Finding the Squeaky Wheel


Old 09-22-08, 10:30 PM
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Finding the Squeaky Wheel

Hi all,

I have a 94 Plymouth Grand Voyager. A few days ago, I noticed a squeaking noise coming from the engine so I took a look to see where it was coming from.

The good news is that the squeak is coming from one of the pulleys over which the serpentine belt runs. The bad news is that with the overall engine noise and several suspects, it's pretty tough to tell which pulley is the culprit.

So, my question: is there a relatively simple technique to deducing which pulley is the squealer?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 09-23-08, 03:55 AM
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Check the belt first, both for tightness and wear. A worn belt is more likely than a bad pulley.
Old 09-23-08, 05:15 AM
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You may be able to try a mechanic's stethoscope if you have room to work with it. It's basically a long rod on a stehoscope. I've had limited success in the past locating noises with the one I got a harbor freight for a couple bucks.

Have to be real careful not to catch it in the belt or you have worse problems that a squealing belt.
Old 09-23-08, 05:33 AM
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I second the scope. And very good odds its the tensioner or idler. But its probably time for a belt as mentioned.
Old 09-23-08, 06:58 AM
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squeeking wheel

Get a peice of hose like heater or garden hose about 3 ft long. Hold one end close to your ear and move the other end around the suspected areas. RW
Old 09-23-08, 08:03 PM
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pull the belt and use your hand to roll the pulleys use a stethascope to isolate the noise, most likely will be idler or tensioner, any noise from the bearing area indicates a problem with the bearing.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
Old 09-23-08, 10:17 PM
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I really appreciate all the help. I'll try the techniques mentioned.

I would not be surprised to learn that it is the tensioner. I've owned two other Grand Voyagers of the same model year and I had to replace the tensioner on both of them. Unfortunately, they didn't squeak before they broke, so in this context, the squeak is a good thing.

I will also check the belt as well for wear.

Thanks again everyone!
Old 09-24-08, 05:04 AM
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My $.02 worth:

Most likely: Idler pulley
Second choice: Tensioner pulley

Whichever one it turns out to be, replace the other as well unless you remember replacing it.
Old 09-24-08, 09:06 PM
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good idea tow_guy. I know that I haven't replaced either, so I'll replace both if one turns out to be the culprit.

Thanks again!
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