Loud high pitched whining

So I have a 91’ mk2 VW golf, it’s been off the road for a bout 4 months and I just got it back on the road today.

I have found that when I get to 40mph this very loud high pitched whining starts coming from behind the dash, sounds like it’s almost directly behind the steering wheel.

The sound won’t stop until I drop down to 10mph and then it will be quiet again until I get to 40 again.

Also noticed that between 40 and 60 the Speedo starts getting very erratic and flicking around alot, I don’t know if that’s related, I figured it would just be a lose wire

Any pointers?

Sounds like a speedometer cable problem. It could need to be lubricated or replaced.


A 91 probably has a mechanical speedometer driven by a rotating wire inside a sheath (cable). Try temporarily disconnecting that speedo cable on the transmission side. If that stops the whine it’s either the cable or the speedo unit making the noise.

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I vividly recall riding in a friend’s '61 Tempest, whose speedometer had been making noise and “wavering” a bit for a few weeks. As we were cruising at turnpike speed, suddenly the speedo needle began oscillate even more, and w/in a minute or two it began rapidly sweeping from zero to 120, and back again, over and over–until the cable suddenly snapped and the needle dropped to zero–for good.

The OP should get the cable and/or the speedometer head lubricated right away, before the mechanism self-destructs.

Agree with all of the above.

In my experience most whining originates from the passenger seat…