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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any thoughts on exactly what the whining sound in these videos is (hopefully you can hear it)? It has become very pronounced since yesterday. It sounds like it's coming from the driver's side of the engine, so my guess is it's something difficult or expensive like the timing belt/water pump.


 

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Driver's side is the transaxle and from the video, the noise is from the passenger side. Most likely, the serpentine belt and tensioner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Driver's side is the transaxle and from the video, the noise is from the passenger side. Most likely, the serpentine belt and tensioner.
It's possible, my hearing isn't the greatest and it's not easy to locate a given sound under the hood because of how loud the MultiAir is. Well, that's at least a lot easier than the timing belt. Do you happen to have the procedure for replacing the tensioner pulley for the 1.4T?
 

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It's possible, my hearing isn't the greatest and it's not easy to locate a given sound under the hood because of how loud the MultiAir is. Well, that's at least a lot easier than the timing belt. Do you happen to have the procedure for replacing the tensioner pulley for the 1.4T?
I might have posted that procedure before. I'm away from home and the FSM for a week. If you can't find it, I'll post then.
Edit:
Look at the tensioner and figure out how to loosen the belt. Slide the belt off and then turn each accessory pulley by hand. Listen for any bearing noise.
 
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man that thing sounds like a diesel with all that ticking and noise. I would say that it could also be a belt, have you changed the belt from the oem belt?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
man that thing sounds like a diesel with all that ticking and noise. I would say that it could also be a belt, have you changed the belt from the oem belt?
Yeah, with the hood open it sounds a lot like a small VW diesel. That's the biggest flaw with MultiAir. Well, that and it has more failure points than a camshaft.

I have a new belt and tensioner on order that I should get this week. The OEM belt looks to be in perfect condition visually, but whatever, it's a cheap part and I have to remove the old one anyway. The car is currently parked until I get this sorted out (the noise seems to get worse every time I start it). I'm really just hoping it's something on the accessory belt and not the water pump or timing belt tensioner pulley. Replacing the timing belt on the 1.4T Dart is a big job, with a number of steps that just don't seem obvious (like disconnecting or removing all 3 engine mounts and fully draining the cooling system). It's not beyond my abilities, but it's not the kind of thing you can do in your driveway with Canadian winter approaching. So if that's the problem, I will probably have to suck it up and pay the dealership to do it, because I don't want my car parked until May. I have no issues with my local dealer, they've been good to my car when they've had it, but their labor charge is obviously high. The thing is, the Dart is not a very common car here, and I don't expect most independents have done a timing belt replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Driver's side is the transaxle and from the video, the noise is from the passenger side. Most likely, the serpentine belt and tensioner.
So how freely should the tensioner pulley turn? I managed to get the belt off, and the tensioner pulley on the car spins a lot more freely than the new one I ordered. Also, I managed to break a completely unrelated line on the top of the engine (it's the hard plastic evap line that connects to the intake and cold side pipe, it must have gotten more brittle because it just snapped when I accidentally pushed a bit on it while I was trying to get a look at the pulleys from above) so I can't even fire up the car to see if it stops making the noise without the serpentine belt. There's another week and $70 wasted (it's on backorder). Irritating, but at least I'm not without a vehicle, having my not-so-beloved Grand Caravan and all.
 

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Are you getting your parts online or through a local dealer? Sometimes eBay may have better prices. Did you try rotating the other accessory pulleys? A new part will be tighter. Any wobble or bearing noise is what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you getting your parts online or through a local dealer? Sometimes eBay may have better prices. Did you try rotating the other accessory pulleys? A new part will be tighter. Any wobble or bearing noise is what you're looking for.
This is Canada. Buying parts for a Dart online isn't really a thing here (and definitely not from eBay). I could have gotten it cheaper from Rock Auto, but I would have waited longer. I didn't have time to check all the other pulleys yet, I'll be doing that tonight. I was already 45 minutes late getting back to work from lunch. I was looking at the line that broke and I might be able to cobble something together to hook it back up so that I can at least start the car and see if it's making noise without the serpentine belt installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, it's not any of the pulleys on the serpentine. After cobbling up a solution for the broken line (I zip-tied an inch 3/8" ID tubing to it), I started the car without the serpentine belt and... it sounded exactly the same. At this point, I can only assume it's either the water pump or the tensioner for the timing belt. Now I need to decide what to do about it. I assume it's going to be an absurdly expensive dealer repair, but I don't trust an independent mechanic who may have never seen under the hood of a 1.4T Dart.

While I'd love to do the work myself (and maybe replace the engine/transmission mounts), it's probably something that would take me at least a couple of full days and, as they say, winter is coming. It was snowing this morning, and getting the serpentine belt re-installed wasn't made easier with my fingers getting stiff from the cold. I don't think waiting until May/June is a great idea either (my car would be sitting outside unused all that time).
 

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07 - Cooling / Accessory Drive / TENSIONER, Belt / Removal

1.4L

NOTE: The belt and tensioner can be removed from the top of the vehicle. Hoisting of the vehicle is not necessary.

1.Remove the air cleaner assembly (Refer to 09 - Engine/Air Intake System/AIR CLEANER/Removal)

CAUTION:
Do not let the tensioner arm snapback to the fully extended position, severe damage may occur to the tensioner.

2.Rotate the belt tensioner center bolt (2) counterclockwise.
126778

3.Remove the serpentine belt (3).

4.Remove the tensioner mounting bolt (1).

5.Remove the tensioner from the vehicle
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update: I've replaced the vacuum line I broke and ran the car for a while to make sure everything was seated properly. No problems there, but the noise is louder than ever, and I'm pretty sure it is coming from the driver's side toward the back of the engine, where the arrow is pointing.

126820


I also took a couple more videos. I really wish the MultiAir clatter wasn't so infernally loud, it makes it really hard to identify other noises. You will notice the sound is different in the second video. It changed suddenly a few seconds after I stopped recording the first one. I'm sort of losing my mind over where this sound is coming from. The noise increases in pitch with engine RPM like a pulley, but it just doesn't sound like it's coming from where the belts and pulleys are.


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just bumping this to see if anybody has any suggestions about the source of the noise. If I can't even sort out what the problem is, I'm certainly not going to trust myself to start tearing anything apart.
 

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The brake vacuum pump is on that side driven by the camshaft. Another possibility is the hydraulic pump motor for the DDCT. If you have a piece of garden hose, you could use it like a stethoscope to listen more directly by placing one end at your ear and the other end on different areas like the pump motor or the vacuum pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The brake vacuum pump is on that side driven by the camshaft. Another possibility is the hydraulic pump motor for the DDCT. If you have a piece of garden hose, you could use it like a stethoscpe to listen more directly by placing one end at your ear and the other end on different areas like the pump motor or the vacuum pump.
I finally scheduled taking the car to the stealership tomorrow... and I now know exactly what the problem is. I needed to put gas in it because it is desperately low, so my daughters and I made the fraught journey to the gas station tonight. I started the car (which I have been doing periodically) and it had a CEL. Interesting. More interesting was that it was P1CC0 "Hydraulic Pump Stuck OFF, Error intermittent". Even more telling was that it is now very obvious that the problem is the hydraulic pump for the shifting mechanism on the DDCT. The sound (which is now really, really awful) is now not directly matched to RPM, but noticeably changes while shifting and disappears entirely at a very specific power level (I was driving it like everything was made of glass, which is... not normal for me at all). I suppose this is better than a timing belt, but still... I wish it wasn't winter because I could otherwise fix this myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sooo... What do y'all think a Dart with a blown transmission and a non-functional convergence telematics module is worth as a parts car? The dealer drained the transmission fluid and confirmed that something has failed internally, leaving chunks of metal behind. The only viable option (since a replacement is $10K just for the transmission, never mind labor) would be for them to tear it down and figure out what it needs to be rebuilt (can a C635 DDCT even be rebuilt?). The diagnostic on that alone is $800.00, and the rough ballpark estimate would be $4,500.00 in parts and labor. My Dart has seen the last of the open road, it would seem.

PS. I guess all the DDCT haters out there were right after all. Sorry that I ever doubted you.
 

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The internals are more like a manual transaxle. Manual transaxles can be rebuilt if the case hasn't cracked. Or you can try to find a junkyard DDCT. The internals do not usually fail. From what I have seen on this forum, it's the electronic solenoids on the valve body and pump motor that fail most often. Your valve body can be swapped. There is a company in Canada, MLR Engineering, that makes a replacement pump. Not sure of their cost but most likely less than a dealer. The only thing you would need from a dealer would be resetting the flywheel.
I would be willling to share the parts of the manual that you would need, just post what you need.
 

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Sorry to hear that man. You've been a part of this community a long time.

I would check out local junkyards and see what they have in stock. That's what I would do if I was in your shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The internals are more like a manual transaxle. Manual transaxles can be rebuilt if the case hasn't cracked. Or you can try to find a junkyard DDCT. The internals do not usually fail. From what I have seen on this forum, it's the electronic solenoids on the valve body and pump motor that fail most often. Your valve body can be swapped. There is a company in Canada, MLR Engineering, that makes a replacement pump. Not sure of their cost but most likely less than a dealer. The only thing you would need from a dealer would be resetting the flywheel.
I would be willling to share the parts of the manual that you would need, just post what you need.
Yeah, I have to say that I was not expecting "your transmission is toast and needs to be replaced". It doesn't explain the P1CC0 "hydraulic pump stuck OFF" error I got yesterday, for one thing. It shifts without any issue (besides some change to the horrible noise during shifting) and feels normal in every gear (it got up to 6th gear on the way to the dealership this morning), and there's no "SERVICE TRANSMISSION" message that would be indicative of one of the electronically-controlled ancillary systems like solenoids and valve bodies failing. What are your thoughts metal chunks in the fluid drained from the gearbox? I wish I could see these metal pieces to tell you more about them, but I have to assume a dealership service department knows what is indicative of internal damage and what falls within the realm of normal wear. I don't get the sense that they're trying to rip me off, they don't really seem to think it's necessarily a good idea to bother getting this car fixed and they agreed, a transmission rebuild is worth more than the car itself.

Anyway, I've called the service manager who I spoke to earlier and told him to not do any more work and to call me back about giving me my car back as-is with just the initial diagnostic fee I agreed to pay (the transmission fluid better have been refilled, since they drained it for diagnostic purposes). I haven't really decided what to do, and need to cogitate about it some more. I also still have the issue of being stuck working on my car outdoors with unpredictable winter weather.

Sorry to hear that man. You've been a part of this community a long time.

I would check out local junkyards and see what they have in stock. That's what I would do if I was in your shoes.
I've been here since November 2013, I think. I've owned my Dart since May 2013. This is the first time it has had any serious troubles, but wow, it's not easing into golden years. The dealership already tried to source a junkyard DDCT after finding out the price of a new one is $10 grand. They found 3, but they all had over 250,000 kms on them, which is more than double my car's mileage and the service manager said he would never sell something like that. Remanufactured units just don't exist.They're not being jerks about it, and I don't have any reason to think they're trying to rip me off, since they agree it might not be worth fixing at a price higher than the value of the car. Like I said above, I don't need to make any hasty decisions, and can think on what I want to do.
 

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Junkyard transmissions around here are $125-$150 if you pull it. Another alternative is to buy outright a whole wrecked Dart from a place like Copart.com or directly from an insurance adjuster. I have seen some really low mile Darts on Copart sell for fairly low prices. With a whole wrecked Dart, you might recoup some of your money parting it out or have spare parts for yours for the near future. I have been that route when there were two teenage drivers in my home. Still driving one of those Neons.
 
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