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Annoying Loud Squeal

Hello ?Car Talk?, this is Jean-Sebastien from Land O Lakes Florida.

I am the original owner of a 1998 Honda Civic LX 1.6 engine with 327,000 miles. I use the car for my field work and I?m not ready to give it up due to economic constraints. I had the engine replaced at 260,000 miles with a refurbished engine of 60,000 miles because a crack had developed in the original engine block.

I have been very good at regular oil change and tune-ups.

The transmission is the original.

The question:

There is an annoying loud squeal that occurs. It?s not constant but appears to happen at specific times. I want to say that I checked and ruled out the belts (even so that the sound is like a noise or squeal that bad or loose belts make). While I?m driving the squeal is never present. Most of the times when I?m Idle waiting for a light change it sounds off, or when I?m in park but sometimes it seems that it does not happen only if I?m idled for a longer time. It also seems to get a little louder just at take off when accelerating and then it goes away. Also it appears that it happens when I?m turning but I haven?t figured out if it is because I slow down for the turn or not. Another clue is that when I use the electric windows at idle at a toll both or something like that, specifically when I close the driver?s window which is stressed due to it being a little stuck making the window motor work harder. When the head lights are turned on it happens more frequently except when I?m driving.

A friend said that he believes that the noise is a bad bearing coming from the alternator. It sounds like a viable conclusion but I don?t understand why it happens on seemingly specific times and since you guys provide us with a service/advice that qualifies you as the guru of auto problems, I wanted to try asking you for help with this problem, also maybe one of the listeners may have come across this problem.

I thank you in advance for your help and really love your radio show


Your friend is right.