2004 Hyundai Elantra Banshee Squeal

Old 12-11-11, 03:43 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Question 2004 Hyundai Elantra Banshee Squeal

Hi All,

Last winter, I noticed that on really cold days, I'd get a loud belt squeal when cutting the wheel if the engine wasn't warmed up yet. I have a detached garage, so I took it to a mechanic and they looked over the belts and power steering and couldn't find any issue and since the car was warmed up by the time I got there, they couldn't reproduce the problem. Soon the weather started to warm up and I forgot about it and didn't look into it any further.

This winter, however, it has been much worse. The squeal seems to be a function of (1) how cold it is and (2) how much accessory load I'm putting on the engine. It also only happens at low speeds or when I'm stopped. Once I get up to speed, the squeal stops and once the car is warmed up, it goes away completely, even at low speeds / stopped.

On most days, I can manage it OK by remembering to turn off the front and rear defrosters when slowing for a stop and not taking turns too sharply. However, on very cold days, there is nothing that can be done - the car shrieks like mad when the headlights are on, when the defroster is on, when you cut the wheel, anything!

I know this can't be good and since I'm an idiot and didn't look into this more when the weather was warm, I'll likely be taking it to a mechanic to hopefully get sorted out. Before I go, though, I'm looking for some suggestions on possible causes so I have some idea of what to expect. I've tried searching around online for this problem, but didn't see any that were a close match - most people seem to have this issue only with specific things (such as power steering or the compressor).

Some additional info:
2004 Hyundai Elantra GLS
~55K miles
All belts (except timing belt) replaced around 40K.
Up to date on all regular maintenance.
Old 12-11-11, 05:10 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,671
Received 63 Upvotes on 54 Posts
banshee squeal is a bearing going bad.
most common ones are idler, alternator, and water pump.
take a plastic hose, about 1/4 inch diameter, suitable length, and use it as stethoscope. works very well. garden hose works too.
just be general cautious.
of course, belt might be slipping, but at 55K miles - seriously doubt.
Old 12-11-11, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 989
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Are you sure the noise is not power steering related? If you do check for the source as ukrbyk suggests you might also check at the power steering pump. If the reservoir filter screen is dirty and plugged some loud noises can come out of that also. If so probably a new reservoir is in order. Just something else to consider though as was mentioned by ukrbyk, various bad bearings in components are the most common, but with your relatively low mileage I might not discount the power steering possibility also at least before listening for it.
Old 01-29-14, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Did u ever find the solution to this issue. 2004 hyundai elantra does exact same thing. Just changed belt and same issue when cold. I noticed it's the PS pump belt slipping under load when cold causing the noise. Trying to figure out if it's a bad pump. Works great otherwise.
Old 01-29-14, 07:51 PM
iceman681's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 456
Received 5 Upvotes on 4 Posts
just get the belts adjusted. they are a tad loose, heat expansion makes them just tight enough not to be noisy.
Old 02-01-14, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 737
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
If it does it always under load conditions such as heater, turning etc, then it has to be belt or tensioner related. Only other thing may be improper fluid in power steering, but I'm sure you said it does it as soon as alternator has a load as well, and steering not in play at the time. With belt off I would certainly feel alternator bearings for any resistance, slightest feel of grinding etc. I will assume all pulleys were cleaned well before new belt installed, and also checked for any oil or coolant that may be dripping near or on any of the pulleys. I belt also may look good but rubber is dry and not gripping as well. Other thing I found a couple of times is that they recommended a "Gator" type belt where all the ribs are notched out, but I changed it to full ribs as before, and squeel was gone. Doesn't make sense to me that less material engaging the pulley is better?

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: