The Car Squeaks When Turning It On

If you hear squeaking when you turn on your car, that is a good sign you need to get some work done. It may be a shock when you first hear it but think of it as a fair warning. Take your car in to a mechanic as soon as possible and tell them what is happening. They will be able to give you a good idea of what the problem is and help you make the right decision moving forward.

More than likely, it has to do with your car belt system. Newer cars use a serpentine belt. The older model cars can use up to three different belts. Whatever the culprit, you want to look under the hood. You want to check the belts and get a good idea of just what is going on.

We are going to look at the various ways your belt system could be malfunctioning. You can think of the squeaking as a warning from your car. It’s telling you to check your belts. It’s telling you that something is out of alignment or not quite up to spec. Here is what to look for and what to do if you hear a squeak when you start your car.

What Causes A Squeaking Noise When Starting A Car?

When you start your car and hear a squeaking sound, you want to check your belts. You are checking them for damage or misalignment. You are also going to check them for other things as well. Your belt could be cracked or cut. It could have fluid leakage on it, which could be a sign of a more significant problem.

Of course, it could just be normal wear and tear. It may be time to replace the belts. It may also be weather-related. In which case, you may want to consult a professional and have them assess whether it will be a problem or not. It is always good advice to consult a professional anyway, especially if you are unsure of the exact issues or concerns.

The belts could have some issues with the tensioner. If the belts seem to be in good condition, your tensioner may be out of alignment. You want to have the issue addressed quickly. Loose belts can damage the alternator, A/C, drive pulley, or water pump. All of these are usually expensive repairs.

It may be slippage. If it is cold or there is a lot of moisture in the air, it could get on the belt and cause it to slip. You will want to have this checked to verify that it is slippage. If so, have it repaired right away.

It could also be a pulley issue. If one of your pulleys is loose or out of alignment, that could cause you trouble. If you hear significant noise when you start your car, that could be a sign of something greater. You should have it checked as soon as possible. You could be looking at a major malfunction that could have long term and devastating effects on your automobile.

Determine The Criteria For The Squeaking Noise

It is helpful to determine the conditions in which you hear the squeak or squeal. Does it only happen in the mornings? When it’s hot or cold outside? If it only happens after significant rain, it could be a weather-related issue. Whatever the criteria, it is advised that you take note and go to a professional with the information.

Determining the criteria and the details of your squeaking car will help you figure out the best solution to the problem. It will also inform you as to how big a problem you are facing. Some issues can wait until the weekend. Some issues might be so detrimental that you want to call a tow truck, just to be on the safe side.

How To Locate The Source Of The Noise And Possible Fixes

You want to try and locate the source of the noise. It may be helpful to get a friend to start the car while you listen under the hood. That way, you will be able to hear approximately where the noise is coming from. Once you have a good idea of the source, you can look around until you can pinpoint the problem’s exact location.

Again, modern cars have one, sometimes two belts. You will have a serpentine belt that will drive all components or a combination that includes a separate belt for the alternator. The older models will have the main drive belt and a separate one for each component (fan, alternator, water pump, hydraulic fluid, etc.)

An alternator is usually closer to the front/top of the engine. That makes it somewhat easier to determine if the alternator belt is the source of the problem. When you turn off the engine, give the belt a good inspection. Look for cracks, cuts, and other signs of wear and tear. You can also check the tension by pushing down on the belt. It should be tight with little (3/4 of an inch) give.

If the belts are tight and do not show any signs of wear, you could be facing a bigger problem. It may be that you are dealing with the internal bearings of the pulley. If you are a modern-day shade tree mechanic, you may be well versed enough to replace the alternator belt. A serpentine belt may be more of a hassle. If so, take it to a professional. Your safety could depend on it.

If the tension is fine and there is no sign of wear and tear, listen for noise from the pulleys. If you get a sense that your squeaking is coming from the pulley, take it to a mechanic. They will have the right equipment on hand to take care of the inspection and any repairs you might need.

Last, but not least, you could lubricate the belt to deaden the noise. If you do not see evidence of damage, it may be that there is nothing wrong. Use some soap or belt grease to lube the belts. You can buy the appropriate products at any auto parts store.