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Car sounds like a plane taking off

1991 Corolla automatic. My car suddenly developed a loud whine (like a plane taking off) during acceleration. Sound is there even when in neutral and gas pedal is pushed. It seems to have lost power, also.
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  • edited June 2009
    Could be a bad bearing on an accessory (alternator, power steering pump, etc.) or idler pulley. Or it could be in the transmission.

    If you're handy with a wrench you can remove the accessory belt(s) and run the engine for 30 seconds or less and see if the sound stops. You can also use a piece of hose as a stethoscope to pinpoint the source.
  • Thank you for the reply.
    I'll try to check the pulleys, this weekend.
    Could it be the transmission even if it does it when the car is sitting still in neutral?
  • edited June 2009
    There are parts inside the transmission that still rotate when in neutral, so it's possible. However, I'd suspect an accessory is making the noise. Power steering pumps seem to have a way of making all kinds of odd noises for no particular reason, in my experience.

    Remove accessory belts one at a time and start the engine. When the noise stops (if it stops), the last thing unbelted is the noisemaker. Do the alternator last so you don't overwork your battery.
  • Thanks, I'll hope for the best and not the transmission.
  • edited June 2009
    You can find the noise by opening the hood starting the car and using a piece of garden hose (like three feet) as a stethoscope. Just keep checking around until you find the source.
  • Just got home and the local auto parts store did not have a stethoscope. So, I was planning on trying your idea. Hopefully the rain will hold off long enough.
    Thank you
  • Used a hose sounds like it may be the alternator. Will investigate further this weekend.
  • Used a hose sounds like it may be the alternator. Will investigate further this weekend.
  • Used a hose sounds like it may be the alternator. Will investigate further this weekend.
  • edited June 2009
    Does the noise go away if you run the engine with the alternator belt removed? (Don't run it for more than a few seconds)
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