Auto Repair Help
Auto Repair Help – Quick Fix Tutorial Series

Auto Expert John MoskoAuto Noise – Squealing Sounds
by John Mosko

General Description of Problem:
You hear a squealing sound at some point during the operation of your vehicle.

Probable Explanation:
Most squealing in an automobile comes from one of two locations. These are the belts or the brakes. Typical squealing from under the hood occurs when belts are slipping while brakes often squeal when either engaged in stopping or when the pads are worn to a low level and the “Warning Sensor” squeals to notify you it is time to get your brakes replaced.

1. Determine if the squeal is under the hood or in the brake system. Common under the hood squeals can be heard immedietely after starting the car as the various belts kick into action, during use of the A/C system, or while turning in a car with power steering. If the squeal is only noticeable while braking, or is only heard while the car is in motion but disappears when braking, the squeal is likely from the brake system.

2. Once you have determined the belt that is the cause of your squeal, you will need to check it for tightness, and replace if it is worn. As mentioned above, common belts that squeal are the power steering belt if you hear the noise during turns, and the A/C belt if the noise is noticeable only when the A/C is on. Other belts to consider are the alternator belt if you hear the sound under load or acceleration, or if under idle it may be the timing belt.

3. If the noise is not coming from the belts, you will want to determine wheteher the sounds from the brake system are during stopping, or during travel. If you hear the squeal only when applying the brakes, this may be an annoyance more than a problem. If you depress the pedal lightly and hear a faint squale, you can likley obtain some anti-squeal brake paste to apply to the pads to minimize the noise. If you get the squeal when braking hard as well, you may need a different type pad or lining than what is currently installed. If you notice the noise while driving and it disappears when you step on the brakes, this is most likely caused by the sensors on your current pads rubbing and emitting the noise to notify you it is time to have your brake pads replaced.

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31 responses to “Noises Squealing”

  1. Donna Mia says:

    my passangers front side squeels when acclerating stops when I get to about 40mph. Becomes worse when I step on the brake and have to put the car in park when at a red light because the noise is so bad it sounds like a siren.

    • BAT Team says:

      What type of car?

      • Renee says:

        This is happening to my Nissan Sentra (2000).

        • Peter says:

          This started with my 2000 Nissan Altima this past summer, but has gotten worse. It only squeals when I start it, make my first turn and/or if it’s very humid or foggy outside. I am almost certain it is a belt. I have tried belt dressing and that hasn’t helped (much). I am taking it in later this week. I am fairly sure it isn’t anything major (knock on wood), but the screeching — although it only lasts 15-20 seconds — is getting on my nerves.

      • Tammy Harrell says:

        I have a 2004 Volkswagen golf. When I take off or just driving sounds like squeaking n very ennoying.

  2. Dot says:

    I have changed my brake pads and rotors within this past week. Yet when I drive forward and turn the wheel there is a very loud squeak that sounds like it’s coming from under the tires. The noise is an ongoing sound that sometimes sounds like a bad fiddle is playing. Also when I tap on the brakes it squeals also. But those are brand new… it is a 2005 Hyundai Tucson awd with 4wd.

    • Jordan Witten says:

      This just happened on my 03 monte carlo, I have also recently changed my brakes but it started before that. if you find out what it is let me know.

    • Dariana Young says:

      You may need to have your struts or ball joints examined

  3. stevea says:

    Hey when I first turn my car on a belt or something will squeel for a few minutes until the car is warm usually around 1rpm it will stop,but when I begin to drive away it will make the same noise until I get to around 30 or 40 km.Do you have any suggestions on what this problem may be and a cheap way to fix this problem.I have a 2010 hyundia,please reply if you can help me with this problem please..

  4. steve says:

    Do I maybe need to put some power steering fluid like blue line in it for a leak or something like that

  5. Joe says:

    I have a very hard problem to explain. When I say I have a squealing sound coming from the brakes I mean from my brake pedal area. It’s an audible alarm like sound. My brakes are a bit spongy and may need servicing. When I come to a stop the brakes seem to not respond immediately. Oh btw the sound only happens when the Ford Edge 08′ is in park & I mash the brakes to shift into drive or reverse etc… . Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thank you, Joe Brammer Flowery Branch, GA

  6. Levi Belo says:

    I have a 2001 Chevy Tahoe 4wd. When I start my car it’s squeals badly and seems to get worse as I drive.

  7. Odin says:

    this guy is full of shit

    and i quote …”Other belts to consider are the alternator belt if you hear the sound under load or acceleration, or if under idle it may be the timing belt….”

    Bullshit…..a timing belt will NOT squeal because IT CANNOT SLIP…it has teeth so it cant slip on wheels….

    Don’t trust this idiot….he is full of shit

  8. nissansentra says:

    I have a 2006 Nissan sentra. There is a high pitch squeaking noise on the front right side of my car, but sound completely stops when the brakes are hit! Even lightly. Need advice!

  9. Carrie says:

    Just had a complete brake job done. The car squeals from the moment I start the car, even at idol, until I turn it off. It’s a 2003 Ford Taurus. The noise does get louder when I accelerate.

  10. leonard says:

    I have a 2003 Chevrolet impala with 3.4 liter and every time I passed the gas I hear a loud squeaking noise its not the belt its not the water pump so can somebody please tell me why is my car making a squeaking noise

  11. Jacque says:

    1990 Chrysler Leb. Cvt. Keep have the Belt replaced or
    tightened and it still squeals. Driving me crazy.
    Mechanic just replaced both AC and alternator belt. Squealing continues. What do I do? I’m concerned they
    are missing something and I’m going to end up with a very
    large bill.

    • sergio says:

      If you guys are sure it’s not the belt or the breaks try looking at your suspension cv joint has a boot cover that keeps grease, if ripped grease drys and noises start . Sometimes sounds like rubber being rubbed . Their is a few of the parts cv joint , ball joint(top and bottom) tie rod…..

    • Raymond says:

      Change the alternator, sounds like a bearing has gone bad.

  12. sharon Kay says:

    It is not the brakes or the a/c. Have replaced the serpentine belt twice since July of this year. Isn’t when I turn the stearing wheel when I turn it either. It is constant while the ca e uhh s in motion or stopped. It uhh as a new way water pump and new a l r ed mnemonic alternated.

    • Raymond says:

      I know this is a long shot, but… I had the same problem, with my Dodge. After changing belts, brakes ect. The notice was still there, a mechanic near my house told me that the sound was from a bearing in the alternator, that was not good. He said that you can feel the shake in the alternator if you put your hand on it. Long story …Short, the sound is gone.

  13. Jodan says:

    My car squeals only when I start it never any other time and lasts for a few seconds belts have been changed water pump replaced can someone help me out here so annoying.

  14. Connie M. says:

    When I first turn my car on a belt or something will squeal for a few minutes until the car is warm usually around 1rpm it will stop,but when I begin to drive away it will make the same noise until I get to around 30 or 40 km.Do you have any suggestions on what this problem may be? I have a 1997 GEO Prizm. Please reply if you can help me with this problem.

  15. Mark says:

    What about a LOUD sound that occurs only when driving between 5 mph and 40 mph but then completely disappears above 40? Breaking or turning don’t seem to matter.

  16. Thanks for the tip about figuring out of the squeal is coming from the hood of the car or the brakes. My Subaru starts squealing when I start the car and it’s cold outside. I should probably take it to an auto repair service to see if they can figure out if it’s coming from the hood or the brakes.

  17. Katelynn Kyle says:

    I have a 2013 Chevy Sonic. Everytime I am at a stop light or in park, there is an ongoing squealing noise underneath the car, sounds like it’s by the tire. Its different than a brake squeak. When I step on the gas, the sound goes away.

  18. I have a squeeling noise in my 2003 ford mondeo mk3 2,0 tddi. It sounds like a belt or pulley noise, and it comes and goes as it want to. I have driven the car without the belt that drives dynamo, and ac comprezsot, and the noise was coming anyway. I have changed the belttensioner on the sixe with water pump, but aoind is still there. Any auggeationa anyone?

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