strange noise - help


Previous to today I had not driven my sprinter if a few weeks. I have been waiting for summer to figure out what all is wrong with it. Glow plug light has been on and off for 6 months. I decided to take it for a ride and all was going well until I heard a very strange howling/whining noise coming from the driver's side footwell. I stopped, got out and filmed the noise. Please look and listen to the video and tell me if you recognize this issue. Thanks in advance.

By the way
2003 Sprinter
199,985 miles
engine replaced under warranty at 98k by previous owner
intake recall performed 2 years ago

Tooth Fairy

Away with the fairies.
Alternator pulley?
In my little experience:

1.- Auxiliary bearings of the motor belt (tensioning pulley).

2 .- When I made the oil change to the hydraulic direction, by mistake I turned on the truck without oil, I heard a similar sound because there was no oil in the pump.

3.- With that noise, if it were the bearing of the water pump the water catch would be throwing water.

With a half-inch hose you put one end in one ear and with the other end you look for sound like a doctor with a stethoscope.
Last edited:


Erratic Member
Does the sound appear in the engine compartment, or only in the footwell/cabin?

If only inside the Sprinter, then i'd wonder if one of the relays attached to Fuse Block 1 (under the steering wheel) was "making and breaking" at a rapid rate (that's how buzzers are made).



Dick -
I think you are probably correct. I had a problem with my turn signals so I switched out the two relays at the bottom of fuse block 1 recently and the noise does seem to be more from the inside footwell area. I am going to mess around with the relays that I got off amazon and see if this fixes my new problem. relay.jpg
HELLA 965453041 Micro 10/20 Amp SPDT Relay
Is there anyone out there with good/bad experience with these relays?

Thank you all for the replies.


You were correct. The relays were making the noise. I pushed them in a bit more with a bit of a jiggle and the noise is gone.

Now I'm off to have the dealer change out my glow plugs.
I have the tall intake that came with the recall (don't remember if it is the same height as the old one) that I feel makes the replacing of glow plugs nearly impossible without removing the entire intake.

Thanks again.

Top Bottom