1988 S-10 - squeals


Old 01-06-03, 09:26 PM
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1988 S-10 - squeals

My 1988 S-10 (V6, 2.8L, 57k miles) has been making a squealing sound. It doesn't happen every time I run it, only sometimes, and I haven't noticed a pattern yet. My first thought was the serpentine belt, but it looks like it's in good condition, and it doesn't seem loose - it was replaced December 2001. The sound seems to be coming from that general area though, that's why I'm stumped. I checked the fan clutch to the best of my ability, and it seems to be fine as well.
When it squeals, it's a constant squeal, not a chirping sound. Sometimes it doesn't make the sound when I first crank the truck up, but it starts sometime while I'm driving it. You can really only hear the sound when at low speeds - as in, mainly when stopped and for a few seconds after starting to accelerate. It's either overpowered by the normal sound of the truck or just quits, not sure which, but the truck isn't noisy so I think it stops. It didn't make the sound at all today, and I took two 20 mile trips and a few shorter trips around town. Other times, on the same length of trips (to the same places, even) it will do it. It seems random so far. Any ideas on what it could be and/or how I could test further?
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Old 01-06-03, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,915
Change the belt first, it's really not that expensive. Also check if the tensioner is working and putting enough "tension". When you remove the belt make sure that the fan and the alternator turn freely.
Old 01-06-03, 09:52 PM
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I checked to see if the fan would turn easily by hand this afternoon, since the fan only turns at low RPM (higher than about 2k RPM you should be going fast enough you don't need it, so it cuts itself off from what i understand). I figured the fan could be making the noise, but it seemed fine today. I'll try checking it when I hear the noise again.
The alternator is what I was afraid of, actually. I forgot to mention that my alternator was a "rebuilt" one when I got it, and it's made a noise ever since I got it. When the serpentine belt was replaced a year ago they tried to tell me that my tensioner was warped (it was in for more than just the belt, I could have done that myself, but i let them change it "while they were at it"). Then they turned around and told me that the pulley on the alternator was warped. I could never see any warping, just the sound, so I haven't worried about it. It's been operating normally except for the sound it's had since I got it, I've even checked it several times to be sure. I don't really want to shell out the money for a new alternator unless I absolutely have to, that's why I've been checking all other possibilities first.
The tension on the belt, as I said, seems fine. The belt itself still looks like new as well, no cracks that I can see.
Thanks for your help so far.
Old 01-06-03, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 431
Those noises are usually the serpentine belt or tension, the belt tensioner pulley/bearing or the alternator. Have you tired to re tension the belt a small amount?
Old 01-07-03, 07:19 AM
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You could have a bad tensioner or idler pulley or the quality of the belt you used was poor.

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