I purchased a 2002 Saturn SL2 from a coworker fairly recently, and I have been driving it for a while now. I have already covered a few maintenance items myself. Took it to a long trip, no problems. The car drives fine, but there is still one thing that is still bothering me.
The car sounds like an electric vehicle as you accelerate or rev the engine in neutral or park. The noise comes from the passenger side area in the front of the vehicle. It doesn’t bother me that much as it is not too loud,
and it kinda makes the car feel like a go kart, which is fun. You can’t hear the noise above 45+ mph or in the freeway, but then I thought the noise it was making might not be normal.
I bought a stethoscope just for this, but couldn’t figure out exactly where the noise was coming from. As I opened the throttle, I could hear the noise was louder in both the power steering pump and the alternator using the stethoscope. The power steering pump sits right above the alternator in this car, so I don’t know if it is both parts that are bad or just one of them. What are the symptoms of either part failing?
Power steering doesn’t make that loud whining/grinding type of noise when you turn the steering wheel. Power steering fluid is not leaking from the rack or anywhere else, but the fluid itself is dark. Turning the steering wheel makes a “rubbing” noise in the area around the steering wheel itself but there is no binding or anything, it feels normal.
I already replaced the drive belt and both the idler pulley and the tensioner because both were visibly wobbling and felt gritty when spinning them. I spinned by hand both the alternator and the power steering pulleys and they seemed fine.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks!