Weird Sound from Dashboard … ?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  billnparts 1 year, 6 months ago.

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    This may sound weird (no pun intended) but seriously, every time I activate the car’s battery and ignition switch, I hear a VERY faint kind of crinkling, ticking, tinkling sound from somewhere in the instrument panel.  It’s so faint, in fact, that I can only hear it if the garage door is closed and the engine’s off.  It’s not my imagination, though, because under those conditions I hear it every time.  I’ve been hearing it for weeks but at first I figured I was imagining it, then I just ignored it because I’m so sick of problems with my car … but it doesn’t go away and now I’m getting scared of my car burning up and taking the house with it.

    It’s simple.  I turn on the ignition, I hear it.  I turn it off, I don’t.  My ears can’t identify the sound to anything in particular — the instrument panel has the ignition switch/light switch (MG TD duplicate part), switch for wipers, switch for driving lights, and gauges for oil pressure, oil temperature, volts, and gas gauge.  It would be easier if something wasn’t working right but for once everything is working properly.  It’s not related to the lights, at least not directly, because it happens whether the lights are on or off.  I could guess that it’s related to the voltmeter, but my ears aren’t that good and I can’t figure out why a voltmeter would make noises.  It’s certainly not related to the heater or the engine cooling down, because I don’t have a heater and it happened just now with the engine probably 40 degrees in the garage.  Very weird.

    I have a master battery on-off switch that stays “off” when I’m not using the car, so I should be safe enough when it’s just parked in the garage, but I’m worried it’s an omen of bad things to come when I’m out driving (my car, after all, isn’t named “Murphy” for nothing).  Have any of you experienced anything like this?  Is this something I need to be concerned with?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  johnsimion.



    If you have a mechanics stethoscope try puting the probe on each of the gauges in the dash. Or as my grandfather taught me put a screwdriver on each gauge and put the handle to your ear. If the noise is caused by a vibration the noise should be transmitted through the screwdriver to your ear. Use a thin shaft screwdriver as larger ones that can be used to located a noisy tappet will dampen the vibration. As the engine is not running with exception of volt meter and fuel gauge the indicators in the other gauges should not have moved. As analog gauges use a bimetal strip and differential expansion to change the position of the gauge needle what you may be hearing is the gauge mechanism. If you have a blower, check the casing because on my fan there are two + wires connected. One is switched and the other is wired to the fuse panel. Initially thought that fan was a two speed unit but such was not the case. If fan is suspected pull the fuse to see if noise is eliminated.
    Your wife/girlfriend must get frustrated when she has nothing to contribute in talks with her friends about you not listening or hearing when she is talking to you. Mine is threatening to give me a hearing test for Christmas

    David B Dixon
    Port Perry ON CA




    John. Just to be safe you might want to go back behind the instrument panel and make certain there is not a loose wire or a hot wire really close to a ground point. Not sure if your TDr is VW based but if so and you’re running a stock system, the only noise you should hear when you turn on the key is the fuel solenoid opens and that sound is a solid click. My .02 cents worth.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack




    If there’s no smell/smoke it’s probably good…




    You might also begin to pull wires from the fuse panel one at a time while it’s making the noise. Once the noise disappears you’ve identified the circuit that it’s on.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

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