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[Solved] Toyota Matrix 2010 - Screeching noise cold start

(UPDATE: I replaced the starter and the noise has gone away, plus the cranking is much stronger)

Happens when:

  • Cold start (first drive of the day), and
  • When switching the key to start the car and don’t release the key right away but keep it at Ignition for a couple of seconds.

Already replaced the serpentine belt but no luck.

YouTube video here

Anyone knows the cause of this?

Does the noise stop at some point when you turn the steering wheel when the engine is running and at PARK? If not, the automatic belt tensioner has a problem like it was the case in my Corolla.

I watched your video, sounds like a dry bearing somewhere. Possible the belt tensioner. You can get a cheap mechanics stethoscope at harbor freight and possible narrow down the noise to a specific item.

The noise occurs only when STARTING the car for the drive of the day (after overnight parking). It doesn’t happen during the day, neither when starting nor when running.

To me the sound seems to be coming from a bad bearing , as @Purebred indicated.

Loosen the serpentine belt and spin each pulley by hand, and one should feel rough to spin.
Likey a idler pulley or the tensioner pulley.


UPDATE: I replaced the starter and the noise has gone away, plus the cranking is much stronger.


Good for you for fixing the screeching starter motor. There are bearings and gears inside that unit, and one of them being faulty must be why it was screeching. Either that or it wasn’t properly matching up to the flywheel ring gear for some reason… In any event, sounds like you got it solved and are good to go.

Thank you for getting back here and reporting your results. It’s how we all learn. Drive on!