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: Starting trouble

Hi There, It sounds like you have a weak battery. If the lights dim when you turn the key to start the motor, this suggests that the battery simply does not have the proper cranking power to turn the motor...

Q: 2wd truck. Rear wheels "grabbing" when making tight turns.

Your truck has a limited slip differential and in most cases this is normal operation when making tight turns. If the turns you began to notice the grabbing are turns you have taken many times before, then it may be...

Q: A/C blows warm air - 2006 Mercury Milan

Hello. The blower motor is responsible for blowing the air (regardless of whether it's hot or cold) and the blend doors you had repaired are responsible for where that air goes. The temperature is not related to the blower motor...

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 are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.