2002 VW Passat 1.8T GLS Making "Playing card against bicycle spoke sound" only when de-celerating?


Asked by Oct 20, 2012 at 04:49 PM about the 2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Noticed this after I bought the car at a used car place. Car will make a "Playing card against bicycle spoke" kind of ticking sound only when decelerating around the 20-40 MPH range, beyond that, sound goes away, and car sounds OK. Also, when this sound occurs, the car seems to decelerate more harder or quicker rather than smoother so to say (as if something is applying resistance to the car making it slow down slightly quicker only when this noise occurs in the 20-40 mph range). This noise happens if I am pressing brakes or not pressing brakes, although I notice it more when letting the car slow down itself without pressing the brakes as then the car stays within the 20-40 mph range deceleting longer. This sound seems to be coming from front engine area. I know this is not normal at all, I have owned many cars, this is a 1st for me to hear this noise. I imagine it to be a part of the car not spinning right maybe only in that range of speed?? If something was lodged or stuck somewhere like a rock as I have read elsewhere on forums, I would imagine I would hear the noise at all times. I don't hear this noise when idle or when accelerating at all. Car works OK otherwise. Check engine light came on few days ago though for "Secondary Air Injection - Incorrect Air Flow". Not sure if this is related or not, I wouild not be surprised if so. Any suggestions on what this ticking/clicking sound might be? Car only has 95,000 miles on it. I would not expect these kind of issues so soon, yet then again, car is a 2002. Thanks everyone.

7 Answers


okay a few things to check.....one are any light indicators illuminating during the noise? is the transmission, auto, manual, or Shift-tronic...does it happen an ALL road surfaces, or do you only remain on asphalt? (thinking it is the anti-lock brake system activating, dis activating, as 30+ miles an hour it activates, and won't below 30. so it may be faulty, and you would hear a form of tapping sound similar....many people don't think to call a dealership, VW and pick the service writers brain for common faults, or occurances, which they (pending professionalism), are usually helpful.

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I have only drove the vehicle on normal streets, asphalt (freeway and city streest). Usually only hear the sound on normal city streets as that is when the sound bounces off other cars next to me at that lower rate of speed. Have not drove on dirt roads as of yet. It is an automatic transmission. There have been no light indicators as of yet when the sound happens (before, during, or after). The only light to show itself lately out of no where is the check engine light. I took the car to a mechanic for a code read & it was only a P0411 code for the "Secondary Air Injection - Incorrect Air Flow". I never thought to think that the anti-lock brake system could be faulty. There are no other indicator lights shown though and no other check engine codes have been pulled from the vehicle (so far). I surely will have to pick the brains of a VW professional here soon (that is an excellent idea). I have searched online for similar issues on other Passats and have found nothing comparable. I doubt I am the only one that has had an issue like this though. Just hoping it is not a major or costly repair as I just bought the vehicle 30 days ago at a used car dealership and barely made the 1st car payment, let alone have not even received the license plate in the mail yet. Lucky me.


be very aware of the used car laws, i assume, a carfax was not completed pre-sale? another idea, (shooting in the dark here), if possible, have another person, drive the car, with you on the outside, though not evident from inside at low speeds, may still exist, when they drive make them cut the wheel, all the way to the left, and go in a circle, then repeat to the right, then straight... as a clicking may be a cv joint/axle about to break, it too would not throw a code, and a used dealer would not replace such a thing, just throw a new boot and regrease it, to get it by....let me know if i can help any further....


I do not drive that particuar make or model but once there was such a sound that came from a timing chain and tensioner spring coming together.That was on a different decade and heard at idle speed as i recall.Going by the code generated though could it be some thing in the air intake or any mechanical pump,I confess i am not familiar with your car at all.Hope for your sake it is not an expensive fix.


yes the secondary air pump will pulsate and thud, when not working correctly, but it should do it at idle, when you first start, or 30 seconds into it, and shut off after 2 or 3 minutes, sounds more like a compressor activating, disactivating, but that is what it is doing....

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A carfax was completed and showed no issues previously what so ever. Also a pre-sale bumper to bumper car inspection performed by a mechanic showed nothing wrong. I am assuming they didn't notice this noise though or just didn't want to point it out? On another forum, someone suggested it might not be the ABS system because the sound does not occur when I am pressing the brakes... yet then again, I am confident that it might be the issue anyways, as the "resistance" type of feel seems to be a brake system situation as brakes obviously would make the vehicle slow down slightly more. I will have someone drive the car for me and I will listen from the outside as well, & do the suggestion of cutting the wheel all the way left, busting a circle, and then repeat to the right and see what happens. I will post the results later. If it is a timing chain/tensioner spring coming together, that would also be an issue that would make sense for this situation. The sound does not occur when I first start the car, or when idle, or 30 seconds into it. Only when decelerating. Another forum suggested I also try to put the car into neutral when this sound occurs and see if it continues or goes away. I will have to try this as well, and will post results. Sounds more and more like I will just have to take to a VW pro and get this thing fixed. I don't like the sound as it is not good sounding! I just want this car to go smooth! Thanks again everyone for the help. Will be back with further results or info on what happens!

1 people found this helpful.

the timing chain sound will go away when accelerating.

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