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Please help: LOUD rattling noise coming from belt area

So the other day our Durango just all of a sudden started making a rattling noise as we were driving it. It’s coming from the water pump/ belt pulleys. And today it just up and cut off on us. It started right back up, but we just parked it. We’ve been trying not to drive it unless we absolutely had to. I was thinking it might be the water pump, but we just had a new one put on not even a year ago. Someone please help. We can’t afford another vehicle or even to pay for a major repair. We’re seriously struggling right now and we have a 9 year old. So we can’t be without a car. I couldn’t get the audio clip to upload so I just uploaded the video to YouTube. Please check it out and tell me what you think. Thanks in advance.

This was the day it started. The sound is a lot worse now. I can get a new video if need be, I’m just trying to keep from cranking it too much. But I will if I have to.

That noise sounds very much like a timing chain rub.

These are the components that can wear out or fail that can cause that noise.


See if the fan is hitting anything but since it sounds metallic I think it could be loose timing chain as well.

That’s the other thing I was thinking it might be. The last time I had it running there was a squealing noise, like it was the timing belt. The fan was one of the first things I checked. Thanks for getting back to me so quick.

Remove and inspect your idler pulley. $20-25 for a new one. 15 minutes of work.

Concur, the timing chain is the most likely culprit. Still, before going down that path verify nothing has come loose near the belt path. I had that happen on my Corolla, the windshield washer plastic bottle had come loose from its moorings and was interfering with a drive belt. Another time the water-pump on my truck made a loud rattling noise, diagnosed using a length of an old broomstick as a stethoscope. That problem turned out to be debris dislodged from the cooling system stuck inside the water pump impeller area. Also check that the water pump pulley is solidly attached to the pump and not flopping around due to a bad bearing. I’ve had that problem too, the cooling fan was glancing off the radiator. A loud rattling sound can be caused by engine pinging too, due to a severe ignition timing problem. Sort of sounds like shaking a tin can filled with a handful of nickels.

Noisy pulley bearing, remove the serpentine belt and spin the pulleys, it shouldn’t be difficult to find the one with the failing bearing.