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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son has a 2000 Xterra, 245,000 miles, V6, Manual trans, 2WD.

About a month ago my son started his Xterra and it made a Kazoo noise for about 2-3 minutes. This ONLY happens in the morning when engine is cool.
This happened for 3-4 days in a row.
It does not make this noise when he stops at a store, then starts it after say 30 minutes.
I cannot hear well, but he said, if you don't know what a Kazoo sounds like, it is similar to putting a grassblade between your thumb and blowing on it.
We looked at the engine and noticed the power steering pump was wet and the high pressure hose was wet too. So we assumed it was the power steering pump.

So we removed the steering fluid and started to take the hose off, but then realized we had the wrong hose. Stores around us didn't have that type, so we ordered one from Rock Auto. Since we had to wait, we put new power steering fluid in the reservoir and told him to keep an eye on the pump.

Well, ever since we put new fluid in, the sound only lasts for 3 second or so. With this change, we thought it had to be the pump.
The following week, we changed the pump and the high pressure hose.

WELL... the kazoo noise is still there. But still just for 3 seconds.
We started looking at rubber hoses for vacuum leaks, but cannot find any.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? What baffles us is that putting new power steering fluid made a difference, but changing the parts did not make a differnce, would not eliminate the noise. One other thing we did when we replaced the pump was tighten the 3 serpentine belts a little bit.
 

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2015 Xterra Pro-4X
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My son has a 2000 Xterra, 245,000 miles, V6, Manual trans, 2WD.

About a month ago my son started his Xterra and it made a Kazoo noise for about 2-3 minutes. This ONLY happens in the morning when engine is cool.
This happened for 3-4 days in a row.
It does not make this noise when he stops at a store, then starts it after say 30 minutes.
I cannot hear well, but he said, if you don't know what a Kazoo sounds like, it is similar to putting a grassblade between your thumb and blowing on it.
We looked at the engine and noticed the power steering pump was wet and the high pressure hose was wet too. So we assumed it was the power steering pump.

So we removed the steering fluid and started to take the hose off, but then realized we had the wrong hose. Stores around us didn't have that type, so we ordered one from Rock Auto. Since we had to wait, we put new power steering fluid in the reservoir and told him to keep an eye on the pump.

Well, ever since we put new fluid in, the sound only lasts for 3 second or so. With this change, we thought it had to be the pump.
The following week, we changed the pump and the high pressure hose.

WELL... the kazoo noise is still there. But still just for 3 seconds.
We started looking at rubber hoses for vacuum leaks, but cannot find any.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? What baffles us is that putting new power steering fluid made a difference, but changing the parts did not make a differnce, would not eliminate the noise. One other thing we did when we replaced the pump was tighten the 3 serpentine belts a little bit.
So did the serpentine belt get wet with the leaking power steering fluid early in the adventure and the noise is coming from that belt at start up?
 

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2003 Xterra XE 3.3, 5-speed Manual
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I suspect the noise is caused by a loose or worn belt, or a worn pulley bearing. You reduced the duration of the noise when tightening the belt(s). If the belts are old, I suggest you replace them. Be sure to retighten them after they stretch—maybe 200(?) miles. FYI, worn (noisy) belts and pulley bearings can often be located by spritzing water from a spray bottle onto the belts and pulleys with the engine running. If the sound stops momentarily you have located the culprit.

My son has a 2000 Xterra, 245,000 miles, V6, Manual trans, 2WD.

About a month ago my son started his Xterra and it made a Kazoo noise for about 2-3 minutes. This ONLY happens in the morning when engine is cool.
This happened for 3-4 days in a row.
It does not make this noise when he stops at a store, then starts it after say 30 minutes.
I cannot hear well, but he said, if you don't know what a Kazoo sounds like, it is similar to putting a grassblade between your thumb and blowing on it.
We looked at the engine and noticed the power steering pump was wet and the high pressure hose was wet too. So we assumed it was the power steering pump.

So we removed the steering fluid and started to take the hose off, but then realized we had the wrong hose. Stores around us didn't have that type, so we ordered one from Rock Auto. Since we had to wait, we put new power steering fluid in the reservoir and told him to keep an eye on the pump.

Well, ever since we put new fluid in, the sound only lasts for 3 second or so. With this change, we thought it had to be the pump.
The following week, we changed the pump and the high pressure hose.

WELL... the kazoo noise is still there. But still just for 3 seconds.
We started looking at rubber hoses for vacuum leaks, but cannot find any.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? What baffles us is that putting new power steering fluid made a difference, but changing the parts did not make a differnce, would not eliminate the noise. One other thing we did when we replaced the pump was tighten the 3 serpentine belts a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The noise was reduced when we put new power steering fluid in. We tightened the belts later ( after we changed the pump and hoses).

I am beginning to wonder if the noise might be coming from the fan clutch?
When you start the motor, the clutch slips by design and maybe it is slightly gummed up and makes the noise?
How do you clean a spring in the fan clutch?
 

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2003 Xterra XE 3.3, 5-speed Manual
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The noise was reduced when we put new power steering fluid in. We tightened the belts later ( after we changed the pump and hoses).

I am beginning to wonder if the noise might be coming from the fan clutch?
When you start the motor, the clutch slips by design and maybe it is slightly gummed up and makes the noise?
How do you clean a spring in the fan clutch?
Sorry. I wasn’t paying enough attention to your story. Nonetheless, I would not rule out worn or loose belts as the cause. I’ve heard many belt-driven kazoo sonatas. And, I would advise against thinking that adding fluid MUST have caused the shortened kazoo riff. Sometimes unrelated things occur together. i am sure you will track down the problem. Good luck.
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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The noise was reduced when we put new power steering fluid in. We tightened the belts later ( after we changed the pump and hoses).

I am beginning to wonder if the noise might be coming from the fan clutch?
When you start the motor, the clutch slips by design and maybe it is slightly gummed up and makes the noise?
How do you clean a spring in the fan clutch?
You don't, other than to brush off any dirt or debris that has collected.

If the engine is stopped and you can spin the fan and it makes several revolutions, then the clutch is worn out. Check the plastic fan blades for any cracks, as it may be time to replace both the clutch and the fan.
 

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I'll take a look. What year is your Xterra?

I am still trying to figure out why it would be the heat shield?
I would be looking at the belts, vacuum hose leak, gummed up bearings, etc...
Just a thought.... thats what the vibration sounded like on my rig.....I have an 08, I had a 03 and the same thing after I changed out the cats...
 

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2015 Xterra Pro-4X
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I'll take a look. What year is your Xterra?

I am still trying to figure out why it would be the heat shield?
I would be looking at the belts, vacuum hose leak, gummed up bearings, etc...
The loose heat shield buzz is not a bad idea. I have experienced it multiple times on a 2012. The thin stock clamping bands that hold the stock exhaust heat shields rust away and you get the odd buzzing / vibrating sounds on and off from the shields.
 

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My son has a 2000 Xterra, 245,000 miles, V6, Manual trans, 2WD.

About a month ago my son started his Xterra and it made a Kazoo noise for about 2-3 minutes. This ONLY happens in the morning when engine is cool.
This happened for 3-4 days in a row.
It does not make this noise when he stops at a store, then starts it after say 30 minutes.
I cannot hear well, but he said, if you don't know what a Kazoo sounds like, it is similar to putting a grassblade between your thumb and blowing on it.
We looked at the engine and noticed the power steering pump was wet and the high pressure hose was wet too. So we assumed it was the power steering pump.

So we removed the steering fluid and started to take the hose off, but then realized we had the wrong hose. Stores around us didn't have that type, so we ordered one from Rock Auto. Since we had to wait, we put new power steering fluid in the reservoir and told him to keep an eye on the pump.

Well, ever since we put new fluid in, the sound only lasts for 3 second or so. With this change, we thought it had to be the pump.
The following week, we changed the pump and the high pressure hose.

WELL... the kazoo noise is still there. But still just for 3 seconds.
We started looking at rubber hoses for vacuum leaks, but cannot find any.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? What baffles us is that putting new power steering fluid made a difference, but changing the parts did not make a differnce, would not eliminate the noise. One other thing we did when we replaced the pump was tighten the 3 serpentine belts a little bit.
Just an experience I had on a 2002 X 4x4, while replacing timing belt the belt cover was very beat up (dented) and only 2 bolts holding cover on! And saw signs of belt and dampener hitting cover, after belt change, I sstraightened cover refastened cover with all new bolts, and no clanking sound just ssaying.
 

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2015 Xterra Pro-4X
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I'll take a look. What year is your Xterra?

I am still trying to figure out why it would be the heat shield?
I would be looking at the belts, vacuum hose leak, gummed up bearings, etc...
Were you able to find the Kazoo? Wonder if you could put one up someone's exhaust and have it blow a tune? It might be a good practical joke. I used to like marbles inside the hub caps.
 
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