2007 Honda Civic Alternator Squeal

Tiny
MIDWEST-DAVE
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 108,000 MILES
During the extreme cold we've had recently (morning temps at or 10 degrees), I've noticed that upon initially starting my car, there is a squeal (sounds like a squeaky shopping cart wheel) coming from the alternator. The serpentine belt was replaced at 103k miles by Honda and has since been inspected by a local Honda dealer who said the belt is fine and has the correct tension.

The squeal does go away as soon as I drive off or if I let the car warm up for 2-4 minutes. On other cars I've had, this usually means the alternator is about to go. So I took it to a local auto parts store where they ran a load test on the electrical and charging system, everything appeared normal.

Can this squeal be attributed to the cold and is something I shouldn't worry about, or should I plan on looking for a new alternator soon?
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 6:14 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Sounds more like the belt is a little loose and squeals when the belt is cold. If it was squealing because the alternator was seizing it would do it more then just when cold.
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 7:40 AM
Tiny
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Here's a video of the squeal. Again, it's only happening when it has sat overnight and the air temp is usually below 20 degrees

Is there a way I can determine how much deflection is in the belt vs where it should be?
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 2:07 PM
Tiny
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Here is a video of the problem
http://youtu.be/9H5qVxWMsVs
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 2:09 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
A new belt tends to stretch some after installing and sometimes needs to be re tightened. As far as deflection I dont go by that.I just tighten the belt till it feels tight. If it makes noise I will tighten it a little more. Does your belt have the wing nut adjuster? I hate those makes the belt tightening process harder.
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 4:25 PM
Tiny
MIDWEST-DAVE
  • MEMBER
That makes sense. I honestly don't know, I do know it has an auto tensioner that I would assume is responsible for keeping it at the proper tension.

I'm guessing I can let this go till next weekend when I have time to take it to a dealer / local shop to have them check the tension, right?
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 4:38 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If its just squealing on start up you should be ok but cant tell you for sure. You could have a weak auto tenisor sometimes if there weak change the belt or removing the belt can send them on there way the rest of the way out.I was thinking you had the older style tenisor pulley on a slider to adjust it.
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015 AT 12:28 PM
Tiny
MIDWEST-DAVE
  • MEMBER
Ya, it was warmer this morning and I didn't notice any squeal. I'll have someone check it out this weekend. Hopefully it's something minor, I would imagine if the alternator was on the way out it would have failed the electrical/charging system load tests.

Is changing the auto-tensioner a high labor cost job?
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015 AT 12:44 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You could have a alternator test good with a bad bearing it but you would hear that. Looks like the tenisor is 1.6hrs labor times whatever the shop labor rate is at the shop your at.
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015 AT 12:52 PM

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