Does Your Car Engine Squeal?
A squeal from your car’s engine can be an alarming sound. That’s because it can mean your vehicle is in need of repairs, and you may not know where the noise is coming from. Fortunately, there are many common causes of squealing sounds, all of which can be easily diagnosed and repaired. This article will help you learn what to listen for and when it might indicate a repair needs to be made.
Why Does My Engine Squeal?
If your car engine starts to squeal, it can be frustrating and embarrassing. It can also mean that something’s wrong and should be fixed soon. One of the most common causes for a squealing car engine is the serpentine belt system. This belt spins around a variety of pulleys and tensioners that deliver power to a number of important accessories such as the alternator, water pump, AC compressor, and more. In the worst case scenario, a failing serpentine belt can cause your vehicle to overheat.
If your car is making squealing noises while it’s running, it might be due to one of the many belts in the system. Most modern cars have a serpentine belt that routes around a variety of pulleys, at least one tensioner, and possibly an idler pulley or two. This belt runs important accessories like the air conditioning, power steering pump, and engine water pump. All of these have bearings that can go bad after many miles, causing the belt to wobble and make a squealing sound. Fortunately, this problem usually can be easily fixed with a new belt. However, it is a good idea to keep up with regular vehicle maintenance so that you don’t have to deal with these squeaking sounds in the future.
The alternator in your car is responsible for generating electricity to run your stereo, climate controls and lights. If it isn’t working properly, you might hear a whining noise coming from your alternator when you turn the key. Alternator whining is caused by a difference in electrical potential (voltage) between two connection points. It can also be caused by an improperly grounded alternator, radio, or stereo component. If you’re hearing this whining noise, it might be time to have your alternator replaced. This is an easy and inexpensive repair that can make your vehicle sound like new again.
Worn Drive Belt
A worn drive belt can cause a lot of trouble for your car. It can damage many of the accessories it drives, like the power-steering pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor and alternator. It can also cause your battery to go flat while you’re driving. That’s why it’s important to check the condition of your belt frequently and make sure you change it before it breaks unexpectedly. One way to check if your belt is damaged is to listen for a squealing noise. This noise is caused when the belt is slipping on the pulleys. If you’re experiencing a squealing belt, take your car in for a repair. Most mechanics will tell you that a belt should be replaced around 75,000 km or whenever it begins to show signs of physical damage, such as frayed edges or peeling sections.