Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Odd high pitched squealing sound at start of accelerating then again when stopping accelerating

2013 Ford Escape 2.0 se with approximately 90k on the clock, following service where fuel evaporate valve was replaced and engine oxygen sensors reset the car has made a rather odd high pitched grinding/squealing sound at the start of fairly heavy (not aggressive) acceleration then again when lifting foot off accelerator. Since the service there is also a more pronounced whoosh from the turbo. Been back a number of times and sound persists. Can not be heard when giving throttle a good stomp in either Park or Neautal only Drive or Sport though just occurred to me not tested Reverse. No odd engine sounds during cruising or slowing down though engine breaking when lifting off the accelerator feels a little more pronounced. No shaking or odd gear changes during acceleration, slowing or cruising.

Was wondering if anyone has any ideas what could cause this. It sounds rather corse and damaging though dealer doesn’t seem too concerned, probably wants to charge me an arm and a leg making extensive repairs during the next service just around the corner.

Many thanks in advance

You could be ready for a new serpentine belt.

Not an expensive repair, but it is 5 years old.


1 Like

Yes, and the belt’s tensioner pulley should be evaluated. They rely on a spring and a pivot axle; either can go bad. While the old belt is off, have all the driven pulleys and their associated parts checked by turning the pulleys and feeling for any roughness, drag, or play.

If you can get this to repeat when you want it to, you might try an experiment. Spray a little water on the serpentine belt, then drive the car in the manner that produces this noise. If the water temporarily stops the noise you’re narrowing in on the cause.

Many thanks for your replies gonna give the belt a look at in the morning and try the water trick, yes the noise is apparent every time I accelerate any more than grandparents pace.

Just given the belt a visual inspection appears in good condition, no visible cracks in the teeth and quite taught, approximately halfway a cm of give. With engine running belt was spinning smoothly with a small amount of lateral movement, not being a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination not sure if this is to be expected. Will spray some water on it tomorrow and take for a spin. Did notice a significant tapping sound coming from the engine, more to the right hand side with belt on left when first started dropped in volume as engine warmed up a touch and idle revs reduced. Not sure if this is related or noises are doing damage but noise is driving me nuts, completely different to when dropped off for last service.

Could the high pitched sound be transmission related, only apparent when driving, not heard when in P or N.? I hope not. Also dealer when last looked at it suggested I might need a new turbo but surprised there is no engine warning light.

Do some experiments to see if it correlates more to the engine rpm , or to the vehicle speed , or which gear you are in. the turbo spins really fast so could cause a high pitched noise. Whenever I hear the term “whining” I think first of the differential, as that part is known to make a whining noise when there’s a problem afoot. It will tend to make that noise more when accelerating, then will quiet down immediately after you stop accelerating. Make sure the differential gear oil is at the proper level. If the Escape is FWD, that’s probably the same as checking the transmission fluid level. If RWD, then that’s checked at the rear axle.

No matter from what speed nor which gear heavyish acceleration causes this high pitched grinding sound, letting off causes a slightly different high pitched sound. Only happens when in D or S. Am having to go for a drive this pm will see if I can capture an audio recording of the sound.