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Fixing VW turbocharger rattling noise

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Fixing VW turbocharger rattling noise

Customers may complain of a rattling noise from the engine or exhaust area while accelerating from 1,800-3,000 rpm. This applies to all 2008-2010 VW vehicles equipped with 2.0L (CBFA, CCTA) turbocharged engines.

In order to complete proper diagnosis and ensure that the noise is coming from the turbocharger, use the following procedure:

1. Ensure that there is no physical internal or external damage to the turbocharger. If damage is observed, continue diagnosis and repair as necessary. If no damage is observed, proceed to step 2.

2. Test drive the vehicle to duplicate and familiarize yourself with the noise. Noise can typically be duplicated by driving up a moderate incline, beginning at 35 mph in 4th gear (manual or automatic transmission) and accelerating through the rpm range of 1800-3000 rpm under moderate to heavy throttle. Naturally, obey all traffic laws.

3. Once you have confirmed and familiarized yourself with the noise, attach a 2-ounce wheel weight to the wastegate actuator rod (figure 1) and take the vehicle for another test drive.


If, after attaching the weight to the actuator rod, the noise is quieter or has changed in pitch, DO NOT replace the turbocharger. Remove the weight, create a VTA ticket in ElsaWeb and contact the Volkswagen Technical helpline at 800-678-2389.

If, after attaching the weight to the actuator rod, the noise has not changed, remove the weight and continue diagnosis and repair as necessary.

NOTE: Because of exhaust gas pulsations, the wastegate flap and actuator rod vibrate at the introduction of boost pressure.

NOTE: Use caution when diagnosing the origin of the noise. Although the noise may be originating from the turbocharger, it can be amplified through resonance to the catalytic converter and can be mis-diagnosed as a loud converter.

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