Q: Car making high-pitched squeal when starting

asked by on February 05, 2016

The car makes a high-pitched squealing when I start it. There is also a slight rattling noise during acceleration, but once I get going, it stops. In addition, the car dies when going too slow in reverse. Once it stalls, sometimes it starts back up, other times it doesn't want to start unless I rev the engine. It also experiences low RPMs when I start it, then it dies. I have already replaced the battery, throttle sensor, and alternator.

Hi there! The squealing sound could be a serpentine belt that has been stretched out, causing it to lose traction against the pulleys on your engine. For this and all of your other symptoms, I would recommend having your vehicle inspected for issues related to the squealing and rattling noises by a certified mobile mechanic. These symptoms could be caused by a number of things including fuel issues, ignition system issues, faulty sensors, vacuum leaks, or a combination of some of these or others. It is important to have the issue looked at from every angle to diagnose it correctly the first time, so you don’t spend extra money throwing pointless parts at your vehicle.

Once a diagnosis has been made and all of the issues have been addressed, I would recommend getting a thorough engine inspection, and have any faulty parts replaced as soon as possible to prevent any further engine damage.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

Brakes out hitting hole

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2000 Ford E-250. Some master cylinders will let in just a little bit of air when the fluid is splashed around too much in the reservoir, which is likely what has happened to yours....

Car stalled while driving

You likely have a crankshaft position sensor issue. Other problems that may exist include a faulty fuel pump or an an occurring vacuum leak. I would have a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your home or...

I have a 05 Chevy impala that the ignition switch won't turn. Is there a way to free it so my spare will start the car

Hey there. The 2000-2005 Chevy Impala models are included in the GM Ignition Switch Recall. You should contact your local Chevy dealer with your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and/or go to the safercar.gov website to check your VIN number for...

I have a 2009 expedition flex fuel 5.4l 3v with the VIN's 8th digit being a 5. Will a VIN's 8th digit being a V work?

If you are wanting to change out the engine block, then you can for there are no numbers on the engine blocks. The only thing is different is with the electronics on the engine that works with the fuel management...

Stabilizer bar links/bushings

No they are not the same thing. Toe links are also called tie rods.

Car won't charge after replacing battery and alternator

From the looks of it, you have done a lot of work on your Mustang. I can understand how frustrating it must be to get this far but still be experiencing problems with charging. The first question I would ask...

How do I change modes with the engine start/stop switch?

If your car is equipped with the smart key system, it means that you have a start/stop switch rather than a conventional ignition switch. This allows you to crank the engine from all positions by pressing the button (with your...

Ground strap firewall to ? Can I cut and put new strap where I can reach

There are a number of ways to resolve this issue. The first of which is to trace the wire until you find the other end and replace the wire with the OEM part. You could also try to simply attatch...

Oil leaking into spark plugs galley, car won't start

If you found oil has entered the spark plug tube galley then the oil may have shorted out all the coils and plug wires causing the engine no start. The oil is getting in the galley from a leaking valve...

Related articles

What Is the Difference Between Conventional, Electronic and Distributor-less Ignition Systems?
If If you’re like many people, you know that when you turn the key in your ignition, the engine cranks and you’re able to drive your car. However, you might not know how that ignition system works. For that matter,...
How Are High-Performance Ignition Systems Different from Standard Ones?
Once Once upon a time, there was only one type of ignition system. It used a distributor, points, a coil, and was subject to significant wear and tear. Then came the electronic ignition, which replaced the points with an electronic...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Automatic Shutdown Relay
Common signs include the car starting but stalling immediately, the Check Engine Light turning on, and the engine not cranking when turning the key.