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Old 06-26-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
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2001 Ford Focus squeal or chirp noise

I've been trying to hunt down a solution to my problem for about a month now and have had 0 luck. My car is making this squealing or chirping noise when accelerating and goes away (not completely) when the car is warmed up. The noise sounds like a million crickets under my hood. The mechanic changed the belt, all the pullys and the alternator and is out of ideas. Does anyone know of anything else? Oh and I thought it might be the Cam Synchronizer but my car is a SOHC so it does not have one. Is there any other possibilities?
FYI - I know nothing about cars.

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Old 06-26-2008, 02:51 PM   #2
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alternator pulley it sounds like...
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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My car makes that noise too... like if I'm pulling from a light at a stop...

I wondered what it was too...
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:07 PM   #4
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i dont know how it could but maybe the belt is slipping? maybe a bad belt tenisioner?
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:38 PM   #5
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Is the alternator pulley replaced with the alternator? He didnt replace the idler pully, come to find out. Could it be the idler pulley doing this?

I do apologize for my lack of knowledge with cars.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:14 PM   #6
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> Is the alternator pulley replaced with the alternator?

I would not think the pulley would cause the squeal... if it was due to the alternator it would most likely be a bad alternator bearing, which is internal to the alternator itself.

> Could it be the idler pulley doing this?

That's actually the most likely cause, after a bad belt. I would have though the mechanic would have checked that, after trying a simply belt replacement.

Well, not just the "pulley," but the idler assembly.

Most likely the spring in the assembly is weak and it is not providing enough tension.

If there is not enough tension, the belt slips a little when it is loaded, as in accelerating, and the small bit of slippage causes the squeal.

P.S. I've had bad alternator bearings in the past on other vehicles and, in my case at least, they were noisy at idle and stopped making noise when they were loaded under acceleration -- the opposite of your experience.

Last edited by penguin; 06-29-2008 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:05 PM   #7
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nod to penguin - good post!
my own P.S. Slipping belts grab better when they warm up, so the noise goes away...
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Old 06-29-2008, 03:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin View Post
> Is the alternator pulley replaced with the alternator?

Typically not. The pulley is taken off with a pulley puller and put onto the new alternator. But I would not think the pulley would cause the squeal... if it was due to the alternator it would most likely be a bad alternator bearing, which is internal to the alternator itself.
Hmmm, is that specific to the Focus alternator? Every alternator I've replaced in the past has been an everything in one deal. Making it a very simple replacement all in all.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkeyeFLA View Post
Hmmm, is that specific to the Focus alternator? Every alternator I've replaced in the past has been an everything in one deal. Making it a very simple replacement all in all.
Your are correct and my original post is in error. Somehow I was thinking of the power steering pump at the time -- apparently a brain fart on my part.

I have corrected the original post to avoid misleading people.
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:13 PM   #10
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Easiest thing to do is to squirt a little water on each pully in turn with the engine running. If the noise changes that's it. If nothing there, pop the belt off and spin each pully by hand, if you still can't find anything, run the car for a few seconds with the belt off. If the noise is still there, it's under the cover- timimg belt or water pump.

I have seen pullys wear out and refuse to grip a belt properly. And with an older focus maybe in arid, dusty Texas, might be something to think about...
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