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Old 11-15-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
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Exclamation 2002 Bonneville high pitch noise in rain

I cannot figure this one out. It seems to happen when it rains and when I'm stopped or coming to a stop. It isn't a squeel like from a belt. Its definitely coming from the front end of the car. It only makes the noise for a few seconds so by the time I get out to listen it has stopped. It also has a problem with intermittent dash lights coming on. My airbag light comes on, brake light, and ABS light. Also my seatbelt warning light doesn't light up anymore. Also when it is damp out, my voltage drops and the car has almost died before. I changed the alternator and it still does it. I am going to try replacing the belt. I did have the upper heater hose crack and leak onto the belt. Any ideas? Thanks.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:36 PM   #2
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I cannot figure this one out. It seems to happen when it rains and when I'm stopped or coming to a stop. It isn't a squeel like from a belt. Its definitely coming from the front end of the car. It only makes the noise for a few seconds so by the time I get out to listen it has stopped. It also has a problem with intermittent dash lights coming on. My airbag light comes on, brake light, and ABS light. Also my seatbelt warning light doesn't light up anymore. Also when it is damp out, my voltage drops and the car has almost died before. I changed the alternator and it still does it. I am going to try replacing the belt. I did have the upper heater hose crack and leak onto the belt. Any ideas? Thanks.
I am a little confused by your description. Do all these things happen at the same time (when it rains and you hear the squeeling), or are the electrical issues independant of the squeeling sound?

I would be willing to bet it is your alternator belt slipping when it gets wet.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:12 AM   #3
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Yes I hear the squeeling when it rains. The electrical issues are independent from the squeeling. Intermittent dash lights come on randomly. The bell sounds when they appear and the voltage guage sometimes falls below 14. You can hear and feel the car'* power diminish when the voltage drops.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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Yes I hear the squeeling when it rains. The electrical issues are independent from the squeeling. Intermittent dash lights come on randomly. The bell sounds when they appear and the voltage guage sometimes falls below 14. You can hear and feel the car'* power diminish when the voltage drops.
My thinking would be you've got a battery problem --age?-- or a ground or connection problem which is causing the output voltage to drop too low. Low voltage causes various odd symptoms.

The low voltage may be causing the alternator to produce high amperage giving a drag on the belt, which you feel as a loss of engine power and you hear as a squealing belt if there'* moisture present because the belt has glycol antifreeze on it. The antifreeze might be removed with a high detergent such as Dawn.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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You are certainly on the right track to change the belt. Despite your description I would bet the squeeling is the belt when it gets wet and is under load. If changing the belt does not fix the problem, have your battery load tested. It doesn't cost anything and most places that sell batteries will do it.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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Default Update on Bonneville problem

I am still dealing with this problem. The past couple of days we've had a lot of rain. If I run through a puddle the car almost dies, dash goes black and voltage drops. I had the belt checked out and it seems fine.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:12 PM   #7
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serp belts you cant really "see" if they are bad. i would take the belt loose make sure the tensioner seems normal, its probably the belt
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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Default Tensioner

Also, check the moving pointer on the tensior to be sure it'* between the two limit marks. This belt may have stretched (and worn into the grooves so it'* effectively longer) and the idler pulley may not be putting as much pressure on the belt; hence, you're getting slipping with a water coating added to coolant or other oils that are on the belt.

With the engine off, press on the belt between pulleys and guess if it'* tight enough. There are belt tension gauges to test if the spring in the tensioner has weakened.

And empirical test for slippage would be to turn on lights, rear defog, blower on high, AC on if warm enough, and then have someone spray a water mist onto the top and bottom of the belt to induce slippage.

Replacing belt would be best. I would wash the pulleys before putting on the new belt if you suspect contamination with coolant.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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I've had the water pump bearing fail but the seal not leak. The result was the impeller carving a groove in the front cover until the pump finally seized, throwing the belt off the tensioner pulley. All the time the engine was making a funny noise which was the impeller leaving a 1/16" deep groove about 1 1/2 long.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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Take the serp belt off & see what play/wobble you have on the water pump pulley.
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