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Old 02-20-2018, 12:46 PM   #1
rhinh25
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Default Squealing noise

Hi all,

I recently (3 months ago) took my vehicle to be serviced at a dealership in town. The vehicle just hit 100K then and I asked them to replace the belts and check everything. They did their job and said my vehicle is good to go.

Now, every time I start my vehicle, I hear this loud squealing noise. Captured here:

It started happening for the past week. If I start driving straight (or idle for 1-2 minutes), it eventually goes away. When I start turning (wider), the noise comes back for a bit then eventually goes away. When I turn on the A/C, the noise does not come. Also, I should mention, when I hear the squealing noise, I can smell some rubber burning.

I saw some posts saying that I should try spraying some water on the belt running, so I'll do that later to diagnose the issue.

I also asked the dealership to verify the work that they did to make sure everything is correct, so I'll drop it off there this week. However, in the event the dealership asks for more money to repair the problem, I would like to learn and perform the maintenance myself.

So I was curious if I could get some external opinions on what is going on? Could it be with the tensionier (or power steering) bearings? Should I flush/transfuse the power steering fluid system since I'm hearing the noise when I turn?

A little about my vehicle, it's a 2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i (non-turbo). I appreciate any advice, thanks!
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:28 PM   #2
yarrgh
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Sounds like a simple loose belt. Does this occur only when cold? Have you ever flushed the PS fluid?

Or, maybe the bearings on the PS pump are starting to die, causing drag on an adequately tensioned belt, and making the belt slip.

Tighten the belt a tad.

You could also remove the belt and try to spin the PS pump by hand, it should spin fairly freely.
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Old 02-20-2018, 02:48 PM   #3
rhinh25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarrgh View Post
Sounds like a simple loose belt. Does this occur only when cold? Have you ever flushed the PS fluid?

Or, maybe the bearings on the PS pump are starting to die, causing drag on an adequately tensioned belt, and making the belt slip.

Tighten the belt a tad.

You could also remove the belt and try to spin the PS pump by hand, it should spin fairly freely.

Well, it has been cold everyday since this problem has started (so I have no baseline to say otherwise).

I have not flushed my PS fluid yet, but I will. I saw a list of fluids that are recommended to replace (clutch, transmission, PS, brake fluid, etc.): so I'm trying to gather my supplies now. Speaking of which, I know that the PS system takes Dexton III ATF, any recommendations on the brands? I heard Amsoil and Royal Purple are probably the best.

But thanks for your response! I'll try to tighten the belt.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:59 PM   #4
GEE-OTTO
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Get a a 10 or 12mm socket and tighten the belt tensioner beside the Alternator. They may have not put enough tension on it to compensate for he cold temps.
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:38 PM   #5
yarrgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEE-OTTO View Post
Get a a 10 or 12mm socket and tighten the belt tensioner beside the Alternator. They may have not put enough tension on it to compensate for he cold temps.
Be sure to loosen the locking bolt first.

...then retighten.

As far as brands for PS fluid...whatever. Unless you're hard on the steering I doubt you need anything too expensive.
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:10 PM   #6
rhinh25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarrgh View Post
Be sure to loosen the locking bolt first.

...then retighten.

As far as brands for PS fluid...whatever. Unless you're hard on the steering I doubt you need anything too expensive.
It's not necessary about being hard on steering but more about durability. I don't mind paying a little bit extra for a piece of mind knowing my PS fluid will last. Plus, it's not like changing oil every 3-5 months, I'm changing it every couple of years/thousands of miles.
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:19 PM   #7
TurboRev
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+1 on the loose belt
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
rhinh25
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So to give an update. The weather is warmer and more moist out. Generally, when it's warmer than 45 degrees F outside, I don't hear any squealing. So I think you all are right, most likely a loose belt.

In this case, if I tighten the belt a little more, would I need to loosen it back in a couple of months during the Summer? Or could I just leave the belt as it is and give it a year to "get used to" the stretch?
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:50 PM   #9
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhinh25 View Post
So to give an update. The weather is warmer and more moist out. Generally, when it's warmer than 45 degrees F outside, I don't hear any squealing. So I think you all are right, most likely a loose belt.

In this case, if I tighten the belt a little more, would I need to loosen it back in a couple of months during the Summer? Or could I just leave the belt as it is and give it a year to "get used to" the stretch?
Proper belt tension works year round, so, no, you won't have to keep adjusting based on temperature.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:38 AM   #10
Samurai Jack
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It does sound like a loose belt but ...
Before you go tightening up the belt, is it really too loose or could it be / have been something on the belt?

Check to see how much you can deflect the belt by gently pushing on the belt 1/2 way between two pulleys. It should not deflect more than 1/2".

If it does, it's too loose and needs some tightening.
If it doesn't, or deflects less, it may need some loosening.

Plenty of Youtube videos on how to adjust a belt.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:11 PM   #11
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai Jack View Post
It does sound like a loose belt but ...
Before you go tightening up the belt, is it really too loose or could it be / have been something on the belt?

Check to see how much you can deflect the belt by gently pushing on the belt 1/2 way between two pulleys. It should not deflect more than 1/2".

If it does, it's too loose and needs some tightening.
If it doesn't, or deflects less, it may need some loosening.

Plenty of Youtube videos on how to adjust a belt.
Minor edit.......push between 2 pulleys that are the long run (crank to PS is good for that belt) since tension on a short run will look different than a long run.
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:38 PM   #12
IanT-EJ22
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Here are my guesses, mostly what others have said.

-Bad Power Steering Pump:
Could have failed internally, possibly bearings. Try turning the pump by hand with the belt
off as others have said.
-Low Power Steering Fluid Level or air in system
-Loose A/C or PS/Alternator Belts
-Bad Alternator:
Could have excessive turning resistance due to failed internal components like bearings.
Try turning by hand without the belt like the p/s
-There may be interference from another part/component on the accessory belts, check for clearance all the way around the belts.
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