Engine Squealing


Old 02-22-03, 06:27 AM
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Wink Engine Squealing

Haven't found any mice... Sorry, bad joke. I posted on here many months ago and was a bad, bad forum user and didn't repost the final outcome. Please accept my heartfelt apologies.

Now that bunk is over...I have a 93 Plymouth Laser with a 1.8L engine. It has performed very well. However, it has a tendency to squeal upon accelerating from a stop. The squeal stops upon reaching 2nd gear, approx. 1500 rpm. (I like my eyes on the road, not on the gage.) It stops once the car has hit the temp it likes, and is intermittant before that. It idles at 700rm. This is worse when it's cold, clears up faster the warmer the outside temp is. Here's what has been done to the car over the last six months. (To spark some jealousy, I paid $400 for it)

-Head Gasket replacement, along with the Power Steering and Cam Belts, Complete Tune-up, flush and new filters for the Transmission and Oil, Complete flush of radiator. And obviously, it has an immaculately clean engine, because I couldn't just take the gaskets off, I had to make the parts "pretty".
All this went well, only lost 1 part (I now know what a fuel injector insulator is.) and only put the thermostat in upside down twice.

The squealing started up 2 months ago.
-About a month ago, I replaced the alternator belt and another drivebelt. Because the alternator belt was worn, I naturally assumed it was the culprit. Nope. So I put belt dressing on all the belts..not that either. I double checked the tension on the belts...within specs. I'm stumped.

I'm thinking the car is just cold-natured since the squeal stops once the engine is warm and is intermittant before that. I've kept a close eye on the new belts and they show no sign of fast wear and pulleys seem to spin freely. I did try talking my brother into riding on top of the engine while I reproduced the conditions, he politely declined.

I hope I gave the information needed and wasn't too long winded. I would greatly appreciate any/all diagnosis'. I promise I will update the situation afterward. (sheepish face).

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Old 02-22-03, 10:48 AM
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What brand of belts were used? How do the pulleys look?
Old 02-22-03, 06:38 PM
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sounds like a belt problem belt dressing should not be needed often when used on serpentine belts it tends to make the problem worse, i would replace all the drive belts and make sure your splash shield is still on the car underneath which prevents water form splashing up onto drive belts if the splash shield is missing the problem will return.
Old 02-22-03, 08:21 PM
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engine squealing

Brand? Um, the brand they handed me across the counter at Autozone. Hang on, I'll check the website...probably Kelly Springfield or Gatorback. Doesn't say on the receipt, but I bought 3 belts for $24. I know, I'm too trusting. I just ask for the part, never a specific manufacturer, especially when it comes to belts, brake pads, etc. Am I about to learn a lesson?

Splash guard is there. I reinstalled it so that was one of the first things I checked. Not that I'm forgetful or anything....

Thanks for the replies!!

P.S. Gatorback....don't they make that worthless rubber wrench thing? (k, I'm a little worried now..)
Old 02-22-03, 08:25 PM
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Forgot about the pulleys. They seem fine, spinning along freely. I was worried that maybe I had put one back too tightly, but someone else said that was highly unlikely. I torqued everything to spec.
Old 02-23-03, 02:34 AM
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Gatorback is usually Goodyear. I prefer Gates or Dayco belts from a traditional parts store.

I agree with BeJay.
Old 02-23-03, 04:12 AM
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Do you have a belt tensioner or idler on your engine? The will make funny noises when the bearings start to go.
Old 02-23-03, 05:42 AM
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I'll be checking your suggestions out today and tomorrow. My main concern is not breaking down as I have managed so far to avoid getting a cell. (I'll be joining the masses soon)

I really appreciate all the possibilities you guys have suggested. Will keep you posted.

Old 02-23-03, 07:12 AM
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FWIW, the serpentine on my wrecker (350 Chevy engine) has a seasonal squeal, especially when cold. Nine months of the year it's silent, the other three months (generally in cooler months) I get the intermittent squeal and it comes and goes depending on a combination of temperature and humidity on any particular day or even during the day. Only cure I ever found was Armorall (but have to be careful to keep it on OUTSIDE surface of belt) and it's a band-aid fix; has to be reapplied every other day or so.
Old 02-24-03, 03:08 PM
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My '91 berreta, has done this since about 80k, car now has 150k. Though that time, alternator, waterpump, and belt has been changed--never use "belt dressing". When it is cold ie. below freezing that sucker will squeal like a stuck pig-then a few minutes it is gone!! I just stopped worrying about it---always thought it was the idler pully--just figured it would eventually freeze up and spin the belt then I would replace it. Because in a redneck world "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
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