Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Whining noise, now car is dead

asked by on

I noticed a loud whining noise when I started up my 2006 Honda Civic the other day. The whining got progressively worse and then the lights began to flicker, so I turned the car off. Now it won’t even start! The sound was like a belt or something at the front of the engine. What part could have broken to cause all of these problems? How can I get this serviced without it costing me an arm and a leg?

From the way you describe your concern, it leads me to believe that you do have something going on with the belt drive or possibly the charging system. For your safety, the belt drive, which is driven by the crankshaft and is under a great deal of tension, should be looked by a technician so the root cause of the noise can be found. There are multiple items on the belt drive that can make noise such as the A/C compressor, alternator, idler, and belt tensioner. The technician may remove the belt during inspection, check all the pulleys, and manually rotate the engine to see what parts have failed. If a seized component is found, it would need to be replaced. Then the belt(s) can be reinstalled and tested to ensure everything is working properly. If the belt drive system in working order, then the charging system will need to be looked at, testing both the battery and alternator. If the battery or alternator have failed, they would need to be replaced. To have your vehicle inspected, please contact YourMechanic and one of our technicians will be happy to assist.

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!

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: Check charge system. I have a new battery new alternator and starter. It's still saying this and dying after Be drove

Hi there. What you are describing is similar to a parasitic battery drain. This happens when an electrical component or accessory is continually drawing electrical power while the vehicle is turned off. These issues can be very difficult to diagnose,...

Q: Replaced multiple parts and car still won't start

Wow that is a lot of replaced parts. Assuming all the new parts are good I highly suspect a problem with either your cam or crank sensors. If either of these sensors fail your engine will not know when to...

Q: Lights burn out every time I start the car

The starter requires a lot of battery power to turn over your engine, and if the ground for the starter, battery, body or engine is loose, then the starter will use another ground if it finds one. You may be...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.