A battery more than two years old can cause problems with GM's disastrous generator design. Ford voltage regulators work the same way, and while they can cause the same problems, I haven't heard of that as much. The heart of the generator is a coil of wire, just like in an ignition coil, and the voltage regulator switches it on and off, ... Just like an ignition coil. As a result, they develop a lot of voltage spikes. The battery is the key component in absorbing and damping those spikes, but as they age and the lead flakes off the plates, they lose their ability to do that. On GM vehicles that results in numerous repeat generator failures. On other brands it usually results in a whining noise from the radio.
Since you're hearing this under the hood, the best approach is to use a stethoscope and listen next to the generator pulley, then next to the tensioner and idler pulleys. The source should be pretty obvious when you listen right next to it that way.
Thursday, April 30th, 2015 AT 12:26 AM