Buick-Regal-GS-1999-(Super-Charged 6 Engine)-Makes Sound Like Accelerating RR Train-Getting Louder

Hi. I have a 1999 Buick Regal GS (w/ the Supercharged 6 Engine) - one of these days, I will own a car that has been manufactured in “this” century; but I digress… Bought it from my faithful mechanic who is good as gold. This one came from an older couple who, I understand, just wanted a new car that they didn’t have to service much on this one (“nice work” if you can get it…<Grin…>). I’m a bit long of tooth myself and I understand that they call this syndrome the "grey hair across one’s a** (ah, “hind end”). Have bought numerous cars from him (my mechanic) in the past. These are cars that belonged to other customers; he has serviced their cars over the years. This one is GREAT! Tons of acceleration when I need it and I like it in every other way. Well, yeah, okay, I am ordering replacement (steel) wheels/rims ‘cuz my mechanic’s garage has ground down the original equipment aluminum wheels and reports that there jes’ ain’t much left to grind. So one or another of my tires develops a slow lead (sometimes not so so), from time to time and I’m tired to filling some of them up every few days. And, yeah, it’s got a few other idiosyncrasies - what car or house or whatever doesn’t? You just get used to them ‘cuz you know your vehicle. Going to discuss my latest issue with my mechanic, but thought that I might get some other thoughts before I can get the time off to get down to his shop - he’s about twenty-five minutes away - we used to live closer. Well, I’ve been driving longer distances lately, once a week or so (anywhere from 1.5 - 2.5 hours one way); highway driving - 65 - sometimes 80/mph. Good for the engine to burn off carbon and all of that - not bad for things like brakes and stuff. Starting a short-term gig (about two months are reasonable money in a couple of weeks and need ol’ Nellie Belle to be as reliable as she can be and I can help make her. My concern is that this car, upon acceleration, has always made a sound - I think it’s under the hood - maybe the trans-axle - that sounds like the clickety-clack sound that one hears when one is on a railroad train and the rails are not the newer welded tracks, but the ones where you get the clickety-clack sound as the train accelerates down the track. Mentioned it to my mechanic a while back - he’s salt of the earth, but a bit of a taciturn Yankee (I live north of Boston in MA), for sure. Typical dialogue with him is: “What was wrong with the car?” ANS.: “It’s fixed.” And that has always - and will continue to be - OKAY. Mentioned this clickety-clack sound a while back and his response was: “Well, this one you’re just gonna have to live with…” That’s okay. He is ALWAYS there when I need him, including opening his shop just for me when I have a critical repair on the weekend - we all need our cars in order to get to work and make a living. Lately, however, and I am going to discuss this with him: the clickety-clack sound is getting louder, almost a howl. Now we’ve been doing primarily higher speed highway driving with the windows open (the A/C doesn’t work…), so “maybe” it’s just us hearing more of the engine noise. However, neither I nor my wife think so - we both think it’s getting louder. Before I order a few hundred dollars of new wheels - and while my four tires are getting to the end of their lives, they likely have a few more months in them - I thought that I might likely have to replace them by the winter, depending on a number of factors. So, although I suppose it “could” be something like the tires, I’m guessing it’s more likely something like the trans-axle, maybe!?! Would appreciate anyone and everyone’s thoughts on this. BTW, the clickety-clack is not just a “crisp” clickety-clack. It is and always have been more of a lower frequency, louder sound than a simple clickety-clack. More like a whoppety-whop or a bit of a growl as it clickey-clacks. Yeah, I know, mechanics LOVE these technical descriptions - “sounds like…” <Grin…>. Still, would appreciate any and all thoughts with my sincere thanks. All the best. Dan.

Womp, womp, womp sound? Tires. If it’s more metallic - inner cv joint.

Forget it. I got about 1/3 through and got tired of reading about all the relationship. This thing reads like a script from “Days of our Lives”.

Can you sort out and succinctly itemize and describe the problems for me?

"Can you sort out and succinctly itemize and describe the problems for me? "


As Sgt. Joe Friday used to say on Dragnet…Just the facts, ma’am.

Additionally, some paragraphs breaks–via appropriate spacing–would help people to wend their way through that wall of text.

Is it only when moving or at idle also?

Glanced through the story, first thing that comes to mind is noise supercharger drive. Is the engine the 3800 series, my mind is foggy that far back. If it is there 8s a repair kit for it.

Count me among those who gave up before reaching the halfway point of the post.

Have you checked the oil level in the supercharger?


Hi, All. Sorry for carrying on - brevity IS the soul of wit, I understand.

1.) knfenimore: Thought of CV joints, but I’ve replaced CV joints before and they kinda “gronk” or creak when you turn left - CV joint on the port side - or right - CV joint on the starboard side. This does not exhibit that kind of behavior. Plus it’s been ongoing for years - i.e., necessity for CV joint replacement is an acute, not a chronic thing - i.e., they’ve failed or they haven’t; this has always been there - it’s just getting louder lately.

Thought of tires - will explore that further. Thanks!

2.) VDCDriver: Right - paragraphs and readability are absolutely critical. Sorry for the inconvenience - my apologies - and thanks!

3.) Barkydog: Only when moving; increases as acceleration increases. Not present at idle. BTW, I like the Westie.

4.) Steve376: 3800 Supercharged (Code 1) V6 engine. Will check on the Supercharger - had only thought of that vaguely - don’t know much about Superchargers - gonna learn. Thanks.

5.) Tester: Will check on the Supercharger and maintenance thereof. Thanks for your thoughts.

Thanks for everyone’s input and feedback, including on my verbosity. Someone told me years ago that the only good response to feedback is: “Thank You.”

Once again, my apologies for “carrying on…”



Yeah me too. I just couldn’t make it through. Like others said though a clickity clack sound could be tires or CV but I also had a bolt come loose on the bracket for the wheel bearing. The wheel would hit it every time it went around. So just have the mechanic take a drive and a look.

Maybe the coupling in the supercharger has failed. That can cause a clacking or clickety-clack sound and if so it’s not that major a repair although the snout of the supercharger has to come off. It’s also a common problem with accumulated miles.

Here’s what the little critter looks like.


This would also be a good time to change the oil in the supercharger; assuming it has oil in it.

GM used to sell a kit that came with the coupler and the oil, not that hard of a repair. You will also need the supercharger base gasket.