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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, it's an 04 aero. Runs fine, but there's this constant whining that sounds like the power steering pump. So, I had an extra good one, and I put it on. The noise is still there.

It's a constant groaning noise that sounds very similar to a bad ps pump. Turning the wheel doesn't change the sound either.

Any ideas?
 

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My money is on alternator. I have a 2006 that has whined forever, and at one point I isolated it to the alternator with a mechanic stethoscope. I was worried the whining was the sound of pending alternator failure, but mine has been doing this for like 40,000+ miles will no apparent ill effects. So I've just been living with it. It comes and goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yeah, it changes with rpm too. I guess I'll pull the alligator off the donor and slap that one on. Not now, though. Alternators are a pain to remove, and I'll have to do it twice...dang. Thanks for the responses.
 

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Or it could be the serpentine belt tensioner or idler pulley. Harbor Freight has a $5 stethoscope that works surprisingly well at identifying noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, time to get a stethoscope then. So many possibilities! My bet is on the alter ego, though.
 

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Well, time to get a stethoscope then. So many possibilities! My bet is on the alter ego, though.
Let us know what you find out. Technically anything on the serpentine belt could be whining. Mine's definitely the alternator, and I know a guy in town with an '08 with the exact same alternator sound. Both have been whining for years and haven't (yet) failed.
 

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If you can’t find out what it is relative to your car you might then consult a psychologist, and perhaps then a vet! 😀
 

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I'm hearing a definite whine from my engine, and it too does not seem to be power steering--no change when moving the steering wheel, and it whines whether the engine is cold or hot. My money is also on the alternator. Good to hear that these things can whine for years and years without failing.

For what it's worth, when I listen to the noise, there's no way I think it's an idler pulley (which were all replaced not that long ago). Pulleys can squeak or whistle, and at higher engine RPMs can sound like a turbo. What I'm hearing is the sort of whine I associate with generating stations.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I replaced a blown idler and tensioner pulley on my 02 9-3 not too long ago. Those make those high pitched squeaking noises. This is definitely not that. But hey, maybe I have a special pulley in there that makes special noises. Because it's special. I'll put the doctor ears on tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Well, it's not the alternator. Sounds like its coming from the front of the car. It's a tight area, so I can't really fit the probe down there. But if its coming from that area, it's going to be the wp or the ac.

I loosened the belt and wiggled the water pump pulley, and that one feels good. Looking at some videos, it sounds like the ac compressor can make that noise too. Might have jumped over the puddle and landed in a canal if that's the case since I would have to take it to the wallet drainers for that. r134a is some fun stuff if it gets on you. I'm not going to worry about it for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, it finally got so bad I had to take it to the shop. They said it was the AC compressor. Aside from the typical bearing noise, it also developed a metal rattling/dinging sound that you could really hear at ~2k rpm.
 
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