What is that noise?
April 28, 2009 6:38 PM   Subscribe

2003 Dodge Neon is emitting a High-pitched squeal

Since yesterday our 2003 Dodge Neon (standard stick) makes a whistly squeal, sometimes when in gear, sometimes not. 55,000 miles, It has had a full transmission replacement (warranty paid) and a new clutch (paid by us) at the dealer shop this year. May I have your best guess as to what that noise is, please? The sound is not loud, but it is noticeable and on the high-pitched side, bordering on inaudible. This question calls for speculation, of course.
posted by longsleeves to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had a 1995 Neon for a while and was told by a tow-truck driver that its alternator-belt issues were common to Neons. Similar symptoms, usually accompanied by dimming of instrument-panel and interior lighting. ~$40 to tighten the belt approx. once a year.
posted by ecsh at 6:43 PM on April 28, 2009

Best answer: It is quite likely to be an alternator bearing or perhaps a belt tensioning pulley bearing. It is quite likely, also, to be minor and relatively inexpensive to repair.

It is unlikely to be related to any of the new components and work you have listed as already having been done. Take it in, as the only possible way to diagnose this is to either hear it or establish where in the engine bay it is coming from. None of the speculation you get here will help you one bit.

Personally, I'd wait a little while until it got either consistent or louder, to aid diagnosis. Nothing like a faint, erratic, noise to be annoying and time consuming to try and find.
posted by Brockles at 7:36 PM on April 28, 2009

first guess here is also the alternator. ecsh's neon is an earlier era neon ("hi.") longsleeves' with more alternator issues than longsleeves' era neon (pre-caliber), but generally this sounds like an alternator.
posted by the aloha at 8:01 PM on April 28, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks to all answerers.

alternators have bearings? who knew?
posted by longsleeves at 9:30 AM on April 29, 2009

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