CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Ram 1500 engine chirping

I have a 1995 Dodge Ram 1500 5.9L truck. Originally, there was a squealing sound (which has now turned into chirping) coming from the engine, so I replaced the serpentine belt. That didn’t do it. So upon research online, I preceded to check all the pulley wheels for wobble, grinding sounds, and any other suggestions I got from the interwebs. The only thing I found of concern was the a/c compressor pulley. It was making a slight grinding sound, so I thought maybe I’ll buy a shorter serpentine to bypass the a/c altogether. That didn’t fix it. The chirping only happens when I put the truck in drive or reverse, and increases when I accelerate. Sometimes as I’m driving it’ll stop momentarily until I either take my foot off the gas or accelerate even more. I’ve checked everything I could inside the engine compartment, without taking anything apart. I’ve had my wife put the truck in gear so that I can try to locate the sound, but I’ve had no luck. I don’t want to take the truck in, until I can identify the problem, and maybe even fix it myself. Can anybody help?

Remove the belt completely and momentarily run the engine (less than one minute) and see if that stops it. If it does, it’s just a matter of isolating the pulley that’s making the noise…If the chirp continues with the belt off, and it only happens in gear, the transmission or torque converter become suspect…

As caddyman said pull the belt and see if the noise remains or not.

If you do determine that it is belt related, the next thing to do is carefully check, not each pulley, but the alignment of all of the pulleys. So you’re not going pulley by pulley. You’re looking for the pulleys not lining up exactly right with each other.

It’s probably the belt tensioner that’s bad, but pulling the belt and testing like Caddyman said is a good way to make sure.