Hello all, I have a 2007 Dodge Caliber manual transmission. When I shift the car (while driving) from 2nd into 3rd/4th/5th gear, I suddenly notice what sounds like a "grinding" noise that stays with the car while in those gears. It's clearly an abnormal noise and noticeable but not obnoxious. It does not occur in 1st or 2nd (although it seems that maybe at higher rpms in 2nd gear I begin to notice it coming, though maybe it's my imagination), but the second I shift to 3rd gear and give it gas, the noise shows up instantly. Now when I let my foot off the gas, the noise goes away 100%. The second I give it gas again, it comes back. Also I don't believe the noise increases or decreases in relation to the speed of the vehicle. It seems to stay constant no matter what speed I'm at, as long as I'm actively giving it gas.
It occurs every time I drive, but I don't notice any other weird noises or problems with the car and the clutch feels good. I haven't been able to find any leaking anywhere underneath the car. It has approx. 92,000 miles and is a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder. I've spoken with a few folks and I've been given the following ideas:
1) bad clutch/assembly (replace clutch kit)
2) bad throwout bearing
3) bad bearing inside transmission associated with 3rd,4th,5th gear rod (?)
4) low transmission oil, 3-5 gears not oiled enough and causing noise
5) maybe nothing to do with transmission at all?
Could some folks offer advice on those above options or any others? I plan on taking the transmission apart this week with a mechanically-inclined friend of mine and if I have a good idea of what it could be, that may save us a lot of time by not having to take unnecessary things apart (ie. tranny vs bellhousing). Thanks!