I recently bought my daughter a 2001 Ford Taurus with the 3.0L V6 Vulcan. Car history (which I got after purchase. Bleh): was a new rental, later a " fleet" car, then I bought used.
Over the last few days, it has developed a constant squeal from the engine. Cold or hot, idle or reved abit, the squeal is there. Reving makes it a more pronounced squeal. Sound eminates from the passenger side of the engine in the vicinity of the serpentine belt and alternator. With engine idling, I sprayed a small amount of " Belt Conditioner" on both sides of the belt but it did not help. I do not see metal shavings around the pulleys of the Alternator, idler, crank, etc that have pulleys driven by the serpentine.
My guess is a failing bearing in the Alternator or Water Pump but praying it is not the Crank. Was going to loosen serpentine and hand turn the Alternator, Idler, and Water Pump pulleys to isolate source but hey I'm just a backyard mechanic. Advice?
Those are good ideas you have for tracking down the problem. Take a good look at the belt. There should be no cracks or any other defects on the inside or out. If you suspect you have a bad belt (they do go bad. Sometimes develope a squeal because of a " glazed" inside) swap it out for a new one. Thoroughly clean all your pulleys and wheels before you put the new one in. Belit conditioner always seems to make belts squeal louder for me. Not good. Denatured alchohol always seems to work good. Cleans like a solvent, leaves little or no residue and evaporates quickly.
March, 2, 2007 AT 9:32 PM
I have a 2001 ZX2 (4 cylinder) which developed a similar squeal. It turned out to be the crankcase breather filter (it was clogged). Somehow the squeal seemed to come from the drive belt, so I replaced the drive belt and auto-tensioner. And the sound persisted. Anyways, I'm not sure if the Taurus has a similar filter. If it does, it's probably connected to both your air filter housing and the crankcase cover. The part cost $15. You can test my theory out by starting your car, wait for the squeal to start, pop your hood, and unscrew your oil cap. If the squeal stops, it's probably the crankcase breather filter. Good luck!