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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last month or 2, my 2004 Mazda6 wagon has started making a whining sound for a short period of time immediately upon start-up. It also makes the same noise when shifted into gear from park or neutral. I only hear it when the car is completely cold and hasn't been running for a long period of time. If you wait 5 minutes after starting the car, it doesn't make the noise anymore when shifted into gear or if you restart it.

Anyone else experience this before? It seems like it might be related to cold weather, because it is started showing up more as the weather got colder. It almost sounds like the hydraulic pump is cavitating/sucking air for a brief amount of time.
 

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I would be more suspect of the power steering pump, they are good for making a loud hydraulic whine in the cold.
 

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If its turns out not to be the above I would check your idler/tensioner pullies, I know of a couple of cars that made a "wining" sort of noise when these started going bad.
 

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A loud squeal, meaning slipping belts, is a completely different noise than a hydraulic whine.



My 6 and my 2003 Durango both do it (hydraulic whine NOT belt slipping) when it is super cold out. I normally just let it run for a minute or so and it clears up and doesn't happen for the rest of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm 95% positive that it's the transmission, not the power steering pump or other pulleys. The whine only lasts about 5 seconds after start-up or after shifting into gear. If I start it, then let it warm-up for a few minutes, it's perfectly quiet going into gear. It has no relation to steering wheel position and I don't see how shifting the transmission into drive would induce a noise from the power steering pump.

It's been warmer here yesterday and today, and the noise has been quieter to almost non-existent. I imagine it will be worse again when the temperature drops on Tuesday.
 

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A loud squeal, meaning slipping belts, is a completely different noise than a hydraulic whine.



My 6 and my 2003 Durango both do it (hydraulic whine NOT belt slipping) when it is super cold out. I normally just let it run for a minute or so and it clears up and doesn't happen for the rest of the day.

Yes, that is a unique sound. Mine is an AC clutch bearing and it lasts about 1 second when starting stone cold...sometimes.


If it is indeed the transmission I suppose it could be a transmission input bearing. Does it change pitch if you accelerate the motor slightly? Do you keep up with transmission fluid changes?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If it is indeed the transmission I suppose it could be a transmission input bearing. Does it change pitch if you accelerate the motor slightly? Do you keep up with transmission fluid changes?
I can try to see if it changes with the motor acceleration, but it might be hard because the noise is gone only seconds after it starts or is shifted into gear. My last drain/refill was just under 3 years/30,000 miles ago, but it was only done once and wouldn't have removed all of the old fluid. I was thinking my first step to address this noise would be to do a drain and refill a couple times and see if it takes care of it.
 

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I can try to see if it changes with the motor acceleration, but it might be hard because the noise is gone only seconds after it starts or is shifted into gear. My last drain/refill was just under 3 years/30,000 miles ago, but it was only done once and wouldn't have removed all of the old fluid. I was thinking my first step to address this noise would be to do a drain and refill a couple times and see if it takes care of it.
My service manual lists both an oil pump and solenoid as a possible cause for whining noise in all gear selector positions at idle. In both instances it is persistent. Yours may be a result of nominal function and perhaps a fluid replacement would remedy it. That certainly would be the least expensive way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's become cold again outside, so I shot a quick video of a cold start (link below). I talked to a transmission shop and described the noise to them. They said new fluid most likely wouldn't solve a problem like this and recommended they do a basic lookover/diagnosis for $75 instead of throwing away new fluid at it.

 
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