Engine Whine at Idle, Clues... Help?
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This is a discussion on Engine Whine at Idle, Clues... Help? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; My 2002 WRX (stock 198K) began making a whine/howl at idle. As I suspected, the noise was coming from the ...

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    Engine Whine at Idle, Clues... Help?

    My 2002 WRX (stock 198K) began making a whine/howl at idle. As I suspected, the noise was coming from the front of the engine. To me it sounds like it's coming from the crank pulley, but it's hard to pin down (I plan to get a stethescope tomorrow).

    I removed the covers on the timing belt to look in there, but didn't see anything too fishy... There is a small amount of some very fine aluminum shavings in the top pulley on the driver's side, but I can't imagine whatever is howling could have made them. Seems like they could have been there since new...Any thoughts?

    I then began loosening belts in order to see if I could relieve stress on the pulleys and find/eliminate the noise... Well, when I loosened the front belt (Crank/AC/Idler) the noise was gone. Could it be the AC? Idler? Can anyone suggest a good way to diagnose which is the problem (since you can't just remove one of these without affecting the others)?

    I don't know how the crank could make this noise, but maybe it could? Also, turning the AC on and off made little difference.

    I appreciate anyone's suggestions on this; thanks in advance!

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    Registered User atrizzzie's Avatar
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    well good diag work bro

    did u happen to try to spin the pulleys when u took the ac belt off or see if they had any play by juggling them side to side. most likely its going to be your idler... is there any black rubber on it? also it could be the belt... did u try to spray anything on it like silicone spray. i would test the pulleys tomorro like i described, if u find nothing i would spray the belt and if the noise goes away for a while replace the belt. if it gets a little better but not really replace the idler being that is the cheapest part

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    sounds like the idler pulley

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    I made one mistake... It's not an idler pulley but the power steering pump... It seems to have some play (in and out, not side to side) is this normal? Its less than 1/8 inch...

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    Registered User atrizzzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    I made one mistake... It's not an idler pulley but the power steering pump... It seems to have some play (in and out, not side to side) is this normal? Its less than 1/8 inch...
    not normally. if that pulley is moving in and out it can keep shifting the belt front and back putting alot of stress on it

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