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Old 09-12-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
06AWD
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Default High pitch whining (belt, alternator?) when first starting car for 30 seconds

Found a few threads on this topic but nothing seemed to resolve this specific issue.

2006 WRX Wagon
89K miles
Stock
My wife's car

Noticed this on Monday morning as my wife started her car. With the hood up, it's a horribly loud high pitch whining/grinding sound that seems to be coming from the front driver's side of the engine bay. Near, or just to the right of the alternator and belts. The sound only happens when starting the car after it's been sitting for a while (overnight or all day after work) and only occurs for approx. 30 seconds, where you can then clearly here it stop, as if whatever is making the sound is part of the start up process.

One of the belts was tightened several weeks ago (thinking that may be the cause) but the sound has only happened in the last few days. Hoping it's nothing serious.

The car is going to the dealer this weekend to have it looked at. In the meantime, here's a wonderful video to pick the brains on NASIOC. Any ideas?

VIDEO > https://vimeo.com/74375692
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
scrapin'
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Secondary Air Pump? Kinda hard to tell but if it just stops like it sounds like it does, I'd start there. It's the black blower looking item behind the battery towards the firewall.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
ride5000
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i'd say it isn't belt or bearing or accessory related, as it stops too suddenly.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
scrapin'
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One of the timing belt pulleys would be my next guess (especially the small diameter one near the tensioner), but they don't normally stop whining once they start.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
06AWD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapin' View Post
Secondary Air Pump? Kinda hard to tell but if it just stops like it sounds like it does, I'd start there. It's the black blower looking item behind the battery towards the firewall.
Do people simply remove these pumps? Their only purpose is something related to emissions, correct?
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:52 PM   #6
scrapin'
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Correct, they add air to the exhaust at start-up to increase the temperature of the exhaust to get the cats up to temp faster. Search for secondary air pump delete and you'll find all the info you need.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
06AWD
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Thanks. Been researching it. Seems like this pump was only used by Subaru for a couple of years. Removing it is certainly less expensive than replacing it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #8
Kraj81
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mine wasn't whiny but more of a grinding but i think it depended on the weather...it hasn't been doing that since it got a lil bit cooler...idk...
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:15 PM   #9
KRZNQWK
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SAIS pump... It has valves that get stuck open, and usually cause a CEL... Do you have any? Might be that you just have something going bad in the SAIS pump... or the valves that it connects to. You can remove the damn thing if you want... useless system if you ask me. Just bought my own block-off plates for the SAIS pump delete. Hope this helps. Good luck!!

~M~
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:49 PM   #10
DentMagnet
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With a helper who is holding one ear, use a stretched-out garden hose to localize the sound within your 30 second window.

The hose end acts like a very short range microphone and with a paper cone on the end of the hose you may change it into a directional microphone.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:59 PM   #11
06AWD
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Will report back with the dealer's diagnosis this weekend.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:01 PM   #12
lavid2002
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Take both the belts off and start the car. Simple diagnosis. Then put one on, start the car, then the second one.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:34 PM   #13
atlfire
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A/C clutch bearing is crapping out. Take the belt off. The pulley off ( it's a biatch!). Lubricate the crap out of the bearing. Remove a shim or two from the clutch. Reassemble. Should last another 10 or so thousand miles.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:35 PM   #14
06AWD
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This just in. Dealer agrees that the secondary air pump is the culprit. They want $606 for the part and an hours worth of labor. I told them that I'd be by to pick up the car, as I can't bring myself to pay that much for a useless part. Looking into used pumps or considering the block off plate method.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:56 PM   #15
06AWD
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Just to finish this up with a resolution for future reference...

Found a used secondary air pump from another NASIOC member for $50. Had it shipped and installed it in the driveway in about 30 minutes without removing anything except for the pump. Three screws, a hose, and an electrical plug were disconnected and the pump was pulled out and replaced with the used one. The new (used) pump seems to be working well, so case closed. Just saved over $650 by DIY.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #16
ride5000
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very nice. subarus are exceptionally easy cars to work on ime.
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