Horrible screeching coming from surpantine belt area

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Last weekend I made a quick trip to the store, less than a mile away. When I pulled into the parking lot this loud, ear piercing screeching sound started coming out from under the hood. I opened the hood while the engine was still running and could hear the sound coming from one of the pulleys/wheels the surpantine belt rides on. I had a can of spray lube in my car and I doused all of the pulleys in the area where the bearings would be and the squealing stopped. I noticed all of the pulleys were still turning with the belt, so I know it wasn't the belt slipping on one of the pulleys causing the noise, it was a bearing. I was worried about driving the car from IL (where I work) to OH (where I live) as I know if the bearing seized, I'd be broke on the side of the road. I apparently got enough oil on the bad bearing to keep it from squealing or locking up. I dropped the car off at my mechanics's place this morning. My guess is a bad belt tensioner, but it could be one of the bearings on one of the other components that are driven by the surpantine belt. The belt turns 4 or 5 pulleys. At any rate, I'm glad I made it home, and the problem should be resolved today...
 
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could be idler or tensioner if there are both ,seems like one or the other are the first to give any problems
 

JHZR2

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Is it necessarily a failing pulley? Couldnt a slight misalignment of a belt cause a screeching noise? Was the adding of oil absolutely only in the bearings (to me this is dubious, most seem fairly sealed), or did it perhaps get onto the edge of the belt?
 
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Originally Posted by SLO_Town
I have a pair a mechanics stethoscopes for this very reason. You can easily isolate the source of the noise. FWIW, Scott
You know it. Put that scopes tip on the casting the bearing is housed in and that sound will likely sound like a train sliding by with its brakes locked. Pure awful. Don't put it off or tears will flow duh I promise. I just went through that with a fairly nice 93 Civic I know quite well. The guy kept driving for a couple months too busy to let me look at it to see what it was. He just couldn't be bothered. Finally screaming most of the time still too oblivious. He almost got around to letting me see it and the noise was starting to get to him when it flew apart and cost him $350 he didn't really have to fix. The putz is sort of an intellectual who works as a cook in a restaurant and his brother gave him the car for free last year because he had a dying high mileage sport VW we told him not to buy, but " he liked it" crush Sometimes ya just can't cure STUPID..... horse Don't be that guy! I could have fixed that Civic for $20 3 months earlier
 

grampi

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It was the tensioner...funny thing, when my mechanic called to let me know my car was ready, he told me I shouldn't be applying any oil to the bearings as it attracts dust and dirt. When I told him I had to drive the car 300 miles to get here, and that I was concerned about the bearing seizing up during the drive, he completed understood why I did it...
 
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grampi

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Originally Posted by JHZR2
Is it necessarily a failing pulley? Couldnt a slight misalignment of a belt cause a screeching noise? Was the adding of oil absolutely only in the bearings (to me this is dubious, most seem fairly sealed), or did it perhaps get onto the edge of the belt?
Originally Posted by Kira
IL to OH = an "Indiana". How long is that in miles?
Form my apartment in IL to my home in OH, 312 miles...
 
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Originally Posted by grampi
Form my apartment in IL to my home in OH, 312 miles...
After what I saw this last winter, I wouldn't drive a vehicle at all with a failing pulley or tensioner. I know a guy who drive his Ford pickup with a failing tensioner and actually rubbed a hole in the timing cover. There was enough play in the bearing that the pulley turned sideways, put a hole in the cover and allowed rain water to get into the engine.
 

grampi

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Originally Posted by Kruse
Originally Posted by grampi
Form my apartment in IL to my home in OH, 312 miles...
After what I saw this last winter, I wouldn't drive a vehicle at all with a failing pulley or tensioner. I know a guy who drive his Ford pickup with a failing tensioner and actually rubbed a hole in the timing cover. There was enough play in the bearing that the pulley turned sideways, put a hole in the cover and allowed rain water to get into the engine.
I had no choice...my mechanic is in OH, and I don't take my vehicles to unknown mechanics...the only guy I trust with my vehicles is my guy here in OH...
 
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