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Old 12-12-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default alternator whine?

Ive been having a whine coming from the engine bay for in my 98 R about 2-3 months. Its getting louder. I suspect its the alternator. It is the factory original. Maybe the bearings going out, dont have charging issues as far as a battery light is concerned. Can the pulley and bearings be replaced or am i going to have to get a new one? I guess its safe to assume if it seizes up, it can do some damage to itself and other accesories tied into it? TIA!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: alternator whine?

I'd suspect the power steering pump first. Check the fluid level and remove the belt to see if the noise goes away.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #3
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I'd suspect the power steering pump first. Check the fluid level and remove the belt to see if the noise goes away.
That was my first thought as well. Fluid is at the "min" line, and its due for a flush. The whine, which is very hard to tell its source by listening, seems to be coming from the back of the engine near the alternator area. I'll try to get in there with my stethescope tomorrow. Also found a thread elsewhere about a/c belt tensioner going bad. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: alternator whine?

Is the whine occuring, when the car is parked or does it need to be moving?
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: alternator whine?

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Is the whine occuring, when the car is parked or does it need to be moving?
it happens while engine is running when vehicle is still and while accelerating, sounds like crappy supercharger. Lol. When im at a steady speed its not noticeable. But at idle its has a decent volume to it, which can be clearly heard from inside the car.

UPDATE: Got out my stethoscope and touched it to the alternator, sound doesn't match the whine I hear. Touched the power steering pump, and I hear a little bit of the whine. I finally touched the a/c compressor and I believe that the noise I heard from it, matched the whine exactly. So the a/c compressor is the culprit, I think. Brought it to a buddy of mine and he concurs. The a/c works just fine, so I guess I'll just wait till it dies and then replace it, unless there is cause for concern and better replace it sooner than later.

Thanks all!

Last edited by TypeRod; 12-13-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: alternator whine?

check the A/c belt tensioner
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:25 AM   #7
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check the A/c belt tensioner
Will do. With a pricey item to replace and install, such as the a/c comp. I'll be sure to check all possible causes. Thanks for your help!

EDIT: Curious, there aren't any bearings in the a/c tensioner, correct? What would cause it to whine/squeal? Maybe its so worn, that its not level anymore?

Last edited by TypeRod; 01-22-2013 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: alternator whine?

UPDATE: j13 was right, it turns out it was the a/c belt tensioner. I ordered new pulley, got it put in today, car is nice and quiet again, it was getting to the point that I felt my car was playing a giant kazoo, lol! Thanks again for the great suggestions! It always nice to know I can come here to HT and get good advice!

Heres a pic of the old pulley, you can see where it been spewing its guts. I turned the pulley by hand once my friend removed it from the car, and it was amazing to see how much resistance there was.
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