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2005 Toyota Camry - loud odd noise


I own a Toyota Camry that has about 180,000 miles. Yesterday, when I started the car, a high pitched whine occurred when the engine turned and the volume of the whine decreased after about 5 minutes (car was in park). The pitch of the whine increases when I accelerate, up to about 50 mph, and then the whine stops around the 50 mph mark. When the car decelerates, the pitch of the whine decreases. This does not seem to be linked in any way to the steering. The whine does occur when the car idles.

There are no alert lights on in the dashboard, only an odd noise.

What do you think?


This could be a loose drive belt (serpentine belt), which will slip upon starting when the item driven (power steering pump, alternator, A/C compressor) takes more power to be riven.

When you accelerate rapidly the same thing happens. When this is determined, just don’t change the belt and the tensioner; you need to verify that the driven accessories do not bind. I had this happen some years back and the A?C compressor had to be changed.

Good luck if it’s only the belt and tensioner.

If it’s 4 cylinder, I believe the tensioner is automatic

If it’s V6, the car has multiple belts, and you have to set the tension yourself

I wouldn’t wait to get it checked. A belt that noisy is probably on its last revolutions.

Db, I personally would prefer to be able to adjust the tension myself. Retracting my tensioner to change the serp belt is to me more difficult. In the old days it just required loosening the alternator, sliding it over, removing and replacing the belt, and sliding the alternator back until the belt tension is good and tightening the retaining bolts up. On my tensioner, I have to have my neighbor hold the tensioner back while I put the new belt on and thread it around everything. IMHO the old way was easier.

The old days are long gone. The 4 cylinder has a hydraulic tensioner. You have to push it back slowly and you actually can hear the oil moving around in the cylinder. Mine is at 140k+ miles and still fine.

I would be curious to know how old the belt on this car is. Probably needs a new one and all the bearings/pulleys checked while changing the belt. I will also look at the bottom of the water pump in the same area and make sure it is not seeping, it could be failing and making noise.

I am assuming this noise is dependent on engine rev’ing and not the car speeding.