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Old 05-06-2009, 04:16 PM
ardenmd's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 37
Transmission Whining at idle

Finally got the 280SEL 4.5 up and running pretty good, but now I'm having issues with the transmission. Performed tranny fluid change with new filter and seals. The A/T switches gears well, no slipping of hard shifting, and no problems when the car is cold, but once driven for more than 15-20 minutes, the transmission starts making a whining sound. No noises in park, and no noises when actually moving, but when in Drive or Reverse and at a stop, it sounds like there is a woman screaming under the car. The noise comes on slowly after about 15 minutes of driving, when stopped at stop lights or in traffic, just a faint whistle at first, then with more stopping, to the point where people at looking at the car. I'm thinking this isn't good! Any opinions out there?

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Old 05-06-2009, 05:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 5,348
I betcha, looking at your two separate posts, it's a vacuum leak somewhere. Especially the "faint whistle at first" part. What happens when you take your foot off the brake pedal, essentially releasing the vacuum requirement of the brake booster?
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:18 PM
ardenmd's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 37
Possibly Clutch?

Braking or not braking doesn't seem to affect the noise. It is definitely coming from the transmission, when stopped and still in gear only. Again, no noise at first when driving, but after about 15 minutes (or once transmission is warm), start hearing a high pitched whining under the car only when stopped and still in gear. once it starts, each time i stop, the noise is louder and eventually starts to sound like grinding. If i switch into neutral or park, sound goes away. If i start to accelerate, sound goes away. But second I stop and in gear, sound returns, louder than the last time I stopped. Possibly clutch, seems like driveshaft isn't disengaging from A/T when stopped?
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:36 PM
pop & blow's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: rhode island
Posts: 208
whinning noise comming from transmission?

It,s the pump in the transmission making that noise, it has to be relative to the pump.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:08 PM
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Location: Florida / N.H.
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Check the level when Hot for over-fill......
A Dalton
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:41 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 758
Arthur is probably right, check the hot level of your fluid. Most folks assume the lower mark is the cold fill line but not so. The correct cold fill line is 30mm below the lower mark on the dipstick when measured at an ambient shop temp of 60F-80F, in other words, before the trans has warmed up at all after you have serviced it. Check and correct the fluid level right away before that pump gives up and fails outright because it is sucking air due to foamed up ATF.


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