Mystery Squeal at Idle
TB LS EXT 2005 6CYL 4WD
Just started this today. Noticed an intermittent chirping, squealing from front of engine at idle only. Figured it was power steering — however, turning hard left or right eliminates squeal. Squeal only occurs at idle, vanishes altogether when revved.
Just to be safe, emptied and refilled the power steering reservoir with Lucas. Made no difference whatsoever. Squeal still there.
Thought maybe it was bearings going out on idler pulley. With engine running, applied some side force to idler pulley with a wooden stake, to see if it affected squeal. Made no difference, squeal remained unchanged.
Tried same thing with power steering pump pulley, water pump pulley, AC pulley, applying a little side pressure. No change. Squeal remained.
In fact, the only thing that actually stopped the squeal was applying a bit of side pressure to the alternator! Squeal stopped when pressure was applied, returned as soon as I released pressure.
I'm not sure I want to DIY this right now, because I have a comprehensive (Total Care) repair warranty for the life of the auto loan. The loan is going to be paid off in three months, so I'm thinking of just taking her to the shop and letting them overhaul her on the warranty.
This TB has never been in the shop since I bought it new in 2005, and has a few clicks and whirs here and there, but it's never failed me on the road.
So, any ideas on the source of this mystery squeal? I'd like to compare notes after I take her in to the shop. Thanks!