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Squealing noise when accelerating

I have a 2004 Ford Escape Limited. There is a squealing noise when I accelerate from a complete stop. It’s not there constantly, and seems to have started when I started using the AC. When I had my oil changed tonight at a Tires Plus, I asked them to listen, and the mechanic thought it was a valve related issue since it’s not a constant noise. He only got it to squeal by hitting the gas really hard. He said to take it to a dealer…which is super expensive! Any thoughts?

A look at the belt, or belts would be step one in my book.

Tires plus people aren’t mechanics. Barky is spot on, I bet. Just tighten the ac belt a scootch.

+1 to the previous comments.
The noise has a very high likelihood of being symptomatic of a slipping drive belt, which usually means replacing the belt and/or the belt tensioner. Any mechanic can do this type of work, and there is no reason whatsoever to take a 9 year old car to a dealership for something of this nature.

A “valve-related issue”?
This is a perfect example of why–as Remco stated–tire installers are rarely qualified as mechanics.

Glad to know I’m not an idiot thinking the same, that it’s a belt. Gonna try another mechanic and hopefully save some money not going to a dealer.

The squealing might be from the harmonic balancer slipping on the rubber isolator ring. You can see the ring here.

A quick way to check for this is, take piece of chalk and make a straight line across the pulley and the hub of the balancer. Start the engine with air on and rev the engine. If you hear the squeal shut the engine off and see if the chalk mark still lines up on the balancer.


Okay so I brought my car in finally to be checked…I got a recommendation for a good mechanic, not a dealer. They found that the drive belt had a couple cracks in it, and decided to switch that out, and try a new pully ( or tension…whatever) and the noise did not go away after that. While trying to figure it out they noticed that a PCV hose that was put in the car was the completely wrong part. It was supposed to be plastic instead of rubber. They replaced this, and still the squealing noise is there. The mechanic said to bring it back in another time and they will need to spend some more time on it. They are thinking possibly a catalytic converter. A few months ago my emissions light came on and after scanning it one possibility was a bad catalytic converter. I just had them shut the light off to see if it would come back on again, and it never did…so I never pursued fixing that. Is there a noise associated with a bad catalytic converter?

A squealing noise from a catalytic converter?
I don’t think so.
In fact, I will go so far as to say that the mechanic who expressed this theory is not one who I would want working on my car.

If you had a bad cat, your CEL would go back on. So I don’t think that’s the problem. Cats do not heal themselves, and besides, your car is fairly new.

There are other pulleys that serpentine belt is connected to. For example, I think there is an idler pulley. I would check that. Open the hood and have someone start the car cold and see if you can tell where the noise is coming from.

Okay so another “diagnosis” is my AC compressor. How is it that one mechanic can say a cat converter and another say AC? I am hearing things all over the board. Kind of tempted to let it get worse and see what fails…then at least I will know what needs fixed.

Hey, hopefully you’ve figured out your problem by now. If so, may I ask what it was that was causing the squeak? My Cadillac 2001 STS is doing the same exact thing. Havent taken it anywhere yet but alot of people are saying its the belt. As to you comment about your mechanic, i wouldn’t trust them. Unless you really know them. Taking your car to different mechanics will often get you caught up in a scam. They most likely will fix one thing and break another. Or put a temp fix on it so you will come back thinking “Well, this guy fixed it before, lemme take it back to him”… My dad was a mechanic but unfortunately he passed away, but trust me, he did the same exact thing… even to his own family.

But anyways to get back on track… My car has been squeaking/squaling since a month after i got from an auction. It first started doing it when i first turned the car on, and went away after a minute or 2. Three months later (which brings us to today), its doing it now as i accelerate. When i brake the noise goes away, and if i let go of the break and just coast, then thhe noise comes back. Any ideas?

@BMaryland91 You say when you brake it goes away? Then it is the squealers on your brake pads and you need new pads. The previous problem of squeal on start up, was probably the power steering pump belt.

Can you elaborate on this please?

My car produces a squealing sound which comes from the rear end. The sound increases when I accelerate. Thought it was the wheel bearing but it isn’t because I replaced with a new one but the noise is still there… Any thoughts please?

My thought, start your own thread. your noise is not related to the original problem in this thread and people will be answering it and not your unrelated problem.

Its me is correct , start you own thread . There are now 3 different people asking about different problems so it is too confusing for anyone to help.
@cdaquila Carolyn , how about helping Ren with their own thread and sending this one into cyber space.

My bad. Sorry for the confusion. I however sorted my issue.