I have a 2000 Saturn LW2 Wagon. It's making a loud ticking sound under the hood (best I can describe is like bolts in a blender) and I recently noticed a burning smell. Also, the power steering has started "whining" really bad. It's kinda scary! What could this be?
Sounds like you have two different things going on. The whining could be the power steering fluid is low due to a leak. The engine noise is typical if low oil pressure due to low oil level because of a leak. Either one of those fluids will cause a burning smell.
First check the oil level before you drive it any further. If it is low, the engine will be seriously damaged if you continue driving it like that. Have a mechanic look at it to see what is leaking. If it is repaired right away you might prevent needing a very costly engine rebuild or replacement.
April, 18, 2011 AT 9:22 PM
Hey caradiodoc how have been?Haven't heard from you in while. My take on this one is the power steering noise is probably a low fluid condition two places the commonly leak on those cars is the power steering pump front seal which the seal is replaceable also the rack and pion which would be worse case. As far as the noise in the engine I would check the oil level but you could have a driven part from the timing belt or the drive belt making noise. Check the oil level then you could try popping the drive belt off that drives the power steering etc and see if the noise goes away. As far as the timing belt goes that year L model with the V6 till 2002 has been known for bad timing belt tensinoers also bad water pumps. Let me know what you find.
April, 18, 2011 AT 9:51 PM
Okay, I just checked both the oil and power steering. Power steering is low, will get that filled ASAP. But the oil level is good, and oil is still a good color. That's all I've found out thus far.
April, 18, 2011 AT 9:52 PM
I apparently forgot to mention that the ticking noise only occurs when the car is in motion. When it's just parked and idling, it sounds just fine.
April, 18, 2011 AT 10:09 PM
Alright that was a important thing to leave out that it makes noise only when moving. It sounds like your describing a bad axle joint does the noise get louder when turning left or right?If so look under your car for grease around the back of the front wheels.
April, 18, 2011 AT 10:15 PM
Power steering is less serious than engine oil. You can drive it like that but eventually, if ALL the fluid runs out, the pump will overheat and be ruined.
Saturntech9 mentioned the pump seal. Someone else just had the same issue about a week ago. If that is leaking, power steering fluid can spray onto the belt and engine. You'll have a puddle on the ground just inside the right front tire. That would be a relatively inexpensive fix if it gets handled before the pump gets damaged.
Hi saturntech9. I've been extremely pretty good. Hope you are too.
April, 18, 2011 AT 10:16 PM
It doesn't sound like an axle joint issue. I had that problem in my last vehicle. It sounds like it's in the engine compartment. Close to the dash, not down low like the axle. And it doesn't get worse or better when I turn.
April, 18, 2011 AT 11:00 PM
With the car only in motion and the noise is coming from the dash area doesn't make sense. That would more like a axle wheel bearing transmission noise etc.