Q: I have a whining squealing noise coming from somewhere in my pulley system and serpentine belt.

asked by on

I recently bought this car and had problems getting it started and there was a squeal or whine under the hood that coincided with acceleration. Upon inspection I found the battery was busted and was therefore replaced. I suspected that the alternator was overworking itself to make up for the busted battery. Cranked up immediately now but the squeal was still there but sounded somehow different. I checked power steering fluid even though the steering wheel moves freely. The fluid was low but not empty, and filled up to the c on gauge. No change in noise so I remove serpentine belt to manually spin each pulley. I started on tensioner and idler pulley because I have heard their springs and bearing tend to go bad around this mileage but spins freely. A/c, alternator, and water pump pulley spring freely with no noise also but the power steering pulley had slight play and made a single click. Is that normal? Also when running the tensioner pulley sometimes moves slightly up and down.

My car has 155000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the noise changed when the battery was replaced, I would first suspect the alternator. Sometimes, when a bearing/bushing starts to go bad it will only make noise with the belt installed, as the tension can cause pressure to be applied to the affected area of the bearing/bushing.

Also, there typically shouldn’t be any type of clicking coming from the power steering and there really shouldn’t be any shaft play. When I am trying to find the source of a noise like this, I will use a stethoscope with an extended probe to isolate the source of the noise.

If you go this route, be extremely careful to avoid making contact with the pulleys or belt, to avoid injury. There are several possible causes for a noise from the front of an engine, so have a certified mechanic perform an inspection to determine the source of the noise.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I have a whining squealing noise coming from somewhere in my pulley system and serpentine belt.

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: I'm putting in a police interceptor motor from a Impala to a 2005 Monte Carlo but it has fly by wire

Prior to doing this work, you should confirm that the "new" vehicle configuration is certifiable insofar as Federal emissions law, that is if you intend to register the vehicle. Please see the relevant Federal EPA Engine Swap Guidance Document. California,...

Q: squeaky idler pulley

Replace the entire tensioner assembly since the tension is what caused the pulley to go bad. You should also replace the belt if any damage is noted.

Q: 2011 chevy impala makes clicking sound when i turn on the AC. Clicking will continue even after car is turned off, and does not st

The clicking sound you are hearing is the blend door actuator. This is a common problem on the Chevy Impala. The blend door actuator is responsible for moving the blend door. The blend door is responsible for blocking off the...

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...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...