Loud noise Saturn SL2

Tiny
HASKINS64D
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 101,000 MILES
1999 saturn SL2, very loud vibrating-grinding sound as if the power steering pump is bad but no change with pump load. Sounds as if it is centered over the timing belt cover. Is louder when cold and changes with engine speed. Not effected with AC use. Or Alternator load.
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 2:55 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
What you're describing sounds like a bad bearing in either a component or a pulley. Your car doesn't have a timing belt and there are no pulleys inside that cover. This could be a water pump or other belt driven component so I suggest removing the belts to try to isolate the noisy component.
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 3:07 PM
Tiny
HASKINS64D
  • MEMBER
That was my next step. Just found that it has a timing chain. Which I believe is a good thing. I will pull the belts and see if I can isolate the noise. Leaning toward water pump. I will post what I find. Thanks Bruce
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 3:30 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
They do have a chain but they also have a lot of problems with that chain and tensioners. A lot of rattling from that area would be cause for concern.
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
HASKINS64D
  • MEMBER
I've never had a quick response on a tech question before, so thanks a lot for your help. I'm no expert but have been wrenching for about 23 years and nobody can know everything about every car. Your knowlege is apriciated.
Bruce

PS This noise is a constant. It is directly proportional to engine speed. Just like a steering pump whine. Will this timing chain make a consistant noise like this?
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 3:48 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
First of all thank you so much for your donation. It sounds to me like what your describing is a bad upper motor mount Which is located by your valve cover where your saying noise is. If you could take the mount out and take a picture of both sides of the rubber part and post it I could tell you how it looked. To remove the mount you would take a floor jack with wood between the jack and oil pan to support the weight of the engine. Then remove the 5 15mm nuts and remove the mount. That mount going bad is what I have seen cause what you describe most of the time. Also if the mount was bad it would be less noisey when it warmed up.
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 4:25 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Take a sweeper wand or some other tube and try to stethescope exact point of noise? You can also by a low cost auto stethescope from harbor freight if you have 1 in the area.
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Sunday, December 5th, 2010 AT 10:00 PM
Tiny
HASKINS64D
  • MEMBER
Update, The first thing I did was to pull the serp. Belt and start the car. This revealed that it was one of the items being turned by the belt (the noise went away). I found that the upper idler pully sounded like it had a dry bearing. I replaced it. Incidentally the upper motor mount was going bad so I replaced it too. It's now sounding wonderful. Thanks
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+1
Monday, December 6th, 2010 AT 3:12 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear you resolved it.
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Monday, December 6th, 2010 AT 3:16 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear to hear you found both problem's and got them fixed that's what we like to hear.
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Monday, December 6th, 2010 AT 4:39 AM

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