Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation


My VW Jetta, has recently started make this horrible screeching sound, it seems to only make the sound sometimes especially after it rains and when i go over a certain speed. the sound stops whenever i hit the break or turn. the sound seems to be coming from the back of the car, but i am not sure exactly. any thoughts as to what this could be?

Model year?
Odometer mileage?
When were the brake pads last replaced (date and odometer mileage)?
What can you tell us specifically about the car’s maintenance (don’t just tell us that it has been “well-maintained”, as that phrase is essentially meaningless without details).

Right now, your question produces the same situation as was experienced by the police force whose toilet was stolen.

In other words…We have nothing to go on.

it is a 2001, there are 113,000 on it. i have had the vehicle for 3 yrs and there has been no maintenance on it since i have gotten it other than oil changes and such.

“i have had the vehicle for 3 yrs and there has been no maintenance on it since i have gotten it other than oil changes and such.”


In another thread on this board, someone reported the snapping of his/her VW timing belt at around the same odometer mileage as you are reporting. The result was an estimate of $2,700 to repair the catastrophic engine damage that resulted.

The timing belt on your engine is supposed to be replaced at 90k miles, and I can virtually guarantee that there are other very vital maintenance procedures that you have foolishly skipped. Unfortunately oil changes (and “such”–whatever that means) are not enough to keep the car running reliably and economically.

If I were you, I would slowly and carefully drive the car to an independent VW mechanic tomorrow in order to have the timing belt, water pump, serpentine belt, and all belt tensioners replaced.

Does your reported problem have anything to do with the timing belt?
However, unless you want to spend a really huge amount of money in the very near future, and unless you relish the prospect of being stranded in an inconvenient location, at an inconvenient time, you will now do the maintenance that you have skipped over the past 3 years.

In addition to the timing belt, you need to have EVERYTHING listed in the VW maintenance schedule performed. While the car is in the shop, have the brake pads checked, and ask them to check anything else that they think could be related to the symptoms that you describe.

As I recall the 2001’s recommended the first timing belt change at 80,000 miles. If a timing belt goes, so goes the engine. It is mighty expensive. I’d bet that if you open the owner’s manual that should be found in the glove box, you will find a list of maintenance items and when they should be done.

I wish you the best of luck, but good luck or bad, try to take one thing with you. Always read that owner’s manual cover to cover and follow the maintenance instructions.

Note: one thing often omitted is the automatic transmission service. Every 30-40,000 miles is a good time to drain, clean the filter and refill the automatic transmission.

Have you checked the break pad thickness? Most pads have a metal tab that contacts the rotor when you are reaching the end of the pad life. This is the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard at the RPMs that the disc is spinning. It could be that you are only hearing it after some rust blooms (after rain) or due to a slight imbalance at high speeds.

Good Luck