Squeaking Engine? Here Are Some Suggestions

Dear readers,

Tonight I would like to explain how you can get rid of the engine squeak that usually gets even worse in wet and humid weather. If the engine of your car is squeaking annoyingly, especially when idling and running up to 2000 RPM, then you probably have some similar issue that I had. First of all, there are generally three most common things that may cause the squeak:

  • Alternator (generator) bearings
  • A/C Compressor Clutch bearing
  • Serpentine belt

I don’t like when my car makes unusual noises and I do get really pissed off about those things. Therefore, I had to try everything possible to get rid of the noise. First of all I had the generator looked at – one of the bearings was in really bad shape and could have caused noise when running. That was replaced by a mechanic. That didn’t get rid of the squeak and we found another noise source which was the A/C compressor clutch. Keep in mind that you can replace the bearing yourself but you need some special tools for that. In USA those tools can be ordered from most of the auto parts stores.

AC Compressor Bearing Service Tools

Since I couldn’t get those tools quick enough anywhere, I had a mechanic do this as well. When I almost thought that my squeaks were over, the humid weather came and there I was again sitting in my squealing piece of truck wondering what else to try. I didn’t suspect the belt in my case since I had that replaced like 2 years ago and this shouldn’t finish up a belt yet. They are supposed to last 5-10 years just fine. However, here comes a tip for you! When you have a squeak in the belt line and want to diagnose where it is, DO NOT spray WD-40 or any other oil onto the belt. That will kill the belt and it will never stop squeaking anymore. If you want to spray something, use a silicone spray or water. Those will also tell you what you need.

I bought a PRO 1 belt yesterday and today we replaced the belt. If you were as stupid as I was and sprayed oil onto the belt before, make sure you clean all the rollers before putting the new belt on. Otherwise the new belt could get “fried” too. You can use brake cleaner for this process but if you have any plastic rollers, do not spray brake cleaner directly onto those since it could melt the roller. Clean it with a tissue instead where you spray brake cleaner beforehand. In my case one plastic roller was present and that was the automatic belt tensioner:

DO NOT SPRAY BRAKE CLEANER DIRECTLY ONTO A PLASTIC ROLLER!
DO NOT SPRAY BRAKE CLEANER DIRECTLY ONTO A PLASTIC ROLLER!

So we replaced the belt and now it seems to be OK. You should also pay attention which belt you buy – PRO 1, Gates, Dayco and some others are known as fine belts. Do not buy anything too cheap or you will get your squeaks back in no time.

1997 Chevrolet Suburban Engine

1997 Chevrolet Suburban Engine

1997 Chevrolet Suburban Alternator

1997 Chevrolet Suburban AC Compressor