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Thread: what kind of noise does an alternator make when its going out?

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    Web Wheeler
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    what kind of noise does an alternator make when its going out?

    theres an odd ticky/squeeky noise coming from under the hood. had it for a while. goes away when i get on the gas. just does it when idling...
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    I support Reno4x4!
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    Usually is goes:
    "AAAAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO! AVENGE ME!"

    Something like that.


    Seriously, I've had 2 alternators go out on 2 different cars and neither one made a noise.
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    Could be an idler pulley making all that racket under the hood. Very easy to replace and inexpensive. Change the belt while you are there.

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    yeah idk why i didnt think of it, but maybe the ac compressor pulley
    i hear its common on the 4.0 sohc

    and the noice SEEMS to me coming from that area, but its hard to tell...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 72 Virginians View Post
    Seriously, I've had 2 alternators go out on 2 different cars and neither one made a noise.
    I concur. Alternators don't make noise when they die ... they just stop working and leave your a$$ stranded ... kind of the nature of the beast.

    I'd start w/a belt and that AC pulley.
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    Quick way to check if it's the belt (other than looking worn out and cracked) is to pour a glass of water on it while the motor's running/squeaking. If the squeak stops, it's the belt.
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    I agree with 72Virginians on the no noise line. It usually tells you it is going out when you aren't charging or you have the battery light on all the time.
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  9. #9
    toyjota
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    Alternators have bearings, which can fail, and make noise. I have experienced this first hand. As far as the noise goes, you are probably going to have to try and listen more closely to find the source. Could be belt, alternator, water pump? Good Luck

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    A bearing could be going out. Or a ticking sound could be an exhaust leak.

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    ok....l learned this one a long time ago from a pretty good shade tree mechanic.

    He called it the redneck stethoscope.

    Take an extra long Ratchet extension (12-18") or breaker bar.

    Cup one end in your hand and hold it up to your ear, hold the other end against each item that could be making the noise (Make sure that you are clear of the moving parts at all times )

    You should be able to tell which one is making the noise a little better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamus30 View Post
    ok....l learned this one a long time ago from a pretty good shade tree mechanic.

    He called it the redneck stethoscope.

    Take an extra long Ratchet extension (12-18") or breaker bar.

    Cup one end in your hand and hold it up to your ear, hold the other end against each item that could be making the noise (Make sure that you are clear of the moving parts at all times )

    You should be able to tell which one is making the noise a little better.
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    well upon further inspection, its clearly the AC compressor pulley. it starts making the noise as soon as that engages. i can see it through the wheel well.
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