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.
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
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.
Funny.. I had the exact same problem on my 2001 Taurus LX about 2 months
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
Pete Landers wrote:
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
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
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.
P.S. If replying via e-mail, please remove "_AT_" and "_NOSPAM_".
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
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
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.
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