Engine grinding noise

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  #1  
Old 04-24-17, 07:23 PM
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Engine grinding noise

My car is 15 years old and has 198000 miles on it. VW Jetta. Had no problems but around 190K things started going bad. I think it's just wear and tear.

So I noticed the temp gauge on the car was high and it started smoking. Pulled the car over and got it towed to my mechanic (I posted about this before here). Pipe had a leak, the smoke was steam, but he replaced the radiator.

Was no issues for maybe 3 mo since then but then the grinding sound started. I took it to the mechanic, he did a check and said it's in the engine compartment and gave me a choice. If he had to open the engine up and look at it, it would cost more than the car is worth. He basically told me to get rid of the car.

I kept driving it. The noise was there. But as time went on it got louder and louder. Like this grinding sound. Then maybe a few days ago I smelled something burning from the car. More like a sulfur smell. Then the battery light came on in the car. I had the alternator replaced maybe 2 years ago.

Before I decide to let the mechanic look at it or sell /donate the car, would you experts know what is going on? When the raditor had the issue, did it affect something in the engine maybe? And that sulfur burning smell related to this or something else?

I don't feel safe driving the car. Junk place only will give me $150 for it. I may donate as i'll get a better deal. Car looks great outside and inside. I kept it up really well. Just seems like it's on it's last legs.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-24-17, 07:35 PM
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1. ac clutch.
2. a pulley. Bearing went bad and it's metal on metal. Likely idler pulley and it resulted in loose belt and low charge from alternator.
I had idler pulley replaced twice on 5.3L Vortec. Something about it sitting crooked on the head and never aligning with belt right.
 
  #3  
Old 04-25-17, 01:00 AM
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Could it be the water pump?

Regardless, a Jetta at 190k is probably worth just getting rid of. Appreciate that you may not want to hear that. Why not try get a good deal part-ex'ing it? Car dealerships will often give you more than it's worth just to get you on a new car deal, could probably squeeze an extra $100 or so out of them.
 
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Old 04-25-17, 03:19 AM
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Find a new mechanic. He could have spent 5 min with a stethoscope and possibly saved you all this hassle. You don't have to open an engine to be able to make a good guess as to the problem, after you've eliminated all the pullys, A/C clutch, waterpump, etc...you can listen at different points on the engine to find if it's bearings, lifters, piston slap, etc.

I agree with ukrbyk. You can probably open the hood, see the belt is burned up or gone and spin the pullys to check them (belts need to be off). A/C clutch should turn pretty easy also if not engaged or frozen.
 
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Old 04-25-17, 04:25 AM
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I agree with both Vic & Igor. Might need to replace car, but probably need a new mechanic. Sounds like he just didn't want to work on it. As Igor stated, idler pulley or maybe tensioner bearing or other accessory bearing. Shouldn't have taken much labor to narrow it down. Pull the belt(s) and free spin the various rotating parts to listen for abnormal noises.
 
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Old 04-25-17, 03:39 PM
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thanks everyone. I too am leaning on getting rid of it. I can't rely on it to get me to work or do stuff w/ the kids on the weekends. It would be horrible to get stranded with kids somewhere on the highway or even worse.

I will get a 2nd opinion then. Water pump is good, at least my mechanic checked that.

So say it is the pulley/bearing etc... Conservatively how much would it cost to fix? Are we talking something like $200? Or more like $500 - $1000. If it's $300 and up I probably won't want to go thru with it.
 
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Old 04-25-17, 04:43 PM
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Depends on your area and how the mechanics work, but I would think no more than 1 hr labor and parts cost. Probably less than $150. If that's all it is of course...

If you are talking about a frozen A/C clutch or bad compressor, then you'll be selling/donating it it.
 
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Old 04-25-17, 08:32 PM
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If it's frozen AC comp, buy belt made for non AC engine and bypass AC. Some cars you can't though. So it depends.
Pulley bearing is below $20. New belt is about same. Pulley replacement is, depending where it's stuck on the motor, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hr replace DIY. Find a buddy with tools and decent hands. Maybe some good food.

Fix the car if it's what we think and rid of it. NEVER buy German again. Buy Toyota. Be happy.
 
  #9  
Old 04-26-17, 09:05 AM
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Fix or not

The old "cost more than its worth" argument probably applied long before now. The issue is for a modest cost can you get another say 6 months of use. A new or newer car has ongoing needs and related depreciation, so the economic issue is whether the repair cost is more than the total average monthly cost of running a newer car.

A grinding sound is a bearing. Sounds to me like the alternator bearing or a related idler pulley bearing has gone. Not a big deal to replace, and could occur on a car with much lower mileage. The engine may have only one serpentine belt, so could be the ac or water pump bearings if they are all on the same system. A rebuilt alternator can fail, they do not always replace the bearing in a rebuild if it is done cheaply. None of these items are unique failure item to the VW.

Your mechanic should not have had to "tear down the engine" for something relating to the belt/charging system which this obviously is. Now that the item has failed it should be easy to pinpoint, so just do so and get it fixed if the rest of the car has been well maintained.

The only exception for me in the keep or scrap debate is if the body and especially the suspension points are corroded seriously. Everything mechanical can be fixed. Depending on which engine you have, that year of Jetta can go on forever, trying to get another 50,000 out of it is not crazy if you like the car.
 
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