Odd noise in 240

Discussion in 'Volvo 240' started by hamlin001, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. hamlin001

    hamlin001 Guest

    Ok, I've seen this question asked a couple of times, but not with
    enough info to fully describe it so it could be answered.

    I have an 89 240 DL. A couple days ago it started making a strange
    whining noise when running at 50 mph and above. It is not a grinding
    noise like a bearing or brake pad. It is not the hum from a fuel pump
    issue. It is not the squeal of a belt slipping. It is more like an
    electric whine that comes from the front of the passenger side. Upon
    hitting 50 mph it starts like a small electric motor spinning up to
    high rpms until it gets to a steady high pitched whine. Then if I let
    off the gas, it sounds like it is spinning down. My wife compares it
    to the sound of a tiny jet landing when decelerating. When I try
    revving the engine, while parked, to an equivalent rmp I do not get
    the sound. I'm sure it's not the fuel pumps because I've just
    replaced both and am very familiar with the pump noise. I'm also
    familiar with belt squeals, brakes grinding and bearing noise and
    that's not the type of noise I'm hearing.

    This is stumping me so any help will be appreciated.
    hamlin001, Mar 7, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. hamlin001

    bfiske Guest

    Could be a universal joint. They make some weird noises.

    bfiske, Mar 7, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. hamlin001

    mjc13 Guest

    I'd guess a wheel bearing is going bad. You can test it by carefully
    doing lane change-type sideways turns while it's making the noise: if it
    gets louder going one way and softer the other, it's a wheel bearing.
    If, on the other hand, it gets worse when accelerating or decelerating,
    and lessens while going a steady speed, the driveshaft carrier bearing
    is the likely culprit. Universal joints are more likely to vibrate than
    make noise, at least at first.
    mjc13, Mar 7, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  4. hamlin001

    Jamie Guest

    Could it be tires?
    Jamie, Mar 7, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  5. hamlin001

    mjc13 Guest

    Tires would probably make the same noise at the same speed,
    regardless of of throttle. You seem to have a load-dependent noise.
    Frankly, the description puzzles me.
    mjc13, Mar 8, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  6. hamlin001

    mjc13 Guest

    Ok, after thinking it over I came up with two likely possibilities:

    1. The differential is low on oil, and/or the gears in it are worn.

    2. (More likely) the trailing arm bushings are worn, allowing the rear
    end to move forward and back slightly under load. When it moves back,
    the carrier bearing complains. Our 240 actually had this happen; I
    wouldn't have described the noise as you did, but I can see why you might.
    mjc13, Mar 8, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  7. hamlin001

    Tim McNamara Guest

    Is the heat on? On both my 1990 244 and my wife's 1993 245, there's a
    whistle or whine in the heating system, which generally only occurs at
    highway speeds. If I move the thermostat lever a bit it temporarily
    goes away.
    Tim McNamara, Mar 8, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  8. hamlin001

    hamlin001 Guest

    Thanks for the replies and the time and thought put into them.

    I apologize for the odd description I gave. I'm having an issue
    relating it because I've never come across it before. The more I
    listen to it the more it seems to sound like some kind of pressure
    leak. To describe it another way, which is still rather vague, is to
    liken it to a tea kettle. Once I've driven 50 mph or higher for a
    couple miles I hear a build up to a steady whining noise. If I
    release the throttle the whine slowly diminishes. Like taking a tea
    kettle that is whistling off the heat. To describe the actual noise
    the best I can do is compare it to the engine noise (the hum) you
    might hear through poorly wired radio speakers, only clearer and
    higher pitched. I know it seems juvenile but it sounds just like a
    tea kettle going off in my car.

    I thought about the radio, turned it off. Considered the air system,
    turned off the fan and closed the diaphragm for the outside air. I
    closed all the windows. Still get the noise.

    I keep coming back to it sounding like some kind of pressure leak.
    The problem with that is I can find no sign of any kind of leak much
    less one that only happens at high speeds.

    As for bearings, the sound is steady taking curves left or right, if
    that tells you anything. The rest of what you've described is beyond
    my knowledge so I can't confirm or discount it. Looks like I have
    some reading up to do.
    hamlin001, Mar 8, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  9. hamlin001

    Mr. V Guest

    Perhaps one of the vacuum hoses to the heater and related ducting is
    loose or has a hole in it.
    Mr. V, Mar 8, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  10. hamlin001

    mjc13 Guest

    You can probably rule out wheel bearings. That leaves you with a
    driveshaft carrier bearing complaining (they can do that for years
    without failing), or, another possibility, an alternator bearing that is
    just starting to go. We also had that happen, and the noise did *sort
    of* fit your description. Or it's something else entirely. ;-(
    mjc13, Mar 8, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  11. hamlin001

    Duane Guest

    Try this test. Pull the fuse (3#) and see if it goes away. Put the button
    controls on recirculate (Far right button only) to keep outside air from
    getting in and turning the fan.

    Even though the fan switch is off it still spins at a low speed.

    All my heater fan bearing failures in three 245's started with that whine.

    My 90 currently has a small exhaust gasket leak between the manifold and
    pipe leading to the cat that sounds the same. Only it goes away once
    everything is hot.

    Duane, Mar 8, 2007
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  12. hamlin001

    Tim McNamara Guest

    That is exactly the sound our cars make. When it's happening, try
    moving the slider for the heater.
    Tim McNamara, Mar 8, 2007
  13. hamlin001


    Aug 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    i know this post is old, but im having the same strange noise from my 89 240 wagon. was this ever resolved? if so, what was it?
    sugarship, Aug 1, 2015
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  14. hamlin001

    Luke D.

    Mar 18, 2017
    Likes Received:

    HI, WAS THIS ISSUE EVER RESOLVED? I along with many others are having the same exact issue, so was it in fact the carrier bearing on the drive shaft? How can we be certain, what are the other symptoms? or is this problem possibly related to not having an underpin on the bottom front since I like many others were to lazy to put it back on. Someone please help!! thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2017
    Luke D., Mar 18, 2017
    AlaskanPrincess likes this.
  15. hamlin001


    Aug 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Another Volvo owner (1993 245) having same problem --- that 'sound'! Luke D. - your post is almost a year old: did you resolve issue? And what was it? S.O.S.! Am so looking forward to more feedback ....
    AlaskanPrincess, Mar 10, 2018
  16. hamlin001

    Luke D.

    Mar 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Hi AlaskanPrincess,
    yes I solved the issue by simply putting some good quality grease around the center bearing area. try to get under the car well so that you have good access to it and spalm it around the area. But yes, thats where the noise is coming from certainly, that center bearing on the shaft
    Luke D., Mar 10, 2018
    Daniel Ebbeling likes this.
  17. hamlin001


    Dec 17, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Sounds like you need to replace driveshaft carrier bearing and housing. Take it to a Volvo expert!
    finnegan, Jan 9, 2019
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.