Today I was driving ('05 LGT 5EAT wagon), all of a sudden started hearing a mechanical (metallic) rubbing/grinding noise. First thought: blown turbo, #fmlInansb, all that good stuff...
I had 1-2 miles to get home, and so I shifted to D and started to limp it home. After a bit, I realized that I should NOT be getting into boost at 1500 rpm with part throttle in D. And that the noise was also occurring when lifting my foot off the throttle, so it wasn't boost related, so probably not turbo. Phew.
Got home, popped the hood and realized the noise was still there at idle (just not quite loud enough to hear when in the car). So, definitely not turbo/boost related.
At first, I thought it was the pulleys - sounded like a LOT like a bad pulley - a rubbing consistently there at idle. But then, I listened a bit more, and it seemed a bit louder at the back. So I looked around the TMIC, and between the intake manifold and the TMIC, I saw something metallic moving. I think it's the drive plate? Based on diagrams, etc, it looks about the right location (back of the engine, front of the 5EAT) diameter, and it was spinning, it seemed in concert with the idle speed of the engine.
BUT - wait, WHAT? Shouldn't there be a cover on it? Or have I really just never noticed it, and that's normal, for part of the drive plate to be visible/open to the air?
1) If it's normal, then I'll just drive it carefully to my regular mechanic who does a lot of the routine maintenance, but doesn't do transmission/alignment type stuff. Power steering's been acting up at idle, and maybe needs a new belt, or maybe a new pump - that COULD be it.
2) If it's not normal, then maybe the cover fell down INTO the drive plate/transmission and that's what's rubbing? Then I have to have it towed to the transmission place that rebuilt my front diff in November. They only do transmissions, so I have to be relatively sure it's the transmission, or they'll just say "nothing we can do"..
Thanks for any help.