1997 Civic won't start, smokes and squeals!

  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
1997 Honda Civic DX hatchback, 167,000 miles - My Civic has been sitting in the drive for about 3 weeks (it developed an exhaust pipe leak and I'd been putting off taking it in to get the pipe replaced). I went to start it today. It seemed like the battery had died, so we hooked it up to the other car to jump it. Instead of starting, a horrible squealing came from under the hood. We popped the hood, hit the belts with some belt dressing, and tried again. Still had a horrble squeal, but it started to sound like it would turn over. I topped off the gas with fresh (the gas light was on) and tried to start it again; this time it squealed and began to smoke from general area where the alternator is. The battery warning light was on the whole time. The last oil change was about 6 weeks ago and the plugs, wires, distributor cap, and catalytic convertor were replaced 18 months ago by the Honda dealer, it that helps in diagnosing the issue. This car has always been reliable with no major issues; any info you can provide to help me determine the problem and get it back on the road would be great. Thanks!
Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, September 1st, 2007 AT 5:17 PM

1 Reply

The squealing you are talking about is a belt that is loose or worn. Now, it is highly possible that the alternator could have a bad bearing. It might turn but is fighting the process. I would take off the belt and turn the pulley. Anything short of an easy rotation with no feeling of rumbling or catching should be replaced. It still might be able to charge etc but with a bad bearing is will not last long and will eat belts.
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Monday, September 10th, 2007 AT 3:34 PM

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