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Old 03-26-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default alternator whining...........

2003 sle with 41,000 miles.
i am getting to much " alternator whine noise " that i can hear inside the car. its worst at idle when car is in gear. i had the dealer i bought the car from check it out and of course they said it was " normal " . B.*. it charges fine but the noise is just a little annoying.
i was thinking of getting a new alternator to see if that helps , but at almost a buck fifty i want to get your guys opinion. what do ya think ??
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:51 PM   #2
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i would say the bearings are on their way out.. if its in warranty, just wait for it to go.. otherwise just get the new one on whenever you can afford to
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:58 PM   #3
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You can remove the accessory belt and grab hold of the pully, try lifting the shaft or snaping the pulley back and forth. Everything should be tight if there is any movement or noise the bearing is shot.
You can start the car up without the belt for a short moment just to confirm the noise is related. Carefull you have no water pump, dont let the car idle long, 30 sec is enough.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:07 PM   #4
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would bad bearings give me an excessive " charging noise " ? if you rev the engine slightly at idle the noise follows the engine speed. i think i will go get one tomorow. hopefully it will take care of the problem. i am heading to florida in two days.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:13 PM   #5
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If the whine seems more electrical/electronic than mechanical, it'* like that one of the diodes has gone bad.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:52 PM   #6
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My alternator started a slight whine/whistling about 2 years ago at 60k. It is getting no worse-no better. I can slightly hear it with the windows up and radio off. With the windows down I can not hear it at all. I've actually gotten use to it but, sometimes, I pick it up. Charging is otherwise fine. Sounds like the whine is coming from the rear. I use to build electric motors and it kinda sounds like brush whine on the commutator. If I remove the belt and spin the pulley by hand I can not duplicate the sound. Almost sounds like maybe there is some wind noise involved too. Is there a small cooling impeller back by the brushes and diode pack?
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Old 03-27-2007, 01:47 AM   #7
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that is what mine sounded like before it went out
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compyelc4
My alternator started a slight whine/whistling about 2 years ago at 60k. It is getting no worse-no better. I can slightly hear it with the windows up and radio off. With the windows down I can not hear it at all. I've actually gotten use to it but, sometimes, I pick it up. Charging is otherwise fine. Sounds like the whine is coming from the rear. I use to build electric motors and it kinda sounds like brush whine on the commutator. If I remove the belt and spin the pulley by hand I can not duplicate the sound. Almost sounds like maybe there is some wind noise involved too. Is there a small cooling impeller back by the brushes and diode pack?
i can hear mine plain as day with the windows up and the radio off. dont even have to try to pick it up. its THERE.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUBBA
Quote:
Originally Posted by compyelc4
My alternator started a slight whine/whistling about 2 years ago at 60k. It is getting no worse-no better. I can slightly hear it with the windows up and radio off. With the windows down I can not hear it at all. I've actually gotten use to it but, sometimes, I pick it up. Charging is otherwise fine. Sounds like the whine is coming from the rear. I use to build electric motors and it kinda sounds like brush whine on the commutator. If I remove the belt and spin the pulley by hand I can not duplicate the sound. Almost sounds like maybe there is some wind noise involved too. Is there a small cooling impeller back by the brushes and diode pack?
i can hear mine plain as day with the windows up and the radio off. dont even have to try to pick it up. its THERE.
Is it possible the battery isn't charging as well and is putting more of a load on the alternator? Mine in both cars has had a whine. But it'* audible mostly only with hood up. It sounds like wiring vibration with pulses of current rather than a purr of a bearing. Take the belt loose and spin the bearing, you'll hear a noisy bearing.

But check the battery.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:55 PM   #10
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i took the belt loose and spun the bearing. it felt smooth but did have a little squeek to it.
i found only 1 auto parts store that could get me a new alt. by tomorow. NOBODY has them in stock. only $175 including tax. napa did have a 125 amp alt they could order but it was i think $239 or $229 plus tax. ill put the new one on and hope for the best.
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