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Q: Concerned with engine noise

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I recently picked up a used 2009 Toyota Corolla with 49,000 miles on it. About a month after the purchase, something under the hood began to make a kind of squealing noise whenever the car was on. Performance hasn’t changed and no light have illuminated on the dashboard. Should I be concerned or are there other warning signs to look for to find the root of the noise?

You are hearing your serpentine belt slipping on the water pump or idler pulley. The water pump on this vehicle is prone to premature failure. The first signs of failure are belt noises, and if coolant is lost or the pump seizes it can cause the engine to rapidly overheat causing major engine damage. My recommendation is to contact YourMechanic as soon as possible for a diagnosis of the water pump or idler failing. You should not drive vehicle till it is checked. The cost to have YourMechanic replace the water pump, idler pulley and belt now is a lot less than an entire engine. There have been many complaints of major engine damage with little to no noise from the engine prior to failure. You are experiencing a belt noise that has alerted other owners and allowed them to catch the problem before any major damage occurred. The water pump in these engines has a bearing with a low life span causing frequent failures. No recalls or bulletins have been issued.

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