98 Taurus Mystery Chirping

I've got a 98 Taurus with the 3.0L Vulcan and about 64K miles on it.
It's recently developed a chirping noise coming from the engine compartment. The noise sounds just like a moderately loose belt; not the screech of a
really loose belt. Figuring a loose belt, I popped the hood and tried to locate the source of the noise.
Much to my surprise, the noise was NOT coming from a belt. Instead, it seemed to be coming from the top to the back of the engine itself, maybe anywhere from the intake to between the engine and the firewall.
Other notes: The noise occurs regardless of what gear the transmission is in. It seems to go away almost completely as the engine warms. The frequency of the noise occurring increases as the RPM increases. The air conditioning settings make no difference (thought it might have been the blower motor at first).
I'm no car expert here, but I can't really think of any moving bolt-on engine parts in this area of the engine that would cause the noise. I know the EGR valve is in that area, but would it cause a noise that varies with the engine's RPM?
Any ideas? I'm starting to get really worried here since it's my daily driver, I'm broke, and a noisy car usually doesn't fix itself, only worse.
Thanks!
Pete
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I've heard a lot of "chirps" in 40 years of beater cars and I find High freq noises are very difficult to locate precisely... suggest you buy a contact stethoscope. Or at least a long wood handled screwdriver.
If it WERE in area of the EGR valve, the noise would more likely be an exhaust leak whistle... does the sound freq increase (higher pitched) or the chirp freq per second increase?
Pete Landers opined in

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Good point. I may go out and buy a stethoscope.
Sorry to be so muddy on the frequency. The number of times I hear the noise per second increases as the RPM's increase. I may be going crazy here (no big surprise), but it also sounds like the amplitude of the chirp also *decreases* as the RPM's increase.

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Funny.. I had the exact same problem on my 2001 Taurus LX about 2 months ago.
I am aware of belt tensioners and drive belts causing this problem but not on mine.
It was the cam sycronizer gears..The shop lubed it..I didn't asked them what they meant by lubed it. I assume that they put some oil or grease on/in it. I believe that it is under the intake manifold; where the distributor normally would be at.
Anyway they were honest with me any said it might come back and they wern't satisfied that it would say quiet. It hasn't so far (2 months) and it had been doing it all the time (the chirp).
I did a google search on this when it started happening.. 99% of the posts eluded to either belts or tensioners but one post did say that the user took it in for repair and it was the cam sycronizer gears.
Your right.. It was hard to diagnoise where the chirp was coming from but it sure didn't sound to me that it was coming from the drive belt or tensioner area..
Rich
Pete Landers wrote:

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I think I may have found the problem. I'm not sure how I could have missed it the first ten times I looked at the car, but that's how things go sometimes I suppose.
Anyway, I recently checked the radiator fluid level while trying to figure out the problem. I didn't think I was low, since I had just flushed/filled the coolant system a month or so ago. Well, I was low--WAY low. I ended up pouring a little under a gallon of water into the radiator's expansion container. It didn't fix the problem, but certainly needed to be done.
After I added the water, I went on a 15-20 mile drive on the Interstate and popped the hood to check the fluid level again. This time, I noticed a VERY small hole in the expansion container. It just so happened, as the engine warmed, the pressure in the system forced water out (and water vapor if the fluid level was below the hole) like a squirt gun, dousing the belt and pulleys. Now, I still swear that the noise was coming from behind the engine, but it's possible it was coming from the lowest pulley and making it sound like it was coming from behind the engine.
I had noticed the water on that side of the engine compartment before, but had thought it was from water condensing on the A/C lines that run through the area.
Regardless, I went to the local Ford dealer and bought a new container for $29.99. As a side note, I thought the price was very reasonable considering I was purchasing it from the dealer.
Anyway, I replaced the expansion container. I also sprayed the belt with WD-40, hoping that it would cure the chirps. It did, but only temporarily. If I drive 3-4 miles after spraying the belt with WD-40, the chirps come back again.
I'd imagine that replacing the belt all together would fix the squeak problem, but I'm hoping (due to money problems) that there's a cheaper solution. I've read some pretty bad things about the belt "squeak-fix" stuff that autoparts stores carry. Anyone have ideas? Given that a new belt can be had at AutoZone for $17.99, replacing the belt is not totally out of the question, but I'd rather not spend that much right now.
Any help is greatly appreciated. Sorry for such a long post.
Thanks again!
Pete
P.S. If replying via e-mail, please remove "_AT_" and "_NOSPAM_".

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pete... just live with the chirp for a while.
Advice to anyone finding this in a search.
pinholes in plastic bottles arent exactly rare... and pete now has to worry about buying a new belt or feeding his family ..- j/k :)
When you find one of these, there may be others but you can also pick up a bottle at a salvage yard rvery reasonably
home fix for hole (not crack) is to remove bottle drill out hole a little, use a stainless screw and neoprene (like a faucettype) washer, coated with hi-temp silicone sealer.
attempts to just glue-seal these often fail quickly.
Pete Landers opined in

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Backyard,
Thanks for the advice.
That's a good idea for fixing the hole. I had considered trying the old standby (JB Weld), but had images in my head of the pressure building in the tank, the JB Weld patch shooting off and wreaking havoc on the belt/pulleys (or worse).
I'll live with the noise for now, hoping the fluid that's undoubtable evaporated on the belt will wear itself off.
Either way, the container was cheap ($19.99).
Again, thanks for the help.
Pete

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