AM   #2
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When I hear the term 'whine' used in an auto box, my first thought is low fluid. The whine is produced by a fluid starved internal pump or the torque converter. There is no dipstick or other easy method to check fluid. You can jack the car up level and with the drain plug removed, you should have a slight drip - fluid level when cold is 11mm(?) below the drain hole.

Contrary to Porsche's marketing brochures (incl. Owners Manual), the tranny maker ZF Getrieb recommends a fluid and filter change every 45k mi., if you're over that, you're due.

The dealer will charge you $800+ (probably more now - $800 was 3 yrs. ago).

A fairly simple DIY will cost about $250. About 3 hrs. max. Tools required are a 17mm hex bit (drain plug), 10mm socket, and various sockets (15mm, 17mm) to remove cross braces and sway links, and also some sort of pump to add the new fluid. Supplies incl. 9 qts. Esso LT7114 Fluid, a filter and a new pan gasket.

Use the search function for a complete play-by-play, but the condensed version is to drain the fluid, remove the pan (after getting access), change filter, clean up mating surfaces of pan and tranny, install new gasket and pan, refill.

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Last edited by Lil bastard; 03-12-2011 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
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Thanks mate.
Are you saying that this fluid/filter change is not on the scheduled Porsche maintenance, but the maker suggests it is done?

If so, we will get it done as soon as possible.

It makes a lot of sense, as when the car leaves our house, it is at quite a side angle, which would make the dry pump very feasible.

Is it likely we are causing damage during this time?

Thanks again.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:43 AM   #4
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porsche does not list it as something to do, but the company that actually manufactures it does. however it is not made in a way that lends itself to doing...

i was at my independent porsche shop and asked about it as i am at 85k on my tip and was told that unless there is some compelling reason they generally don't touch the tip because "i've seen them go south so soon after changing the fluid..."
"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that's what gets you."
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:12 AM   #5
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Makes sense.

Obviously, it is something we are going to have to do due to the noise we are getting.

Does anyone know where the pump itself is located, what I am thinking is if we are getting the fluid changed, is it worth changing the pump as well in case it is damaged, or is it a very expensive part that needs a lot of work to get at?

Thanks again for the replies.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:35 PM   #6
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For those who may be interested in this thread, I took the car in for its major service (local independent) a bit early, and explained the noise to the mechanic who has lots of Porsche experience. He agreed about the ATF level, but as I couldnt definitely say the noise was the auto box, he suggested that it could also be low power steering fluid.
During the service, he gained access to the engine and the power steering reservoir, where he found it almost dry!
He topped it up, finished service and left ATF alone. No noise yet, and fairly confident the problem may be solved.

I will update if not the case, but this may be a good pointer for anyone else. This fix cost 500ml of fluid. I gather, this level is not always checked at Porsche necessarily, due to the extra effort gaining access..

Thanks for advice received here, certainly helped me out.


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Old 03-16-2011, 05:44 AM   #7
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If the whining appears after the engine warms it maybe the AOS. What happens is when the AOS starts to go bad it will suck air around the front crank shaft seal...that's how mine did. I would suggest removing the front engine cover behind the seat and listen for the noise then disconnect the belt and if the noise is still there around the crank the it's the AOS.

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Old 03-23-2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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Appreciate the input. However, still no more noise, so power steering fluid it was!

Cheap to try and eliminate if anyone else suffers the sound of doom!
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #9
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Sorry for major bump, but could you please listen to this and let me know if the noise is similar to what you experienced? What a relief for you that it was only a power steering top off that was needed..

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Old 10-14-2015, 05:23 AM   #10
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Coopstar - Just curious, can you recall if you noticed the noise was more pronounced while turning the steering wheel?
You're post has given me hope that I may not need major work ;-)

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