Wheezing sound at cold start 98 - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:03 PM
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Wheezing sound at cold start 98

I've got a 98 E350 that's started making a wheezing sound, sounds a lot like a Red-Tailed Hawk call, descending in tone, only on first revolution of starting when cold. Sounds to me like a vacuum leak maybe? A buddy said it could be a belt slipping, and I guess it could sound like that too. So I changed the serpentine belt out, and it still makes that sound, so I guess it wasn't the belt (the old belt looked fine and had plenty of tension too).

I don't think it's the exhaust backpressure valve, because I disconnected the solenoid for that years ago. Also, it hasn't been cold enough for it to go on anyway.

Occasionally the sound comes back, but never after the engine is warm, and (so far) never more than like three times at a go.

Anyone else heard a sound like this? What was causing it?

Last edited by muhoo; 06-06-2014 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:52 AM
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The OBS have no EGR. And diesels don't have vacuum. If it's a whssshhh sound, accompanied by weak acceleration, goes away with full go-pedal pressure, it's the EBPV - exhaust back pressure valve.

Belt test - run the van BRIEFLY without the belt; see if sound persists.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:18 PM
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Sorry, I meant EBP valve, not EGR. I disconnected it years ago, so the wheezing isn't that. Acceleration is fine.

There' s definitely vacuum on this van, there's a vacuum pump which runs a number of systems. The sound reminds me of the sound of air being sucked in or escaping, a whistling sound, which made me think vacuum.

The no-belt idea is great, thanks, will try that the next time I cold-start it. If it still makes the sound, then I'll know for sure it isn't related to anything belt-driven (i.e. I can rule out A/C, alternator, water pump, vacuum pump, and power steering pump).

On a side note, I noticed the other day that the power steering system is leaking fluid, so maybe the noise is from there. I'll see if fixing that leak stops the noise.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:49 PM
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The vacuum pump provides boost for the power brakes, and "power" for the HVAC controls. But it's a pump; it's not generated by the engine. But yeah, if a hose is leaking, it would make noise (but you'd also expect a problem with either brake boost or HVAC).

If "red tail hawk" means it's something of a whine/screeching noise, then indeed it could be the power steering; when they get low on fluid, the pump tends to whine. Don't let that go; if the pump runs dry for too long, it'll seize right up, and take the belt with it. If the level in the pump is low, you could try topping it off and see if that quiets it down (for the time being). Is it leaking onto the belt, by any chance?
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