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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there!

Relatively experienced amateur mechanic here...I've done my MDX timing belts, control arms, adjusted valve lashings, etc. However, I have a new problem with my lovely silver 2003 MDX, and I can't quite figure it out.

About a month and a half ago, I started my MDX and with the start came this new low frequency whistle/whine that only gets more intense when you step on the gas. It doesn't get louder per se, but the frequency increases. It sounds like it's coming from the back of the engine compartment...but I can't quite figure out what it would be. Prior to this, I had taken off the valve cover heads to out on some new spark plug coil gaskets and valve cover seals...but the whistle only came about a month and a half after I opened it up. I guess it could be related, I just hope it's not.

I hate taking it into the shop...the last time I did they just changed a spark plug and spark plug coil after telling them I did all that and it ended up being the valve lashings (the exhaust lashings were all super tight!!).

If you have any insight, I'd love to hear it! Thank you!
 

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There are a host of things that can cause a noise that's correlated with RPM - basically anything inside the engine, or being turned by it (including belt tensioners, water pump, power steering pump, etc.). Your description isn't really succinct enough to narrow it down much, but what I found to be a very useful (and cheap!) tool is a mechanic's stethoscope. They're literally just a few bucks from Harbor Freight, and with it you can poke around and identify the actual source of a noise. For example, touch the alternator with the probe, and if you hear the noise loud and clear, you've found your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats a great idea. I changed the water pump with the timing belt, so hopefully it's not whining. It sounds like it's coming from behind the engine somewhere, or on the back left upper side (where the serpentine belt goes). I'll get a mechanics stethoscope and check it out though.
 

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I think I have the same issue. Do you also hear it when you let go of the gas and are slowing down. For example you're going 30 mph and let go of the gas and between 5-15 mph you hear a low whine? I took my car to my mechanic and he checked everything out and said it could be coming from the water pump but I decided to just leave it since I have my radio on and don't hear it.
 

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I think I have the same issue. Do you also hear it when you let go of the gas and are slowing down. For example you're going 30 mph and let go of the gas and between 5-15 mph you hear a low whine? I took my car to my mechanic and he checked everything out and said it could be coming from the water pump but I decided to just leave it since I have my radio on and don't hear it.
Yes, it's basically there all the time, it's just a super low frequency whistle/whirr/whine. It seems to go away after the car warms up a bit, but I keep forgetting to check that for sure. I'll check it tonight and repost if it goes away after driving home from work.
 
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