My car growls at me!

I have a 1993 Escort with a manual transmission. It runs great and is pretty dependable. Lately it has been making this wierd noise. It’s like growling. Yeah. Wierd. I think my car is angry with me. The growling noise is most noticeable when I downshift. When I stop the noise is gone. Also, when I am accelerating the noise is not present. I hear the growling when I’m coasting in neutral too, though it’s not as loud as it is when I downshift. How can I make my car happy again and stop the growling?

Be sure that the transmission has the proper fluid and is at the proper level. Manual transmissions contain a fluid just as automatic transmissions do.

Also, have any wheel bearings checked. Any of them may be growling, but not transmitting a roughness or vibration through the steering wheel yet.

I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t know how the throwout bearing on an Escort is held in but on some especially older cars there’s this spring that holds it such that it doesn’t rattle around while shifting or freewheeling.
If your car has a similar arrangement and the throw out bearing isn’t hooked into the spring, it can make really weird mechanical noises.

I am having this same issue with my automatic 2002 Hyundai Elantra. It is so weird! Suspecting it was a transmission problem, I checked my fluid, which is okay. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and bought this high-mileage transmission repair fluid. I then drove 180 miles home from a trip and the noise didn’t get any better.

I also hear the growling when I’m in neutral, which I thought was odd and may indicate the transmission is not the culprit.

I have an appointment on Wednesday with Hyundai. I’ll let you know what they say.

I’m thinking about an exhaust leak.

@missjenny80 - don’t put anything in your transmission except what the owner’s manual says to put in it.

Given that your car is an '02 there is no need to take it to a dealer. You can bring it to any reputable, local, independent shop.

You are all picking the easy answers. Just because it happen when downshifting, doesnt mean it is the transmission.

What happens when you downshift?

The engine is trying to pull in more air due to the cars momentum spinning the engine. The throttle plate prevents this. Engine vacume goes WAY up.

It could just be a vacuem leak. But you would think there would be additional symptoms.

What is driven by vacume that might make this kind of noise?

How about the vents that direct the air conditioning / heat? Does it do it when the knob that controls where the air goes is only in a specific position?

Maybe its the brake booster.

I would get the system’s vacume lines and stuff checked. Rubber goes bad on cars this old.

My car’s problem was with the front wheel bearing. They said my transmission looks fine.