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

asked by on January 12, 2016

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.

Car is making a noise Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

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.

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

What others are asking

Warning code P2422

Hello. The vent valve is a common failure on this vehicle. Most of the time, when it is stuck closed it will also cause the vehicle to be hard to fuel with gas. I typically test the valve first and...

2011 Fusion power steering assist fault and service advancetrac at same time. restarted w/ no reset. drove 50mi w/ no steering wtf

Hello. The issue may not be incredibly complex or major. With newer vehicles being equipped with more complex diagnostic systems, it is not uncommon for one issue being related to two separate warning lights. The first step is to have...

Car wont stay running

The first thing to check is for any broken or loose vacuum lines going to the intake manifold or the main inlet air tube from MAF to the intake throttle body. Any air leaks will cause this problem or if...

Service Engine Soon light going on and off.

Sometimes a code will set under certain criteria and while your driving the criteria goes away and the computer recognizes it and it turns the light off, this is normal operation, but that the light comes on it should save...

battery voltage falls when engine fan kicks in

The alternator may not be charging; when you put the fan on, it could be drawing too much power so the engine needs to stay running and will stall and kill the battery if battery gets too low. Check the...

Car has no acceleration

If the vehicle is in drive and the vehicle won't accelerate there can be multiple issues causing this concern. The transmission could be slipping not allowing the flow of power from the motor to reach the wheels. There could be...

DBC light is lit up on the dash (red).

Hi there. The Downhill Brake Control (DBC) light is on for either the system is active by having pushed the on button or the controller under the dash is malfunctioning. First look for the button that turns on the downhill...

AC compressor clutch doesn't stay engaged

This would require more testing with the pressure gauges to see if the A/C system cuts out due to low pressure on the low side of the A/C or high pressure on the high side. The most common problem is...

Steering wheel vibrates - 2004 Acura TSX

You have something loose and worn in the linkage of your front end. It is most likely a tie rod end but your front end will need to be inspected to pinpoint the worn part. The hard steering could also...

Related articles

4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Seat Warmers
Some Some vehicles come with car seat warmers, which heat up the seat with the push of a button. Normally the buttons are located on the side of the driver and passenger door. In some vehicles, just the bottom of...
What Causes the AC System to Leak?
Your car’s air conditioner is responsible for keeping the interior cool and comfortable on hot days. However, in order to do that,...
Signs of a Bad or Failing AC Compressor Relay
Common signs include inconsistent cooling, not hearing a click from the compressor turning on, and no cold air.