Funky scraping sound on startup

What a lousy day.

2010 Toyota Camry 3.5l V6 (XLE)
135,000 miles–young for a Camry

Take a look at this video I just made (volume up and listen carefully starting at 23 seconds):

(FYI, the intermittent regular pulley/spinning noises you hear after the loud scraping noise resolves have been there for years and years.)

So my car makes this funky scraping sound when I start it – cold or warm weather. The sound stops after a few seconds. My biggest fear is something wrong with the alternator, which is only a few years old (and less than 40K miles), or something near it … because you practically have to disassemble the car to fix anything in that area. All the shops here quoted me $1,100-1,500 when I had to change the alternator three years ago. Found a buddy who helped me change it myself with a $400 Carquest alternator w/lifetime warranty, but it was painful and I’m not sure my friend is in a position to help me this time.

This all started a few weeks ago, after a weekend trip to the mountains here in Colorado (7K feet elevation gain).

Two days ago, my wife texted me pics with a bunch of dashboard lights coming on, which, again, is what happened when the alternator went out a few years ago. Here’s the thing, the battery is charging and the levels on my multimeter are good with the car on and off. I’ve checked. And we’re noticing zero performance issues. Most of the lights have disappeared, but the check engine light is still on.

Now, the car is a few hundred miles overdue for a full synthetic oil change, per the dashboard Maintenance Required computer readout. But that readout triggers every 5,000 miles, and Toyota and mechanics have told me I can go 10,000 miles on full synthetic (I rarely push it past 5,000).

I’m about to go get a few tests at Autozone and O’Reilly.

Any of y’all in northern Colorado wanna come help me? I’ll buy lunch. I can also trade web/digital marketing services. lol

Please don’t let it be something expensive.

it could be the belt tensioner pulley or idler pulley that needs to be replaced

How To Locate A Noisy Idler Pulley - YouTube

It sounds like the AC compressor clutch is dragging.