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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2004 Focus SVT with ~87,000 miles. I have done all of the maintenance and then some (timing belt, water pump, fixed thermostat leak, changed plugs and wires, etc.) I have noticed over the past few days that there is a light tapping coming from my passenger wheel well. It is RPM-dependent (frequency increases with RPM, but loudness or tone stay constant) and it's load-independent (happens during idle, out-of-gear revving and under load.) It is quiet enough that you can really only hear its echo (in a parking garage, next to other cars, etc.) and is easily drowned out by the engine and exhaust noise. I've noticed no loss in power, no change in engine note, and no check engine light. My oil level and oil pressure seem fine and my engine temps are also normal. The noise does NOT go away after the engine has warmed up. It does not sound like a spun bearing but rather instead an exhaust leak. I'm attaching a video once it finishes uploading although I'm not sure if my phone's mic can pick up the sound (as it's that quiet.) Is this a known problem? What could this be? Any help would be appreciated.

Here is the video: http://youtu.be/Uz46pWtdnb0

You can hear it best when the camera is in front of the wheel. I've had to mess around with my fuse box due to weird issues with my license plate bulbs so it's may possible that I accidentally screwed up a different fuse. Is there any fuse that, when blown, would cause this issue?
 

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Dat boxer rumble
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i had a similar problem.

turned out to be the fuel primer thing. Check in the passenger foot area right next to the door, theres a little flap in the plastic right next to the door. Down inside there there is a rubber thing that you push to prime the fuel or reset the fuse for the fuel pump, im not sure which. Either way, theres a marble thingy in there that likes to rattle around. At least.. mine did.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i had a similar problem.

turned out to be the fuel primer thing. Check in the passenger foot area right next to the door, theres a little flap in the plastic right next to the door. Down inside there there is a rubber thing that you push to prime the fuel or reset the fuse for the fuel pump, im not sure which. Either way, theres a marble thingy in there that likes to rattle around. At least.. mine did.
I went out and tried this and although I was heard a small click it the sound it still there, unfortunately. Thanks for the suggestion though!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm honestly wondering if it's just always been that way. Like I said, it seems to drive completely normal, all of the temps are fine. If it's idling in a non-enclosed area (such as an intersection) I have to struggle to hear it and sometimes I can't even hear it. If I have my windows up I also can't hear it. [???:)]

At this point, I'm just trying to figure out if it's something I should be worried about or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Idler pulley or tensioner?
For the serpentine or for the timing belt? Someone on FocalJet suggested that it might be the serpentine idler pulley or tensioner.

For what it's worth my timing belt tensioner was replaced at ~60K miles so that shouldn't be it I imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Serpentine
Do you imagine it'll be drivable (~10 miles a day) until Thursday? I know it's hard to say online but I don't want to risk engine damage but want to wait until payday to take it in to the shop to get it replaced.

Edit: I just found a thread from a while ago with someone describing similar symptoms to mine (RPM-dependent but not load-dependent, so probably not a bearing issue, etc.) and it appears it was their tensioner. Thanks a lot for all of the help everyone.
 

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Most definitely accessory drive related. Sounds like a pulley with a flat roller in its bearing. If it really bugs you the best way to figure it out is to remove the wheel and fender plastic to gain access to the front of the block. Use a screwdriver or something you can stick up against the front cover near each pulley. You should be able to feel that through the handle of the screwdriver when you poke near the bad pulley.
 

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Remove the belt and start the car. If the sound is still present, start looking at the timing belt tensioner or idler. If not, you know it is serp. belt related.
 
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