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On cold starts, I get a noise coming from the engine bay that sounds a lot like a can full of marbles ratteling around in there. Any input would be appreciated. I figured that first pcm flash would help it but it didn't.
 

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yea some times its just the simple things that get ya, but no man i wish i could help you but i have not heard my car make that noise as of yet
 

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Well, I have a sound that I would describe as gears churning which might sound like a can of marbles that is in the distance. The sound is most pronounced when in third gear at 3000 RPM and costing down. Under load I don't hear it, and it is a very subtle sound. I don't hear it if the roads are wet because of the road noise. I've had it since the car was new but just assumed it was normal for this car.
 

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Gary Perez said:
Well, I have a sound that I would describe as gears churning which might sound like a can of marbles that is in the distance. The sound is most pronounced when in third gear at 3000 RPM and costing down. Under load I don't hear it, and it is a very subtle sound. I don't hear it if the roads are wet because of the road noise. I've had it since the car was new but just assumed it was normal for this car.

It does sound like gears churning but it does it in neutral, before I drive it, when it's warming up. I'm usually outside smoking a cigarette cuz I don't smoke in my cars.
 

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i know what your talking about

i know exactly what your talking about, the sound that is. I'm wondering the same question but i doubt its anything serious because ive had it since day 1 too. it happens both times for me, during start up and engine brake. i dunno what it is.
 

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Gary Perez said:
Well, I have a sound that I would describe as gears churning which might sound like a can of marbles that is in the distance. The sound is most pronounced when in third gear at 3000 RPM and costing down. Under load I don't hear it, and it is a very subtle sound. I don't hear it if the roads are wet because of the road noise. I've had it since the car was new but just assumed it was normal for this car.
Sounds like it's coming from the transmission. I know someone who works at the Saturn plant. He works right next to the Service Engineering Group. These are the guys that develop and perfect repair procedures for the dealership technicians to use. Anyway, the SEG guys are already working on a procedure to eliminate the gear noise. The problem is that the gears in the transmission wobble slightly and rub against each other causing a grinding or chattering niose. The fix is actually quite simple. They install small metal clips between the gears to keep them from wobbling. It is working quite well (so I'm told). Not sure if it will be a recall or not, though.
 

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Dazed, I am pretty sure that I'm hearing the same noise that you're hearing. I'm in the metro-detroit area too (Ann Arbor) and am not liking these cold days. I don't like to drive the car until the noise goes away, after about 5 minutes. I guess it kind of sounds like a can of marbles...it's not that loud, but I can hear it from inside the car when the radio and heat blowers are off. When I open the hood to try and hear where it's coming from, it sounds like it's coming from below the supercharger on the right side, kind of by the air intake box. I'm not sure where the transmission is in relation to this, so I don't know if that's where it's coming from, but it sounds like it could be from the trans. When the noise goes away at idle, I rev up the car to about 2000-2500rpms, and the noise comes back again as it idles back out. After the engine is warmed up, the noise stops completely. I still do not like the noise, and it's been doing this from day one. When I take in my RL to the dealer to get the cam sensor fix and ECU upgrade, I will let them keep the car over night and have them start it up after it's cool again so they hear the noise, because I know the noise will go away by the time I get to the dealership. If they get it fixed, I'll post what they say the problem is. I just don't like these kinds of sounds coming from the engine...grinding and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
jpapa said:
Dazed, I am pretty sure that I'm hearing the same noise that you're hearing. I'm in the metro-detroit area too (Ann Arbor) and am not liking these cold days. I don't like to drive the car until the noise goes away, after about 5 minutes. I guess it kind of sounds like a can of marbles...it's not that loud, but I can hear it from inside the car when the radio and heat blowers are off. When I open the hood to try and hear where it's coming from, it sounds like it's coming from below the supercharger on the right side, kind of by the air intake box. I'm not sure where the transmission is in relation to this, so I don't know if that's where it's coming from, but it sounds like it could be from the trans. When the noise goes away at idle, I rev up the car to about 2000-2500rpms, and the noise comes back again as it idles back out. After the engine is warmed up, the noise stops completely. I still do not like the noise, and it's been doing this from day one. When I take in my RL to the dealer to get the cam sensor fix and ECU upgrade, I will let them keep the car over night and have them start it up after it's cool again so they hear the noise, because I know the noise will go away by the time I get to the dealership. If they get it fixed, I'll post what they say the problem is. I just don't like these kinds of sounds coming from the engine...grinding and such.

Bingo!! that's it exactly. I thought I was the only one.
 

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Yeah I'm getting the same noise. Its sounds like it's coming from around the SC. I took it to the Ann Arbor Dealer and they said that it was normal. Go figure.
 

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Great, that's the dealer I'm probably taking mine in to do cam sensor repair...so I'm sure they'll tell me the same thing. That's the one down Jackson/Huron road, right? Do you know if their mechanics are decent at working on RL's?
 

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Yes that the one. I try not to take mine there. They have done nothing but screw me over. But they seem to do good work when the do work.
 

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I have that noise too and went to the dealership to have it looked at. Mine will go away when the car is warmed up and when you press in the clutch. Here is what I was told. There is a washer or something of that nature (minor part) in the transmission that is not staying lubricated when sitting cold. That is the reason it makes the grinding/ rattling noise until warmed up (lubricated). It goes away when you depress the clutch because you are disengaging the part. Saturn is working on a fix for this and has suggested that any dealership not bother with fixing it at this point because it will not damage your car or affect driving in any way. When Saturn has a solution, you'll get called in for the fix. Hope that makes some sense. For those of you with the noise, try pressing in your clutch and see if it stops.
 

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Yup, I get the exact same noise, but it has to be pretty cold outside. Once I drive the car for about 2 min, or let it warm up for about 10 min, it's gone. It also dosen't seem to do it unless it's under 30 degrees outside. Mine has done it from day one as well, always thought it was a pulley or something.
 
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