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Alternator starting to go?

 
Old 04-15-19, 01:22 PM
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Firebass
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Question Alternator starting to go?

Hi all, forum newbie here. I've lurked on the forum for the past year or two of relatively issue free ownership of my 97 LS with now 125,000 miles. However, while driving from St Louis to Little Rock last week it started to make an odd noise and I can't quite figure out what it is. I've already searched various alternator threads and while it seems similar I'm not quite sure. It's most noticeable under acceleration up to ~40mph (road noise drowns it out after that). Sounds like a whine increasing with engine speed coming from the front of the car. I took a few videos of it on the way home from work today and then while parked in the garage. Is this the alternator starting to go or something else? Or am I just paranoid and OCD about this car? The kicker is I'm new to the Little Rock area so I don't want to start throwing money at repairs at shops I don't know if it's not needed, but I need to be able to drive 650 miles to and from St Louis this weekend. Thanks all!

In the garage:

On the road:

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Old 04-15-19, 02:44 PM
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Our Solara started making an odd noise like you are describing. It was especially noticeable when accelerating. I purchased a cheap automotive stethoscope and confirmed the noise was coming from the alternator. You could hear it plan as day. Sharp ride!
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Old 04-15-19, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Fit1too View Post
Our Solara started making an odd noise like you are describing. It was especially noticeable when accelerating. I purchased a cheap automotive stethoscope and confirmed the noise was coming from the alternator. You could hear it plan as day. Sharp ride!
Thanks for the quick reply and compliment! The pic was the day after I got it and detailed it in and out. Was yours a similar volume? How long did you wait before replacing or did you just replace immediately?
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Old 04-15-19, 03:59 PM
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Not sure what you mean about similar volume. Our 2002 Solara (2 door Camry) made the noise for many months before I got the stethoscope and confirmed the issue. At 55-75 mph I did not even notice the whine, only taking off from a stop.
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Old 04-15-19, 04:06 PM
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Oh I meant a similar volume of noise coming from the alternator. Ah ok. I didn't think it would be an imminent failure but haven't dealt with too many LS issues yet
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Old 04-15-19, 04:19 PM
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I believe it was the bearing going out. I had a long distance trip planned and wanted to drive it so I replaced it before leaving. It was not an everyday driver so I had time to order a replacement Denso unit. I sold that car when I got the Lexus I'm driving now.
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Old 04-15-19, 09:03 PM
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Video not loading for me
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Old 04-15-19, 09:04 PM
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If it's a whirlling noise or somewhat higher pitched then it could be your power steering pump. I believe it's more common with these cars. If it's that, you'd want to resolve it quickly. For some reason they put the alternator right under the power steering pump, so if it leaks it could short out your alternator.

Video was not working for me either.
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Old 04-15-19, 09:10 PM
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Hmm the video took a reload for me too. The link is active though if a reload doesn't work. Does that method work for you?

In the wonderful 5*F temps St Louis had earlier this year my PS pump started to leak, which I promptly replaced a two days later. I do wonder if in the short time I drove it enough fluid got into the alternator to start its decay.
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Old 04-15-19, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Firebass View Post
Hmm the video took a reload for me too. The link is active though if a reload doesn't work. Does that method work for you?

In the wonderful 5*F temps St Louis had earlier this year my PS pump started to leak, which I promptly replaced a two days later. I do wonder if in the short time I drove it enough fluid got into the alternator to start its decay.
Not for me, tried several browsers
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Old 04-16-19, 06:49 AM
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Sorry it's not loading...I've tried again using the forum link function and here are the links themselves. Does that fix the issue?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6594059...posted-public/


http://www.flickr.com/photos/6594059...posted-public/



Last edited by Firebass; 04-16-19 at 06:53 AM. Reason: fix link
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Old 04-16-19, 08:26 AM
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Hmm

Now they load from those links but I blasted the volume I don't hear anything lol

Now in this one you can

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13cY...crUwhhn6W/view
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Old 04-16-19, 09:04 AM
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The seems much louder than mine. It sounds almost as loud as a turbo spooling up. It's more noticeable in the video with the car stationary and as it approaches 2000rpm. Mechanical whine noise
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Old 04-16-19, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Firebass View Post
The seems much louder than mine. It sounds almost as loud as a turbo spooling up. It's more noticeable in the video with the car stationary and as it approaches 2000rpm. Mechanical whine noise
I see maybe my ears are on their way out but mine only happens in 1st and second gear when moving but goes away somewhat when i let go of tth gas
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Old 04-16-19, 07:38 PM
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I couldn't hear anything abnormal in the first vid, but the second sounds like the PS pump is starved of fluid.
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