Any idea what this noise is?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by nitrous9200, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 Senior member

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    http://youtu.be/aZJp0mQlw-A

    After starting the engine, I hear a chirping noise that changes along with RPM, as in the video above. It is annoying and hopefully nothing too serious.
    I will likely need to have the alternator replaced because I think it's causing a parasitic drain, and the belt, tensioner etc would need to be removed.
    Is it worthwhile to replace any of that stuff at the same time? I don't know when the belt was last changed (no records) and the car has done roughly 150k miles so it might be time. I will likely have to take it to a mechanic anyway since the alternator job doesn't look like something I can do.

    I'm sure it's not easy to figure out the issue by just looking at a short video but any tips would be appreciated.
     
  2. thecoolnessrune

    thecoolnessrune Diamond Member

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    Sounds like normal belt squeal to me. Could be the belt wearing out, or one of the pulleys squeaking. Does the belt look cracked? Does the tensioner move correctly or is it seized up?
     
  3. Demo24

    Demo24 Diamond Member

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    That took a bit long to start, might be right your battery isn't getting full charged, or depending on its age ( might have a date on it) could be time for a new one. That sounds like belt squeak to me as well. When you get the alternator done go ahead and get whatever other belts up there replaced. With no records who knows when they were last replaced, and if it has a timing belt that's quite dangerous.
     
  4. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 Senior member

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    On a Saab forum they told me the slow cranking was normal. The battery is six months old and it holds a charge (12.56v as of a few minutes ago).

    From what I can see of the belt, it doesn't appear to be cracked, but that area is hard to see (motor mount is in the way). How can I check the tensioner?
     
  5. Squisher

    Squisher Lifer

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    I think you're on target that it's a bearing, but before you start changing stuff willy nilly, test everything by spinning it by hand after you have the belt off. Also try to wiggle each pulley looking for play. Check out the belt for a flat spot or a shiny spot.
     
  6. 5150MyU

    5150MyU Senior member

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    Possible rock/pebble/sand lodged into one of the serpintine grooves on the belt.
    Quick check=Non flamable brake clean or similar --spray the belt to hear if you can get the noise to change.
     
  7. 5150MyU

    5150MyU Senior member

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    At 150k the auto tensioner and any idler pulleys would not be a bad idea.
     
  8. phucheneh

    phucheneh Diamond Member

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    I would put $100 on that being a tensioner or idler pulley bearing. Probably idler, if it's got one.

    Also holy random valve clatter. Right after cranking. Had the car been sitting a long time?
     
    #8 phucheneh, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  9. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 Senior member

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    Bring this thread up to date.
    First of all, the car does tend to sit un driven for a few days at a time.

    While changing a motor mount, I pulled off the belt (otherwise it is almost completely hidden from view). The belt appeared to be in good shape, without cracks or any other damage, and the pulleys all spun freely without making any unusual noises.
    This engine actually has two idler pulleys, but the belt on my car was replaced in the past with a short belt that bypasses one of them. I will likely change the belt back to the long version anyway as the short one supposedly causes more vibration, and change the pulleys and tensioner at the same time. It will run almost $200 for everything but I figured it's worth it.

    I also have another question.
    I have narrowed my parasitic drain down to one cable that is connected to the starter and alternator. Will an Autozone alternator test be able to determine whether it is causing a drain (without having to remove it from the car)?
    Also, is it possible that one of the belt driven accessories is causing this chirping noise?
     
  10. exdeath

    exdeath Lifer

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    You won't be able to hear a pulley bearing squeak when you turn them by hand. You have to turn them slowly and feel for grit.
     
  11. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 Senior member

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    Almost three months later, time to bring this story to a close.

    Too bad you didn't find someone to take you up on that bet! While changing the alternator, I replaced the belt and upper idler pulley (also pulled out a few pebbles) and it's now silent. The old pulley spun way too freely compared to the new one, and when I carefully listened, it sounded and felt gritty.

    I replaced the starter a while ago, which solved the slow cranking, and just finished replacing the alternator an hour ago (spent three nights on it). Hopefully that solves the parasitic drain issue I've been having; I'll see in the morning whether the battery is drained or not but looks good so far. It sure was a bear of a job but I'm pretty happy that nothing is broken and it is actually working. :D
     
  12. nerp

    nerp Diamond Member

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    Solid work. I like knowing a car on the road is running a little better.
     
  13. SyndromeOCZ

    SyndromeOCZ Senior member

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    Its a Saab, give it a few months and it will need new parts. ;)

    My brother had an old 9000... he replaced nearly every single part in that thing(from the tranny to the seats), and still never ran fine.
     
  14. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 Senior member

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    Thanks, so do I. Not having to open the hood and disconnect the battery cable every time I stop the car is nice too. :D

    It's not a low maintenance machine but I knew that going into it. It's been an enjoyable DIY project for me (having never worked on cars before) and after undoing previous ghetto fixes and neglect from previous owners, I'm quite pleased with how well it runs having invested less than $3500 for the car and parts. After a suspension overhaul, a sump drop and a new fuel pump, it should be good for another 150k miles.
     
  15. SyndromeOCZ

    SyndromeOCZ Senior member

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    Yeah even my brother said he never really regretted his saab, even though it was broken more than it worked. he finally gave up on it after the tranny went out the second time within 30k miles.