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My 93 Saturn SC2 sounds like a geiger counter!

I drive a 1993 Saturn SC2 coop with over 115000 miles on it (don’t know for sure because the ODO isn’t working). The other day, I noticed that there was a strange metallic clicking coming from my engine while I was chugging along the highway. It just started within the past couple of days. It seems like I can only hear it when I am at idle and once I’m going a fairly constant speed down the road. When I open the hood, it appears to be coming from the side of the engine where the serpentine belt is. It sounds like a Geiger counter that is picking up faint traces of radiation. It’s an erratic metallic clicking.

Thanks for your help in advance.

I guess I didn’t ask a question, Does anyone know what would cause this clicking, or what I can do to fix it? I’m trying to decide if it is time to retire this car that has treated me so well, or if it could be a relatively cheap fix.

One strange cause of clicking can be an exhaust leak. It’s just something to check for if the cause remains a mystery. Spark plug wires are a possibility. I had a loose spark plug on an old Ford once, but I haven’t had one get loose since 1974.

A alternator that is charging hard makes noise,don’t know if I would call it a Gieger counter. All your dealing with is noise no other sympton?

How old is the serpentine belt? An old cracked belt can make all sorts of bad noises. I replace mine every 3 years or so, which is may be overkill. I’m partial to Goodyear Poly-V belts, they seem to be the quietest.

Ed B.

Thanks for the responses.
Since it isn’t a constant clicking, I would think it wouldn’t be the belt, but I don’t know.
I will check the wires after work today, and look at the belt condition.

I guess It could be the alternator, the battery warning light sometimes comes on intermittently, though it hasn’t lately, which I assume can mean a failing alternator.

The only other problem right now is the is some moderate engine vibration. Not enough that it would shake the water out of a glass, but it’s still noticeable while sitting in the car, most noticeable while at idle.

Another thought is the idler pulling bearing may be going bad. The mileage is about right for that to happen.

I thought the idler pulley was usually responsible for a squealing belt , can it cause a clicking noise?

The sound might be better classified as an intermittent rattle.
Does this help?