'90 Corsica making whirring sound

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  #1  
Old 06-15-06, 11:58 PM
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'90 Corsica making whirring sound

My '90 Corsica is making a strange whirring kind of noise. I can't really think of any other way to describe it. The noise is quite faint when I am inside the car, but when I step outside of the car while it is still running, it is fairly loud. It is not a squealing sound (like a fan belt).....just this loud whirr. However - it doesn't happen all the time.

Anyone know what the problem might be?

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-06, 05:28 AM
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Would be a fairly good description of the cooling fan running. You might try disconnecting the power wire to the fan(s) and see if the noise goes away. Be sure to reconnect it.
 
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Old 06-16-06, 05:42 PM
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Maybe an a/c compressor? These cycle on and off. Turn off a/c and see if it goes away.
 
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Old 06-18-06, 12:25 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I find it so odd that it's not constant.... it happens intermittently. Happened quite a lot tonight tho. I turned the a/c / heater / fan switch to off, but it still happened after that. The pitch is also on the high side, rather than low. I guess I'm just a bit worried that it could be something serious, rather than just annoying.

Thanks again.

p.s. Just a quick question (and it might be a dumb one).......How can I have the door open without having the overhead light on? I can't seem to figure that one out... I want to shampoo the upholstery and totally air the car out, so want to keep all the doors wide open. But how can I turn off the overhead light and mirror lights?
 
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Old 06-18-06, 06:20 AM
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Should be a switch that would be selectable for "on", "door", and "off". Alternatively you can pull the fuse(s). Should be labeled in the fuse panel.

More on whirring: A power steering pump low on fluid will make a noise, but it's more of a groaning noise than whirring. Check fluid level anyway.
 
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Old 06-18-06, 06:26 AM
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For the noise; I would look to see if the cooling fans behind the radiator happen to run coincidentally the same time the sound is produced. They are thermostatically controlled and will turn on and off as needed.


The lights; unless you are leaving the door open for a day or two, a decent battery should have no problem with the lights being on for several hours.
 
  #7  
Old 06-21-06, 12:56 AM
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Thanks for the relies.

Driving home today, the car got sluggish and died. It started back up, went about 50 feet, and died. I kept starting it back up (I was too close to home to quit!) and did this about 5 times, and now have the car out front of my house.

Once out front, I tried it again, and it wouldn't start up. Made a strange thudding/banging noise when I turned the key (kind of like it was turning over, but not the normal start up sound).

Then a couple hours later, I went out to start it, and it started right up. I did it about five times in a row.

How frustrating!
 
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Old 06-21-06, 06:44 AM
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I think it may be time to start looking around for a good mechanic or a replacement vehicle. It appears you may have some major issues going on. Keep in mind the book value on the car is maybe $500, so any repairs will quickly exceed the value of the car.
 
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Old 06-21-06, 11:47 PM
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I was hoping that maybe it might be the alternator... Does it sound like that might be the problem? I'm just hoping to narrow it down so that maybe I can find someone to come over and fix it for me, as it is just parked out front of the house.

Actually, I only just bought the car last week. Aside from the fact that it is not currently running.......I do think that in the long run, it might be an okay car. I only paid $250 dollars for it, and it only has 180,000 kilometers on it (110,000 miles). It belonged to a friends grandfather who recently died.
 
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Old 06-22-06, 08:29 AM
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Alternator would be on the list of items capable of making a whirring noise and if the output voltage is low, the car would run off the battery until the voltage dropped below what it takes to make things operate and the car would quit and possibly restart. Would be worth the time to remove it and have it bench checked. The thudding/banging will need some more detective work.
 
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Old 06-22-06, 11:18 PM
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Thanks for your reply, towguy.

I'm curious as to what sounds a car usually makes when the alternator is the problem. I should probably start a new thread for that tho.

Thanks again.
 
  #12  
Old 06-23-06, 03:01 AM
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doesnt really sound like an alternater problem most of the time an alternater can go out and not charge the battery and leave you stranded with a dead battery with no noises at all, the bearings in the alternater could cause a grinding noise if going bad but is not likely to come and go you would probably hear it anytime the engine is running.
and have seen a few of them lock up and either burn up the belt or cause a no start and no crank condition.
so there is several ways an alternater can go bad but really none of them really fit your situation suggest you run it by a shop and have a mechanic listen to the noise to get a better answer of what it may be and if it could be related to your dying problem.
 
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