Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Growling noise from car. Could be the AC compressor, alternator, or power steering.

asked by on

I have a growling noise issuing form my engine. A mechanic replaced the belt and tensioner, but that was not the problem. Two other mechanics have said it is either the AC compressor, alternator, or power steering unit.

All of the possible causes mentioned could be the issue. All of these parts have pulleys that are ran off of the serpentine belt. Most of the pulleys have bearings inside them that allow them to spin freely. If a bearing loses its lubrication, it will become dry and therefore heat up. Once the bearing becomes overheated it will start to make growling sounds. I would recommend the help of a YourMechanic technician. The technician will be able to use an automotive stethoscope to diagnose which pulley is the source of the problem.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Growling noise from car. Could be the AC compressor, alternator, or power steering.

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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Power steering

Hello. This can be caused by a few different parts in the steering system. Most of the time it is caused by either a failing rack and pinion or a bad ball joint, tie rod, or a bad strut mount....

Q: Overheating with no heater

Hi There, The heater not working in some cases may be related to the overheating problem you are also having. This may be due to a faulty heater blower motor or potentially a bad heater core. As you may know,...

Q: 2004 nissan quest . about how much to replace serpentine belt ?

Hi there. You can request an estimate to have one of our professional mobile mechanics come to your location and complete a serpentine belt replacement by clicking this link. Once on that service page, simply press the Get a Quote...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...