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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my 2006 S40 (with 78k miles) makes this strange whining/creaking noise from time to time. it started three weeks ago, and now it only happens when the car has been driven for a while and is warmed up. the noise is continuous and happens as long as the engine is running, while driving or while stopped. it only changes frequency or stops for a second when i turn the steering wheel suddenly, and then it starts again.

today close to my house, the car suddenly started squeaking/whining, and i could take my phone out and record short videos of it (see the YouTube video). unfortunately, the noise is not very loud, so you have to use headphones and turn the volume up up up. it is very obvious once you hear it.

to me, it sounded like it was coming from the passenger-side of the car, and maybe (just maybe) from the back of the car. also, i was in the traffic for a couple of minutes, and the quality of the noise changed. it became sharper and higher in frequency. and while i was in my parking lot, trying to back into my spot, the car suddenly died and all the console lights turned on! i turned the key to the off position, and started the car, and it started right away, but now the CEL light is on. the problem with this noise is that once i turn the car off, it goes away and takes a while to come back.

i took the car to the mechanic twice once the noise happened three weeks ago, but both times, it never happened, so they could not tell me anything. but, the first time it happened, i thought it was coming from the back passenger-side, so i got suspecious that it's related to the fuel system (maybe the fuel pump?). so i got out of the car, and opened the gas tank cap (i could hear this suction noise coming from the gas tank, but i think that's normal?). after that, the CEL light came on when i turned the car on the next day, so the mechanic told me that "the CEL is on, and the code is about the fuel pressure sensor", and he wanted to change that. having known that i had opened the gas tank cap before which would set off the pressure inside the gas tank, i told him to just clear the code. the CEL never came on until today.

here is the video

what do you think it could be?
1. fuel system (pump? pressure sensor? but a sensor would not make noise!)?
2. power steering? (the car has been making very weak whining noises when moving the steering wheel since three years ago, but they were never this loud)
3. alternator? (i changed it under warranty two years ago at a Volvo dealer in the US, but i don't know if they put a new one or a remanufactured one which is now failing on me)

i'd rather not commit to an expensive repair at the dealer here or an independent shop unless i am fairly certain about the culprit. any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Did you happen to know what code it was? Like the number? Also, where do you live (state)?

It could be an issue with the fuel system, but like you said, the FPS wouldn't make a noise. Idk the characteristics of a dying fuel pump.

Power steering noises normally happen when you pull really hard from on side or the other on the steering wheel. You'll get a whine then. But for constant driving, that wouldn't happen.

And I doubt it's an alternator. Those things are pretty solid and you just got a reman. one.

I can't really hear anything in that video tbh. If you think it's power steering related, change out the fluid with a baster. It wouldn't be a bad idea if it's never been touched anyway.

Good luck! Hopefully someone will chime in with more info. If you give me the CEL code, I can look it up on VIDA for you for a process.
 

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On my phone, I can hear the whine without headphones. It really is an odd one! Super curious to find out what it might be.

How's the power steering pump? Any leaks between there and the rack that you can see? Maybe a pinhole in one of the lines or something....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you happen to know what code it was? Like the number? Also, where do you live (state)?

It could be an issue with the fuel system, but like you said, the FPS wouldn't make a noise. Idk the characteristics of a dying fuel pump.

Power steering noises normally happen when you pull really hard from on side or the other on the steering wheel. You'll get a whine then. But for constant driving, that wouldn't happen.

And I doubt it's an alternator. Those things are pretty solid and you just got a reman. one.

I can't really hear anything in that video tbh. If you think it's power steering related, change out the fluid with a baster. It wouldn't be a bad idea if it's never been touched anyway.

Good luck! Hopefully someone will chime in with more info. If you give me the CEL code, I can look it up on VIDA for you for a process.
they didn't tell me the code, but just said it's the related to the fuel pressure sensor. like i said, i had opened the gas tank cap, so that might have thrown the fuel pressure sensor off.

i agree with the power steering noise. i've had that whining noise when turning the wheel from side to side really hard. i took it to the dealer a couple of times while the car was under warranty, but every time, they said they could not replicate the noise. the steering fluid was flushed recently, and i checked it yesterday; it's very clean, and the level seemed okay to me.

to hear the noise, you should really turn the volume up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
On my phone, I can hear the whine without headphones. It really is an odd one! Super curious to find out what it might be.

How's the power steering pump? Any leaks between there and the rack that you can see? Maybe a pinhole in one of the lines or something....
i really do not know how to check for the leaks or where the rack is, for that matter...i don't have a jack or a ramp, so i can't go under the car. i can look at and around the power steering fluid reservoir.

i thought it was the fuel pump because it seems to me that the noise is louder at the back of the car.
i thought it was the power steering, because the noise changes as i turn the steering wheel to one side or the other.
i thought it was the alternator because the car died suddenly with all the console lights turning on at the same time.

i'm clueless!

EDIT: i don't know if this is the exact thing i have with my car or not, but the sound i hear is very similar to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrujElXRvcs (again, different cars, so i can't be sure)
 

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The check the rack for leaks, look at the inner tie rods under the boots. Peel the boots back and if there is fluid, you have a leak. Or look around where the steering wheel connects to the rack for wet spots or leaks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
but why would any of those leaks cause the car to shut down and die?
 

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Rack leaks would not.
 

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Sorcerer, I think you have multiple problems, and you're hoping to fix all with one repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
to me, it "sounds" like one single problem, most probably related to the fuel system. but thanks for your help...i really do appreciate your guys comments.
could anybody tell me whether the fuel filter in the 2006 S40 is inside the fuel tank or outside?
 

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It is inside the tank. You should get what the original CEL code was. It may not be because of the fuel cap like you think. It could be related to something else that is intermittent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
turned out to be the fuel pressure sensor. it was over-working the fuel pump, hence the noise.
the funny thing is that the mechanic said that the part Volvo sent him looked different than the faulty part that was on the car (which was a Volvo part as well)...
 

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The sensor is black for 2.4i and gray for turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ok, so the car has been running smoothly since the FPS was changed a couple of weeks ago. however, today when i turned the car on after a couple of days of resting in the garage, i realized that the RPM guage, which usually runs at ~2000rpm-2500rpm range when i cold start the car, did a sudden split-second drop to ~600rpm and then went back up instantly to ~2000rpm until the car warmed up in about 20 seconds or so. there was no stuttering, no shakeing, no sign of the car dying; it was just a sudden drop and ramp-up in RPM in less than a second. is that a sign that bad sign? has anybody encountered a similar behavior?
 
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