1995 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 176000 miles
I have a 1995 Dodge Caravan. I just had the transmission rebuilt in the last 3 weeks and when I went to get it today I was getting ready to pull out of the transmission shop and it was in drive and at idle and I heard a squeak. It sounded like a rusted out hinge on a door that was in some need of some WD40. It had made this squeak noise well before the transmission had taken a crap on me. And I can only hear the noise at idle. Please some help?
Hi 5haunath1n. Welcome to the forum. Often the serpentine belt will become glazed on the smooth back side or it can pick up rust and dirt particles that squeak as the belt slides across one of the pulleys. A fast way to prove it's the belt is to spray or dribble a little water on it while the engine is idling. If the noise gets worse or goes away, try scuffing the belt with a wire brush but be careful to prevent the brush from getting caught between the belt and a spinning pulley.
Misalignment of the spring-loaded tensioner pulley will force the belt to walk sideways across that pulley as it goes around it. To check for that, sight straight down over the highest section of the belt, past the section on the idler / tensioner pulley, and on to the pulley on the crankshaft. All three sections should be inline. If the section going over the tensioner pulley is peeking out to the side, usually about 1/8 inch, the tensioner and belt should be replaced.
September, 10, 2010 AT 6:00 PM
I have already checked the serpentine belt and it is all perfectly fine except the idler pully wobbles a bit. And it doesn't sound like its coming from there. It sounds like its underneath the engine and transmission. Any more thoughts?
September, 10, 2010 AT 7:51 PM
None of the pulleys should be wobbling at all. A quick test is to remove the belt and run the engine, but if you're sure that's not the source of the noise, it might be time to dig out a stethoscope. Use a pry bar by the right engine mount to move the engine sideways slightly in both directions. If the squeak stops, check the front engine mount brackets. The front part that's bolted to the body under the radiator has slotted mounting holes. If it is bolted off-center, the two metal brackets can rub against each other. Also check that the square metal tube in the center of the rubber isolator isn't cracked, and the rubber isn't torn allowing metal parts to rub.
Check that the engine is sitting level. If the driver's side is low, check for a torn rubber isolator in the left transmission mount. That one can be hard to see unless you remove the left wheel.
Do you only hear the noise when standing still or does the van have to be moving? If it only occurs when moving, there are a number of suspension-related things to look for, but if you hear it while standing still, the problem will have to be engine-related. Are there any other clues, such as it only occurs when the engine is warmed up, it goes away when there's pressure on the steering wheel, etc?
September, 11, 2010 AT 11:25 PM
The only time it makes this squeak is when the engine is warmed up and sitting in drive at idle. It doesn't make the sound when the engine is cold. Nor does is it squeak when you are moving when the engine is hot. I hope this gives a clearer explanation.
September, 12, 2010 AT 1:24 AM
I'd head to an auto parts store for a stethoscope; about 12 bucks as I recall.