Sporadic chirp I do not think it is the belt

Tiny
GREGANDANGEL
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 FORD EXPEDITION
  • 5.4L
  • V8
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
For the past week I have noticed a quiet sporadic chirp. I can only hear it with my windows down and it does not seem to be coming from under the hood seems to come from my front left wheel area. I could be wrong about the location of the chirp as it is hard to tell.

It is not a constant chirp but it seems quite random. Mostly happens when I am at least 20 mph but I sometimes hear it going slower. Neither acceleration or braking seem to augment the chirp, but I feel like it chirps a bit more on bumpy roads. Chirps whether fan or air conditioner is on or off.

I have brand new belt, idler pulleys and tensioner. What do you guys think? Problem with the belt or could the chirp be something else? Thanks in advance.
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Sunday, October 9th, 2016 AT 9:24 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If it is related to the belt, the frequency will change with engine speed but not road speed.

If you have wheel covers or trim rings, those can squirm around from the wheel flexing as it rotates. Remove them as a test, and if the noise is gone, a very light film of grease will stop the noise.

Wear indicators on brake pads will squeal, and in some applications the squeal will stop when the brakes are applied, and some will squeal when the brakes are applied. In some applications braking has no effect on the squeak.

A warped brake rotor can cause the caliper to slide back and forth on its mounting pads, and that can set up a squeak. Typically that will stop during braking.

Also consider that Ford has had a real lot of trouble with steering and suspension parts separating leading to loss of control and crashes, but that is almost always preceded by a clunk, rattle, or squeak. Large movements often reduce the tendency for those squeaks to be heard. That is typical of bouncing over bumps. What is less-known is almost all tires have sidewalls made of rubber that cured unevenly and as a result they have a softer section and a harder section. As the tire rotates, the harder area flexes less so it pushes the axle up a fraction of an inch. That very tiny movement can allow squeaking to occur between parts. That is most likely to occur to ball joints and to badly worn control arm bushings. Both of those will be found during an inspection at a tire and alignment shop. That should be done at least once per year, and anytime you hear a new noise. This would be a good time for a brake system inspection too.

There are other ways to locate the source of the noise, but for now we need to rule out safety issues.
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Sunday, October 9th, 2016 AT 10:35 PM
Tiny
GREGANDANGEL
  • MEMBER
Great advice. I'll head over to Les Schwab on my next day off to do an inspection and will follow up.
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Monday, October 10th, 2016 AT 12:12 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
CARADIODOC is one of our best mechanics.

Please let us know what you find so it will help others.

Best, Ken
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Friday, October 14th, 2016 AT 9:33 AM
Tiny
GREGANDANGEL
  • MEMBER
Will keep you posted. Strange thing is that after washing my car the sound stopped--i sprayed the wheels and undercarriage pretty good--havent heard the noise for days and I was getting excited until this morning I heard a pretty good squeak as I made a right turn. Different sound than the chirping I was hearing before. I thank you for all ur advice. Does this new update give you any more indication of what the problem is?
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Friday, October 14th, 2016 AT 11:18 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yes it sounds like it is a brake pads getting low which can cause the noise you have described.
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Friday, October 14th, 2016 AT 1:05 PM

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