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What is this part called? (re: Engine Whining on Cold Start)

2183 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  suprane1
Hi guys,

After bringing my car to the dealer about 5 times to solve the problem with that annoying whine after starting the engine cold, I decided to take the problem into my own hands.

I bought a mechanics' stethiscope, and this morning, I isolated the problem!

The noise is coming from the front of the engine, from one of the parts where the belt snakes through.

I am not sure what it's called.

It's at the bottom part of the engine, and it has a wheel for the belt, and it's silver in color.

I touched my stethoscope to that particular part, and the whining noise blasted in my ears.

Other gear assemblies where the belt snakes through made no noise.

This thing looks like a pulley of sorts. Any idea what it is?

This way, I could sound more educated when I go back to the dealer today!

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Is it on the drivers side or passenger side on the bottom? What engine do you have? Could be a bad bearing in the alternator, ac unit, power steering pump, idler pulley because I don't know what you were touching. I've had alternators make a whining. Could even be a water pump going bad. Take it back to the shop and point the componet out to the tech and tell him it only does it cold. You might have to leave it over night so they can catch it making the noise. If nothing else, take it to autozone and have one of the desk guys come out and you can point to the componet. He will tell you what your looking at. If I was you, I'd buy a Chiltons or Haynes manual at the parts store and study up so you can talk the talk with the repair guy. Good luck.
My educated guess is the timing belt, it is running to your altinator??? If the belt is thin, looks worn, you can see the threads in the belt its def time to replace, it causes a whining noise when its time to go.
Where is the tensior on this car? 3.6 or 3.2. I have replaced the tensior pulley on every GM I hav ever owned to include My 03 Caddy and My 00 WS6...
By the way nice choice of cars!

IMO those timing belts are good for 80,000 to 100,000 miles, do you hammer on it?
In addition to that the timing belt/chain and all associated componets are under a cover.

The tensioner in this photo is on the passenger side of the motor just above the crank pulley on an arm and second one is right on the other side. Both are on an arm with a 1/2 or 3/8 square ratchet hole in them. This allows you to used a breaker bar to move it to change the belt.
I believe the 3.6 uses a timing chain while the 3.2 uses a belt. As a matter of fact I see no room for a timing belt in this picture. I bet it has chain.
In addition to that is your timing belt is running your altenator. Take it back GM screwed up, on some imports the timing belt will run the water pump.
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If you have a 3.2, the top on on the passenger side is the tensioner
The one below is the Alternator.
The waterpump is right in the the middle, it looks to me like you have to pull the timing belt cover to get at it. The power steering pump is the top one on the drivers side and the AC is the lower one on the drivers side.
It is an idler pulley, mine just went out too!! $45 list at the dealer or $29 through
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