1996 Toyota Corolla Load squeal when starting in cold

Tiny
ALTDSR
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
My 96 Corolla wagon makes a very loud squeal for the first 100 yards or so after I start driving, then it suddenly stops. This only happens when it is cold or especially cold and wet. It goes away in warm weather.
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 AT 9:56 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Start by checking the belts. When the belts are cold they can slip on the pulleys, causing the noise, but once warm they can grip the pulley and the noise stops. Look for cracksor excessive looseness in the blets
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 AT 11:41 PM
Tiny
ALTDSR
  • MEMBER
Belts look good to me. The noise doesn't start until I start moving and especially if I turn the wheels. It's hard for me to look for the source, because when the car is stopped -- no sound
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Friday, February 19th, 2010 AT 6:45 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
You may want to check the front brakes to be sure they are ok. Sometimes they can make noise but queit down when they heat up
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Friday, February 19th, 2010 AT 10:20 PM
Tiny
ALTDSR
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Even if I'm not pressing the brake pedal?
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Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 3:14 PM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
Sometimes the brake pads will be lightly touching the rotors and will make noise until you press on them then it gos away. Have you tried lifting and supporting the front wheels and seeing if it makes any noise whne you turn them by hand? Or if there is any excessive play in the front end like bad wheel bearings?
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Sunday, February 21st, 2010 AT 3:49 PM
Tiny
ALTDSR
  • MEMBER
The sound does not appear related to the brakes, but is does seem related to the steering (it doesn't start until I turn the wheel and gets louder when I turn more). It is an odd sound, because it doesn't start until I start moving, then it gets louder and higher pitched for about 100 yards, then stops abruptly; It doesn't come back until the car is cold again. I have not lifted the car. My thought was that there is a bearing that rubs until it gets spinning or warmed up or something.
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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 AT 8:37 AM
Tiny
JACK42
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So if the car is sitting still and you turn the wheels there is no noise? Still could be the belt, even if it looks good, is it tight?
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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
HONOLULU
  • MEMBER
My vote is still a loose power steering belt. Suggest applying some belt dressing to the contact surfaces of the belt. Be careful, it can be difficult to safely shoot some of this stuff on; it's commonly available in a small spray can.

The old timer's remedy is to test by puttting a dribble of water on the suspect belt while squealing. If the noise stops, it's the belt slipping against the pulley. Old timer's remedy is to rub some plain old candle wax on the contact surface of the belt. Tighten the belt and make sure the reservoir is correctly topped up with the recommended fluid.
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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 AT 1:58 AM
Tiny
ALTDSR
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I think I agree with you, it must be the belt. It has been hard to do any tests while it is squealing, since it only happens briefly, only the first time I start the car in the morning, and only when I am moving -- so I cannot get out and look at it and can't drive it for the mechanic to hear it.

The tricks of putting water or wax on the belts are a good idea. I suspect I am going to ultimately need a new belt, though. Thanks.
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Saturday, February 27th, 2010 AT 9:27 AM
Tiny
JACK42
  • MEMBER
If you put anything like wax ont heblet, be sure you clean thepulleys real good before replacing th ebelt to be sure it doenst get a coat of anything on it that may cause problems. They belts/pulleys should be free of anything like soap, wax or belt dressing.
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Saturday, February 27th, 2010 AT 8:34 PM

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