Why Is My Cummins Making A Whistling Sound?

Written By JD Diagnostics & Diesel Repair on Jan 06, 2021

Anytime you hear strange noises coming from your engine that sound more than a little foreign, it's normal to feel a bit anxious and alarmed.  With some knowledge and some actionable advice, rest assured that any problem you come across has a solution just around the corner.  

Most Likely Issue

If you hear a high-pitched whistling sound from your Cummins engine, there's a good chance it involves a boost leak.  A boost leak happens when the clamps and other components leak out air when under pressure from the turbochargers.  A boost leak damages your diesel truck's performance and lifespan, so it's important to sort out the problem as soon as you come across it.

If it's whistling like it's time for tea similar to this, some quick and sound advice from a user on this dedicated diesel Reddit thread is to "check all the charge air pipes and clamps from the turbo up to the charge air cooler."

And if nothing else, another user suggests you can "just look at it as an excuse to get some silicone hoses in there."

How to check for a boost leak or similar problem

If it sounds like this is what you're dealing with, there are a few things you can investigate.

  • Look for oil on your hoses:  There shouldn't be any oil on the hoses, and if there is then you know there could be a boost leak or something more catastrophic going on.  
  • Check the clamps:  The leak could be the result of loose clamps, so check them all and tighten up any that need it.
  • Use a boost leak kit:  The boost leak tester is an affordable tool that can expose any leaks.  Simply remove the turbo inlet, place the kit on it, and use an air compressor to build pressure as you listen for any air leakage.  

What to do if you're having further problems or can't fix the leak

If despite your efforts, you can't locate the source of the leak or suspect something worse going on, you can always reach out to a mechanic or other professional.  Experts on diesel problems will quickly be able to eliminate that troublesome boost leak whistling and get your truck back to peak performance.  

With online booking, a free quote, and on-the-spot support, please don't hesitate to contact us to help solve your boost leak and any other diesel diagnostic and repair needs.  

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