2002 Ford Escape High Pitch Squealing Nose

Tiny
JJ962
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 FORD ESCAPE
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 230,000 MILES
My 2002 Ford Escape has started making an intermittent high pitch squealing noise when demanding more power from the engine by pressing the gas pedal. The noise goes away if I remove my foot from the gas pedal. The noise usually start after 5 minutes from starting and driving the vehicle. Usually when going up a hill with engine running at 2-3000 rpm in town. This is also happens when driving on highway 65-70 mph and going up a slight hill. The noise is more noticeable with temperature is below freezing. I cannot replicate the noise when the car is in my garage even is I rev the engine to 4 or 5,000 rpm.

What is the cause of this noise? How can I fix it?

I have already performed the following easy preventive maintenance tasks and the noise did not go away. This includes the following:

1. Installed a new serpentine belt and tensioner
2. Installed a new water pump belt
3. Installed a new fuel filter.

Thanks,
Jay

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Saturday, January 11th, 2014 AT 1:39 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The most logical suspect would be a noisy wheel bearing, but those typically make noise all the time relative to wheel speed. Temperature isn't generally a factor either.

There is a tool you might be able to borrow or rent from an auto parts store that borrows them called the "Chassis Ear". It is a set of six microphones, a switch box, and headphones. You clip the microphones to suspect points, then drive around while listening with the headphones. You can move the microphones around to zero in on the source of the noise. Be aware that many mechanics have never seen or even heard of this tool. Suspension and alignment mechanics use it to find rattles, squeaks, and other noises.

The guys who drive the tool trucks around to shops during the week can get them too, but they are also available on the Amazon web site for about one third the cost.

An air leak is another suspect. The engine is going to rock when under load, and that will tug on vacuum hoses and fresh air tubes. Along with just raising engine speed in your garage, do that while it's in gear and you're holding the brakes on.

The Chassis Ear is real effective with noises that are being transmitted through metal parts or other hard surfaces. It's not as effective when the microphone is in the proximity of a noise near something soft, like rubber hoses or plastic air ducts. You'll still hear those noises but the source is much more obvious when it's coming from metal parts.
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Saturday, January 11th, 2014 AT 3:35 PM
Tiny
JJ962
  • MEMBER
Thank you for all who have replied to my question. After a lot of investigation, the root cause of this issue turned out to be a loose and leaky exhaust connection. One of the nuts on the connection between the left exhaust manifold/cat converter and the flex pipe was missing. Purchased the nut from AutoZone, installed and issue solved. Finally!
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Monday, February 3rd, 2014 AT 4:23 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. I think it would have taken me a while to diagnose that over the computer. Very happy you solved it.
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Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 AT 3:41 PM

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