Clicking noise in engine....fan clutch??

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
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Dec 27, 2012
107
Busy night tonight here lol. Been putting this off but its time to dig into the pockets and get this taken care of. My Envoy XL SLT 4.2L I6 has a clickin noise from the engine. seems when you turn the wheel gets louder and louder. Took it to a GMC shop and they said the water pump has some play in it as well as the fan clutch. Total job to replace both is over $1100. Probably just buy the parts myself and take it to my friend and do it. Any thoughts if a bad fan clutch or water pump would be the result of this weird clicking noise. Comes from the front of the engine.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
That could be the case. you can move the fan a bit by hand(with the engine off of course) and probably will see some play where there should be little or none.

the deal is that when the water pump starts to go, more stress on the belt increases the noise. (like starting out, or stress on power steering pump) if you wait too long, the whole thing will quit and dump coolant out. then you are stuck.

if you are going to do the work, you may also want to go for a new thermostat and change out all the coolant, (cooler sensor optional, but you might want new hoses and a new serpentine belt)

research the fan clutch removal. quite a bit posted and a few videos. be careful you don't turn it into a new radiator project taking out the fan/clutch!

how many miles do you have?
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
104250 miles.....my friend is a audi tech and former GM tech. He replaced my idler pulley lil while back. Might have him do it or just take it to a regular auto shop local to me. i usually buy the parts myself and have them install it. Already have the thermostat, just need to jet the serp belt, water pump, coolant temp sensor and fan clutch. Is there any other parts needed to replace the fan clutch so I know what to put on my shopping list? LOL Thanks for your help bud!
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
I would think about getting new radiator hoses. you have to get one end of each one loose at least, and it makes sense to me to change them.

(not that there are lots of posts about the hoses leaking)

Don't forget the coolant. DEXCOOL.


at 100k, have you also changed spark plugs, and serviced transmission and the other drive train fluids? differentials and transfer case?
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
I got the Envoy with just about 100,000 miles. no idea if trans case and tranny service was done. Heard wives tales about the trans gettin messed up if you do the service if no one else did. Think Roadie said thats b.s. and to go ahead and do it anyways. If thats the case thats on the schedule as well.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
05EnvoyXL said:
no idea if trans case and tranny service was done.

If you depend on this vehicle to go back and forth to work and do important things in life...then I highly recommend you change these ASAP regardless if you think they have been done or not. You just don't know buying used unless you got some type of receipt to go along with the purchase.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
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Dec 27, 2012
107
Thats how i feel. i WANT to do it but everyone i run into whos been a tech at my job for over 20 yrs tell me the same thing....dont change it just make sure its topped off and never let the trans fluid get low. As of now I do not have any issues with the trans....when im coasting at 70 or so its at like 1500 rpms and doesnt seem to race or hesitate to go into gear. So should i just look into the fluid change and filter or have someone go in physically and clean out the entire trans of any debris.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Come on, you are 4 thousand miles over the recommended interval for Transmission service.


that is like 4%.


not like you are at 150k on a 30k inteval

I would drop the pan, clean it out, put a new filter in and five quarts of synthetic DEXRON VI

pretty much recommended service by the Generous Motors Company

of course if you find a pile of shavings inside, or if the fluid is burnt, that would be different.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
meerschm said:
Come on, you are 4 thousand miles over the recommended interval for Transmission service.


that is like 4%.


of course if you find a pile of shavings inside, or if the fluid is burnt, that would be different.

The trans fluid change interval for severe service is a surprisingly short 50k. This is how Roadie would describe it. Right Bill?

Lol. I assume the previous owner beat the shit out of the vehicle so proceed cautiously.

But take a look at the fluid color and wipe it on a white towel. This should tell you a lot.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
I hear ya dude. Im gonna go and get it done. Hell the trans runs like a dream right now, i cant imagine doing something good to it can wreck it lol.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
05EnvoyXL said:
I hear ya dude. Im gonna go and get it done. Hell the trans runs like a dream right now, i cant imagine doing something good to it can wreck it lol.

I was in the same boat here. My trans fluid was red and looked good when I bought the vehicle I thought the original owner took good care of it and changed the fluids regularly. But when I had the dealership fluid exchange done it turned to a light pink which is optimal and nominal. Light pink is what you want. A partial fluid change doing a pan drop and filter change will not get you to this point. Replacing alll the fluid right now is what I call a fresh start. A baseline for cleanliness and piece of mind.

There are a couple ways to get rid of all the old fluid. I recommend the dealer fluid exchange/flush.

You can do that now and then maybe say 6 months later do the pan drop and filter change or do the pan drop and the exchange later. Or do both now. I think the dealer quoted me around $200 for an entire fluid exchange plus filter replacement. If you are comfortable dropping the pan and changing the filter then do it yourself before getting the exchange done. Or just drop the pan a few time within say 6 months to reach a fairly similar result. In case you are wondering the manual says to drop the pan and change the filter every 50K.

Another thing to insist on if going to the dealer is to use only Dexron 6. It's a semisynthetic transmission fluid that was introduced in 2006 that is more suitable for our transmission. It dropped my transmission fluid temps by about 50 degrees. Setting aside the cost of 14 quarts of Dexron 6 (~$60-$70) which i would have had to pay for anyway, I basically had an entire flush done for ($110 minus $60) equals $50. Great deal if you don't like getting messy.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
I really appreciate your time with that last post. All of these cheesy shops just do a trans fluid swap and fill which doesnt sit well with me and the baby lol. Ill take it to a actual shop and def do the filter change as well. I gotta do my water pump and fan clutch first though. wanna take care of this annoying clicking sound in the engine first then trans service.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
http://www.extendedgmwarranty.com/owners-manual/gmc/2005-GMC-Envoy-XUV.pdf
worth a close read. normal transmission service at 100k, severe at 50k. the transfer case is always due at 50k.

not to be a wet blanket, but new DEXRON VI looks pretty red. if you don't believe me go buy a quart.
http://www.finalube.com/Product_Data_Files/Fina_Branded_PDF_Files/dexron_vi_pdf.pdf
http://www.castrol.com/liveassets/b...G/local_assets/downloads/p,q/pds_DexronVI.pdf
http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/dexron_vi.pdf

the basic spec is semi-synthetic, but you can buy full synthetic. (a buck or so more per quart)

agree that the water pump is way more important and immediate.

( I hope the pink stuff is probably fine, but is not the common spec for DEXRON VI)
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Thanks Mike. lot of info there. I really appreciate it. with the water pump, would this clicking or knocking noise in the front of the engine be related to a failing fan clutch or water pump or both? The GMC dealer wasnt too helpful in determing that.
 

mrphoenix80

Member
Jan 1, 2013
251
I would give it the wiggle test. If you wiggle the fan up and down you should be able to see the play and where it is comming from. Most of the fan clutch failures I have seen are electrical and set codes. So I suspect the water pump.

As for the trans service, a flush and filter is the way to go. As of 06 the standard fluid is now dextron VI. AND GM states that is the replacement for dexIII. So basically they say get rid of the dexIII and use VI.
I have had a fluid change finish a trans in the past, BUT it was having issues already. If you have a shifting problem and the fluid is dark and smells burned, a fluid change will either fix it or finish it (most likely the later).
However on a trans with no problems a flush has never hurt one that I have seen. I am at 98k and thinking it is time for some routine maintence. Plugs, transfer case and trans flushes coming soon. I should also do the front diff.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
I never heard the fan clutch click. you probably can find a u tube video with an example of one that does.

My water pump failed, sounded like a can of marbles, kind of. I heard the sound of a failing water pump first in the family Econoline van, just before it died when I drove it to a job interview when I was 17. what a mess and towing bill. mine failed while I was 500 miles from home, half way through vacation. I paid a local fella to change it out. I did the fan clutch a month or so later, but am not convinced there was really anything wrong with it. ( my ac is still flaky when it is around 100 and traffic is slow)


you have to pull the fan clutch to get to the water pump, and have to unscrew it from the shaft to remove it. (you have to find a way to hold the water pump, which is designed to spin, in order to unscrew the fan.) at 100k plus, would change the water pump if the fan clutch is bad, just because the water pump is likely to go sooner or later.

You don't really have to change them together, but it depends on how much of the job is labor, and how bad you want it fixed for a while.

clicking sound near fan clutch has an interesting discussion. plenty of other discussion on fan clutch here and a few other sites.

you may want to ask another dealer. you may need a software update. there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try, but it sounds like you are not really looking for a DIY project. (you can verify the fan is clicking by disconnecting the connector for the fan clutch, or by pulling a relay)

now if the fan does move (back and forth not in the circle it is supposed to) when you push a bit, the water pump is pretty well gone and you need to at least do that before it dies.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Yes the fan clutches do tick/click when failing. I have the same issue right now and have had a ticking fan clutch for the past year. IF your fan can wiggle, you will need a new water pump as the bearing is most likely beat(we did that too lol). Also if the water pump is bad you have more of a humming noise than a ticking/clicking noise. The water pump noise is easily distinguished from other noises under the hood, like pulley's etc..

My failing fan clutch has NEVER thrown a code and when my water pump outer bearing took a crap, my truck didn't throw a code for that either.

Here is my fan clutch tick video....

[video=youtube;tUdW_wETSl4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUdW_wETSl4[/video]

Your water pump WILL continue to fail if you do not fix the fan clutch at the same time.....So if your going to do one, you should do both.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
meerschm said:
not to be a wet blanket, but new DEXRON VI looks pretty red. if you don't believe me go buy a quart.

Sure, it's red in a clear container but I was referring to pulling out the dipstick and wiping it on a white rag. Red on White...Sure looks pink to me.


meerschm said:
I hope the pink stuff is probably fine, but is not the common spec for DEXRON VI

Funny. I'm not sure if your being sarcastic or serious.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
CaptainXL said:
Sure, it's red in a clear container but I was referring to pulling out the dipstick and wiping it on a white rag. Red on White...Sure looks pink to me.




Funny. I'm not sure if your being sarcastic or serious.

Your post indicated that it was red before you had it serviced, and after the dealer flushed it, it was pink.

"...it turned to a light pink which is optimal and nominal. "

I was not being sarcastic, but did not want to be alarmist either. I have no idea what the fluid is in your trans. I hope it is fine.

my whole point is that trans fluid is supposed to be red. search for pink ATF for interesting discussion. creamy pink is a sign of water in the fluid.

View attachment 26318
 

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CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
meerschm said:
my whole point is that trans fluid is supposed to be red.

My point was that it was a deeper slightly burnt red in color indicating it needed to be changed.

View attachment 12276

Whats shown here is pink. This is what my dipstick looks like.

View attachment 26321

Mine was second from the right. Now its second from the left.
 

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05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Well lets describe the sound as this. when i have the wheel perfectly straight, car is in park and running....there really isnt a sound to describe. as soon as i turn the wheel slightly left OR right, i hear what the other guy described above, can of marbles bein shaken. when i max the wheel out as far as it goes, the sound is 10x more louder than a slight turn of the wheel. i know working with other cars if it was a power steering pump im sure it would be much more of a high piutched whining noise. but i def know there is play in the water pump. my chevy tech friend told me that when he replaced my idler pulley.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Whats shown here is pink. This is what my dipstick looks like.



Mine was second from the right. Now its second from the left.


I used ur chart to check my trans fluid color as well. Mine was light pink as well, so i can imagine whoever owned the Envoy before me had to do some sort of transmission fluid service while they owned it. Im sure otherwise if i still had the original fluid itll probably be black by now right? my truck had 104,350 miles on it
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
It probably was serviced at some point. But you really dont know when. Plan on a pan drop and filter change this year so you have a starting point. Then change every 50k from then on out. I wouldnt wait the 100k.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Oh definetly. Least i know at SOME point it was previously done at SOME time lol. I use only the best for my baby so im gonna ask for the Dex IV and a new filter. There was NO evidence of shrapnel or metal pieces in the fluid as well so thats a good sign :smile:
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
CaptainXL said:
My point was that it was a deeper slightly burnt red in color indicating it needed to be changed.

View attachment 12276

Whats shown here is pink. This is what my dipstick looks like.

View attachment 12279

Mine was second from the right. Now its second from the left.

Now that we have violent agreement on what color the ATF should be, lets argue over what color blue should be called.(since we each have a blue truck but called different colors.)

:smile:
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
05EnvoyXL said:
Oh definetly. Least i know at SOME point it was previously done at SOME time lol. I use only the best for my baby so im gonna ask for the Dex IV and a new filter. There was NO evidence of shrapnel or metal pieces in the fluid as well so thats a good sign :smile:

I would not be convinced from color alone that any service was done. GM suggested service for normal use is at 100k to drop the pan, change the filter, and replace the 5 quarts that were in the pan. (keeping in mind that the total fluid capacity is more than twice what is lost from a pan drop.)

the check for shavings for the most part would require looking in the pan (which has a magnet to catch this stuff) and the old filter. they would not adhere to the indicator (dipstick)
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
meerschm said:
Now that we have violent agreement on what color the ATF should be, lets argue over what color blue should be called.(since we each have a blue truck but called different colors.)

:smile:

Its all good. I believe Indigo and Superior blue were two different colors offered. Check your paint code in the glovebox. Mine is WA703J. On a side note this color is not available from Dupli-color. I had to go through the dealer to find touchup paint. GM Accessories.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Not to beat a dead truck here LOL but i think i finally pinpointed this noise which is literally driving me crazy. The post by VoyMom with the chirpin fan clutch was present as well so thats on the list now to be swapped out. That was a very distinct albeit hard to hear chirp which happened every 1-2 secs. This can of beans rattle only happens when i turned the wheel. Last night thought it was the belt tensioner but in looking at old posts about the tensioner, theres no play or excessive movement so we ruled that out. We pointed out the power steering pump and as we turned the wheel that can-o-beans sound had to be coming from the power steering pump. Im gonna try to start with that, replace that can see what happens.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
05EnvoyXL said:
Not to beat a dead truck here LOL but i think i finally pinpointed this noise which is literally driving me crazy. The post by VoyMom with the chirpin fan clutch was present as well so thats on the list now to be swapped out. That was a very distinct albeit hard to hear chirp which happened every 1-2 secs. This can of beans rattle only happens when i turned the wheel. Last night thought it was the belt tensioner but in looking at old posts about the tensioner, theres no play or excessive movement so we ruled that out. We pointed out the power steering pump and as we turned the wheel that can-o-beans sound had to be coming from the power steering pump. Im gonna try to start with that, replace that can see what happens.

Good luck, you are double sure the sound is not from the water pump (when you add load to the serpentine belt by operating the power steering?

easy to relieve belt tension and manually rotate pulleys on tensioner and idler to veriy they turn smooth and not like they are loose or full of gravel. assume your check was with the belt loose or removed?
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Well when i turn the the steering wheel left and right thats only when this rattling sound is present. when the heat and a/c system is on i hear nothing. sound is coming from the top passenger side of the engine
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
05EnvoyXL said:
Well when i turn the the steering wheel left and right thats only when this rattling sound is present. when the heat and a/c system is on i hear nothing. sound is coming from the top passenger side of the engine

When my water pump quit, it would make the can of beans noise when you pulled from a stop, or gave it some gass.

if you pop the hood and rev it a bit, does it make the can of nuts rattling noise?

can you move the fan front to back any (with the engine off, of course)
You did say there is play in the water pump.
(just double checking.)

would hate to have you change the ps pump if it ends up being the water pump.

hope you find it and fix the right thing.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Yeah there was some slight play with the water pump according to my friend. with the truck off u can wiggle the fan a wee bit i guess if thats the case start with the water pump since there is already some play/movement present then take it from there?
 

Phantom

Member
Jun 17, 2012
277
05EnvoyXL said:
Yeah there was some slight play with the water pump according to my friend. with the truck off u can wiggle the fan a wee bit i guess if thats the case start with the water pump since there is already some play/movement present then take it from there?

I know that some research online they say that both should be done at the same time due to the fact that one failing will put more stress on the other. but I have replaced just the water pump. Granted as you can see in my wifes video that the fan clutch was ticking before the water pump went out and it still is lol. Will I when the fan clutch finally goes probably just to feel better. They are not that bad to change out and def not worth the 1100 the dealer quoted you. you could change both about 4 times yourself before you got to that price.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
yeah dude that dealer was insane with their quote. Im gonna start with replacing the water pump, serp belt and t-stat. i already bought the t-stat so might as well do that now. Ill wait on the fan clutch for now and see what happens with the water pump. That can of beans sound i talked of before actually occured last night while the Envoy was parked stationary, forgot to mention that as well duh LOL I started it up to warm it up, was about 40 degrees here and i hear that rattling while in park. It was pretty loud and obnoxious. Def seems to be getting louder as time goes on. If thats a def sign its the water pump ill be happy haha.:biggrin:
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
If the pump is bad and you wait, eventually the seals will fail, and coolant will dump all over. it then also could cause the fan to hit the shroud, which is not a good thing.

way back when, I showed the noise to my dad, and he said just wait ( I think he did not have the cash to do the repair)

two days later, it quit, and dumped anti-freeze all over the place. the repair did not get cheaper, but the tow truck driver made some money.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
meerschm said:
If the pump is bad and you wait, eventually the seals will fail, and coolant will dump all over. it then also could cause the fan to hit the shroud, which is not a good thing.

way back when, I showed the noise to my dad, and he said just wait ( I think he did not have the cash to do the repair)

two days later, it quit, and dumped anti-freeze all over the place. the repair did not get cheaper, but the tow truck driver made some money.

Or if the failed outer bearing of the water pump fires out and ricochet's off of everything under the hood....THAT could get extremely messy, dangerous and expensive. I have never heard of anything like that in our trucks, but my father has experienced it more than once, not sure in what vehicle it has happened, but im sure it could happen in a 360.
 

05EnvoyXL

Original poster
Member
Dec 27, 2012
107
Well im pretty sure the water pump isnt THAT bad...just hope if doesnt get to that level LOL. Im driving the baby this morning and im hearing this can of beans rattling sound even when the wheel isnt being turned, just stationary....im hoping i can order the water pump, serp belt coolant temp sensor today.

Lemme ask you guys this....the belt tensioner is only like $30 something dollars should i replace that while im at it.....itll be another new part i can add to my collection LOL :biggrin:
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
05EnvoyXL said:
Well im pretty sure the water pump isnt THAT bad...just hope if doesnt get to that level LOL. Im driving the baby this morning and im hearing this can of beans rattling sound even when the wheel isnt being turned, just stationary....im hoping i can order the water pump, serp belt coolant temp sensor today.

Lemme ask you guys this....the belt tensioner is only like $30 something dollars should i replace that while im at it.....itll be another new part i can add to my collection LOL :biggrin:

You could...I like to do one thing at a time and give it a few days or a week (IF possible) between changing parts, especially if they are not in desperate need to be changed. If you change 10 different things and something in the engine bay starts making noise or breaks, that just means you have to add 10 additional possibilities to the list of what could be wrong.

Maintenance SHOULD always be done and all repairs should be done in a timely fashion but doing everything at once could eventually be a diagnostic pain in the ass down the road. I would change one thing and wait 3-4 days and then move on to the next item on this list, and fix the things that are more important first. JMHO.
 

CarbEnvoy

Member
Sep 29, 2012
38
Voymom said:
Yes the fan clutches do tick/click when failing. I have the same issue right now and have had a ticking fan clutch for the past year. IF your fan can wiggle, you will need a new water pump as the bearing is most likely beat(we did that too lol). Also if the water pump is bad you have more of a humming noise than a ticking/clicking noise. The water pump noise is easily distinguished from other noises under the hood, like pulley's etc..

My failing fan clutch has NEVER thrown a code and when my water pump outer bearing took a crap, my truck didn't throw a code for that either.

Here is my fan clutch tick video....

My fan clutch makes this noise on occasion, but not all the time. Does this mean it's beginning to fail and should be replaced? I just changed the serpentine belt and couldn't feel play in any of the pulleys or fan while I had it off.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
CarbEnvoy said:
My fan clutch makes this noise on occasion, but not all the time. Does this mean it's beginning to fail and should be replaced? I just changed the serpentine belt and couldn't feel play in any of the pulleys or fan while I had it off.

The play in the fan would mean a failing water pump since the fan attaches to the outer bearing. The pulley's won't make any noise if the fan is going out either, but the ticking noise does indeed suggest that the fan clutch is failing and it should eventually be replaced. It is a VERY common failure in these vehicles and you are likely to replace it several times in the lifespan that you own it, or so I'm told.

If you replace it I would suggest looking into an E-fan kit, it will eliminate the need to replace the clutch ever again. This is something both my husband and I are going to do.
 

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