Eddie spent 35 years in the automotive business with Honda. If you own a car, it probably makes noises you can't identify, but would love to fix. Car noises are not just annoying: sometimes they are a warning sign, like the calm before a storm. Here are the four car noises customers most commonly complain about.
Sometimes noises are hard to identify, because a noise travels throughout the vehicle and it is hard to pinpoint where it's coming from. But with a trained ear and some insight, we should be able to figure out what is causing the noise in your car and what you can do to fix it.
If your car is making a clicking noise when turning, it is likely you have an outer CV joint constant velocity joint that has failed because of a torn boot or old age, most likely a torn boot. Without going into too much detail about what a CV joint is, I will just give you a basic idea of its function and why it might have failed.
A CV joint is a set of ball bearings at the inner and outer ends of an axle. Eventually it will split open and allow specks of dirt and debris to enter the joint.
Once foreign matter mixes with the grease, the damage begins, and it is only a matter of time before the CV joint starts to make a clicking noise when turning. This clicking noise while turning will start out faint, but gradually it will become noticeable and eventually very loud. The only way to fix this condition is to replace either the whole axle assembly or the outer Jvc hotel mode joint.
Water pump noises are very difficult to diagnose, because the water pump is generally buried deep in the motor, and the noise will resonate through the engine making it difficult to identify. The water pump on your engine is a thick metal casting containing a pulley, pump fins a palm-sized propeller to push the water alongand a bearing set.
When a water pump fails, the noise is usually caused by damage to the bearings. The video below is a great example of what a noisy water pump sounds like. If you suspect your water pump is the culprit for the noise in your car, try to locate the water pump on the engine. The only fix for a noisy water pump is to replace it. If it is nearly time for a routine timing belt replacement every 60, tomiles or so depending on the caryou might want to have that done at the same time as the water pump, because timing belt service is one of the rare occasions when a water pump is easy to get to.
In the video below, the mechanic uses a screwdriver like a stethoscope, pressing it against the hub of a wheel to listen to a wheel bearing noise.
Engine belts can create a loud, high-pitched squeak or squeal that will drive you and your neighbors crazy. Some engine belts only squeak after you go through a large puddle or if there is heavy moisture in the air, and others squeak constantly. If your engine belts squeak only when damp, you probably only need to have the belts adjusted. If your belts squeak constantly, they may be dry, cracked, or loose, and probably need to be replaced. Keep in mind that this spray will not fix anything permanently.
It is, however, a great tool for diagnosing the noise and finding out which belt the noise is coming from. If you have belt dressing, this is what you do: when the engine is running, just spray it on each belt to see which belt starts to quiet down.
Inspect your engine belts for cracks, damage, and tension, and replace or adjust them as needed. A heat shield noise is a type of rattle you hear while your car is idling, or at a specific engine speed or RPM. Heat shields are metal plates along the exhaust system of your car that deflect heat away from the floor of your vehicle and other heat-sensitive components like fuel tanks, wiring, and brake lines.
As the exhaust system ages, sometime the heat shields start to rust at the hold-down points and become loose. It sounds like rocks being shaken on a cookie sheet.
Heat shields can become damaged due to road debris, snow banks, automotive lifts, and just plain old age.
In some cases, a damaged heat shield can be removed temporarily without causing any repercussions, but it's best to replace them as soon as possible. An automotive exhaust system can become extremely hot, even o Fahrenheit if you are running your engine at high RPM for long periods, like on the highway.
Here's a little tip that not too many people know about.Our Address. Kings Mills, OH History when it started: One day I was driving on the highway when the car raised temperature and I had to stop and let it cool down. Short story ended in a local garage for it to have the following parts replaced Genuine OEM parts :. Turns out later that the radiator cap bottom deteriorated which caused this misfortune, something little as that I overlooked caused so much problems and I learned my lesson and replaced the cap.
After the fix at the local garage, the car performed fine and it idles well except for one last detail which is the morning cold start squeal that lasts for 10 seconds. Also a couple questions I would like to ask are: 1- What is the difference between cold start and warm start, why is it only squealing on cold starts? Can you have someone start the car while you check what belt is squealing?
The difference between a cold start and warm start is a cold start is when its sat over night or the engine is cold. A warm start is when the engine has been ran shut off and restarted.
Sure thing college man. That noise just makes it a lot harder to concentrate where it exactly comes from, however it seems to be the serpentine belt,the closest one to me. No, no, no, no, no. Oil on a bealt is usually a bad idea.
The only way WD could improve a belt is if it happens to be glazed and the oil just softens the belt without actually lubricating it. The squeal on startup is probably caused by the alternator trying to recharge the car battery. That compensates for the like amps for 3 seconds that the starter drew out. Those two have to balance out. Nowdays with cars with computers, there also is a bit of overnight parasitic drain that also has to be recovered from.
One slight possibility is that you have excess overnight parasitic drain, like from an added on security system or amplifier. These will draw a few tens to a few hundred milliamps, which adds up over time.
I would put my money on the belt being a bit looser than optimum or a pulley that is polished to way too fine a shine. I just came back from a short night ride and I made a couple new little discoveries: After taking off and once braking for the nearby road bump, I had the urge to lift all 4 electric window handles so I did it, and the squeal CAME BACK but was gone as soon as I released the handles,mind that the AC was on and fan on Lvl 1.
However, once the car is warm after a while, this does not happen anymore no matter how many times I try it.
I will take grg88 input into consideration as it gave me some insight and a new path to look into. Id say this issue is with your alternator, my friends z has this same issue and it is his alternator. Probably the bearings in it are going out or the draw on it is so large that the belt is slipping like Grg88 said. The simplest thing you could try is to take some 80 sandpaper, or better yet crocus cloth, fold it in a narrow and long strip, just like the guys do with dollar bills at the strip clubs so I hearand use the long strip like it was a show buffing cloth, only your goal is to buff in some scratches into the pulley, not buff in a shine onto your army boots.
You want the scratches to not go around the pulley.
Q: Screeching when I start the car cold. But the sound goes away.
This takes a while as you want to hit all sides and all the grooves in the pulley. This has solved squealing pulley for me many a time.
You will get more squeals, not fewer.Do you ever hear a loud screeching noise when you start your car? Do you find that it seems to be getting worse and lasting longer as time goes on? Fortunately, there are a few options when it comes to attempting to quiet it down. In order to explain why you may suddenly be hearing your fan belt, we must first explain what it actually does.
First of all, different vehicles have different belt systems. It may have one longer serpentine belt or multiple smaller accessory belts. The belt or belts have the important role of transferring the rotational energy created by the engine to its vital accessories. In this way, the belt keeps your fan, air conditioning, power steering pump, water pump and alternator working.
It also indirectly keeps your battery from dying as that is a role of the alternator.
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If your fan belt breaks or falls off, these components will eventually fail, potentially leading to much bigger issues. Similar to when your tires squeal on the pavement, this slip causes a dreadful noise. Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content Skip to primary sidebar Skip to footer Do you ever hear a loud screeching noise when you start your car? Why Is It Making Noise? Improper Installation: When installed, the belt must be tensioned appropriately and then re-tensioned again after a few minutes of running the engine.
If not, it will eventually squeal and need to be replaced again if not remedied quickly. Contamination: Water or leaking fluids from another part of the engine may have splashed on the belt.
Take note of the condition of the fan belt — Is it cracked? Are any of the ribs missing? If so, does the belt seem to be more worn out on one side? A belt that is wearing unevenly indicates that it may be misaligned, which could be occurring because of a pulley issue. If the belt is damaged, replace it right away.The magnitude of sound can range from a soft squeak to a loud and noisy squeal and it may occur while starting a cold engine or during normal vehicle operation.
This is an issue that requires attention but does not pose danger or immediate risk of major damage. The number of belts in an engine will vary according to the make and model. To determine which belt is making the noise, the best practice is to ask an assistant to start the engine while taking a look under the hood. It is generally easier to determine when alternators are the cause of the squeak since they tend to be closer to the top and front end of the engine.
After turning off the engine, the belt can be visually inspected for wear and tear. It can also be checked for tension by pushing down on it. Loose belts are more likely to squeal in warm weather. However, if the belt appears to be tight and in good shape, then the issue may be the internal bearings of the pulley. There should be enough tension to allow the belt to be pushed down about three quarters of an inch.
Some hands-on car owners might be able to replace the alternator belt, but the serpentine belt may require a trip to the auto shop. Some engines feature an idle pulley that also serves as a tension adjustment device that can be dialed with a wrench. If the belt is not loose and there are no signs of wear and tear, closer attention should be paid to any noise coming directly from the pulleys. This will require an inspection from a mechanic.
Otherwise, the squeaky belt can be lubricated for the purpose of silencing the noise. Only two lubricants should be used on belts: bar soap or belt dressing. The latter can be purchased at an auto parts store and the former should only rubbed to the interior of the belt in dry conditions. I started Dumb Little Man so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone.
I hope you find something you like! Dumb Little Man.One of the biggest burdens today for professional technicians and do-it-yourselfers is belt noiseand the No. Each has its own unique characteristics, causes and solutions. One method to determine if the noise is a chirp or squeal is to use a water squirt bottle and spray the rib side of the belt while the vehicle is running.
Most chirp noises occur as a short belt span enters into a grooved pulley, typically after exiting a backside pulley. Solutions to misalignment:. Warning: Any existing misalignment condition probably caused pre-mature wear of the belt ribs on the old belt. A new belt is recommended once the accessory drive has been realigned. This type of noise will typically increase in volume as the engine speed increases, and is caused by relative slip between the belt and pulleys.
A hard splash of water such that causes the belt to hydroplane or loose traction Solutions to tensioning problems: Belts installed on vehicles with manual tension drives should be properly tensioned during installation, and re-tensioned after 5 minutes of run-in 30 lbs.
A belt installed incorrectly will make noise and if not remedied quickly, will need to be replaced On systems equipped with an automatic tensionerthe tensioner pulley should turn freely without binding, the tensioner arm should move smoothly through its entire range of motion and there should be adequate tension.
Categories: Automotive Heavy Duty. Belt passes over the new idle pulley and passes over the edge of the power steering pulley then passes over the old tensioner pulley and realligns its self over the harmonic balancer. What is my issue? I have tried everything. I had a belt break so replaced it with a new one.
I noticed that the new belt was raising up on the lip of the power steering pulley after I start the engine. What is my problem. Still making sound. But seems worse when turning at any speed. Could it be a powersteering pump pulley? Any ideas on the prob are appreciated.
I have a toyota celica gts. Having a slight "pull or grind" noise right after 1st start after car has been sitting at least 8 hours and only when temp is below And it only makes the noise on 1st crank. Changed belts and didnt help. What would cause this?
Replaced alternator, idler pulley, tensioner pulley. Belt runs out 1 -2 ribs on crank pulley HB and chirps. HB appears not to have separated and is in good shape. Have a Silverado 4 by 4 with a 5.
Any ideas? A week ago I had my alternator replaced in my malibu. Now when I drive my lights inside and out dim and get bright again, and air system slows.
And tonight my love fluid light came on. I looked under the hood and noticed fluid around the area of my alternator. What are these issues and the fluid and it's source? I have a Isuzu rodeo I change the the belt and the tensioner and it still squeals and all the pulleys are aligned what can it be.
I have a Nissan tiida I just replace the engine and notice a sqeal in alternator belt I took it back to the shop and they replace it the noise went away and after driving about km the noise is back. I have a Mazda B truck and it's making a chirping noise but it's coming out of the back of the engine not from where the belt is and there's no belt back there so I'm not sure what this could be will you be able to tell me?I've taken it to a mechanic but he can't figure out what the problem is without hearing the noise.
It has been making this noise for awhile but it just got way worse. This morning my service engine light came on and I'm getting really worried! My brakes are fine and everything looks intact under the hood. I am completely stumped : The belt has some sort of black stuff on it, maybe someone before me put some belt conditioner on it. I am going to have the belt replaced anyway, just not sure if there is another problem.
It's the alternator pulley giving a heavy load on the belt. Right after startup, the alternator tries to charge very hard, to make up for the large energy that was just drawn from the battery to start the engine, plus the battery gets charged up to The belt could be slightly loose because of your tensioner and maybe the belt is stretched, and maybe the ribs on the belt are worn, and there isn't enough rubber to grab the pulley grooves.
To verify my theory, unplug the alternator connector from the side of the alternator, in the morning, before you have run the engine. Then start the engine. You will surely notice the lack of squealing. You can plug the connector back in while the engine is running, if there is room, and your hand and sleeve are not in the area of the belt and pulley.
The belt will then squeal for a moment. For safety's sake, shut off the engine, and plug the connector back in. When you restart the engine, it will squeal for a moment. If the "black stuff" on the belt is powdery, it's rubber that has been worn off during the squealing episode at startup.
A new belt won't do that. If the check engine light came on, maybe the belt came off? The squealing sound is the belt slipping on the pulley, which is destructive to the belt. My advice is to install a new belt. It's a good idea for the winter. Have the mechanic check the belt tensioner. Maybe the spring inside it broke? A new belt should be quiet at startup. Could have a loose serpentine belt caused by a weak belt tensioner spring. Does the problem go away?
Doesn't sound like the mechanic you have is very good. Alternators generally don't cause squealing unless their bearings have seized. Usually, they make a loud grinding noise before they seize completely.
Same for power steering pumps and water pumps.So, I have a Suzuki SX4, aboutmiles on it. Great little car. Love it. But only right at start up. Certainly sometime since the last oil change almost ready for a new one.
Tonight was typical… Start the car. Back out. I hear squeaking when I step on the brakes. Take my foot off the brakes just to test it and I still hear squeaking.
I turn left from my side street onto a busier street, hear a bit of squeaking. It goes away. By the time I drive another six blocks, the noise is gone. Tonight, I did experiment a little. But I mean… just barely to the left. Alignment was last done a little over a year ago. Maybe year and a half.
So… I know I should get this checked out. Just looking at what this might be. Does it squeak only when you move? First, change the serpentine belt. Just changed the serpentine belt about 4 months ago. When my mechanic put in the new one, he figured the old one had never been changed.
The squeaking noise? Does NOT happen when the car is in reverse. As in, when I first start it up and back out of the driveway, apply my foot to the brakes, and shift into drive. The noise does not happen then. Only when going forward. If one is sticking a bit when the engine is cold like power steering, it could still cause a slipping belt. I guess it is something associated with the power steering pump.
If the serpentine belt is on the PS pump routing, as posted above, could well be that. Brake pads… rear brake pads replaced in May Two oil changes ago my mechanic one of the 5 star rated folks here on the website said that my front brakes would need replacing at the next oil change.
On my last oil change, I asked them, and they said they still had some wear left and there was no need to replace them just quite yet. They all look fine and with even wear, no unusual signs or anything.
Coming home from a meeting tonight, driving through the remains of a torrential downpour… there was LOTS of squeaking… took longer than normal for it to go away. Mechanic says that the squeaking noise is due to me needing front brakes. Something about the brake sensor making that noise.