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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I have a 2001 Taurus LX (V6 3.0, a/c, automatic, 180,000 miles) that was running great(quiet & smooth) up until a few days ago. As my daughter was driving home, the engine starting running MUCH LOUDER! My daughter pulled over right away & checked all the fluids and took a quick look at everything but all was OK. After getting the car home we rechecked all fluids and everything was fine. We did a quick check & could not find any loose hose, vacuum line, or pulley, nor did we see any trouble with the exhaust. The engine just runs considerably louder, which is noticeable even with the hood down. I can't find any reason for the increased noise. There does seem to be a slight clinking noise, which may be a pulley bearing, but that noise seems to go away when you turn on the a/c. I don't know what could make the whole engine sound so much louder, so suddenly. I have posted a video at you tube for those who have a good ear and hopefully offer some help and/or suggestions. The noise seems to be coming from the passenger side(pulley side) of the engine):
Thanks for any help
 

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take the belt off and check the pulleys by hand. i can hear some rattling it might be a pulley getting ready to break.
 

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^^ agreed!

Definately sounds like a pulley about to give way.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, I thought it might be the idler wheel, I didn't think it could be one of the other pulleys. Do you think that Would that also make the engine sound louder?
 

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Wow, I thought it might be the idler wheel, I didn't think it could be one of the other pulleys. Do you think that Would that also make the engine sound louder?
pulleys can make the car sound like its got a blown engine. best way to sort out the problem is to first see which pulley is bad. it very well could be the idler but i cant tell without looking at it. the easiest way to tell is to remove the belt and check them. you do not want it to go while you are driving. this can cause more damage.
 

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Or get a mech. stethoscope from harbor freight tools for < $5 and CAREFULLY listen to all belt-driven components with eng. idling. Also, with belt removed, start car for a few seconds to see if noise disappears. Again, with belt and car off, rotate each pulley by hand feeling for looseness, roughness, listening for noise, etc. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the help! I will get the mechanic's stethescope and try to liste to the pulleys that I can access. Since I hear a little 'clinking' or 'rattle' sound that seems to go away when I turn on the a/c, I will start with the a/c compressor pulley. I hope it isn't the crankshaft pulley. I just had to change one of the those on our camry & it was a bear to get off. If I find a pulley that seems to be the problem, do I have to replace the whole component? Or just the pulley?
 

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If the noise goes away when the AC is on, it sounds like the AC clutch pulley bearing (hub bearing) is on its way out.
 

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definitely its a bearing noise, i could see some dust of rust on the dynamo, may be its the pulley of dynamo. also sounds like A/C clutch is detached.and touching the rotating pulley...you can check when you remove the belt by rotating by hand.
 

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Thanks everyone for the help! I will get the mechanic's stethescope and try to liste to the pulleys that I can access. Since I hear a little 'clinking' or 'rattle' sound that seems to go away when I turn on the a/c, I will start with the a/c compressor pulley. I hope it isn't the crankshaft pulley. I just had to change one of the those on our camry & it was a bear to get off. If I find a pulley that seems to be the problem, do I have to replace the whole component? Or just the pulley?
depends on which pulley it is. if the a/c its alot cheaper to do the pulley. if its the alt. you might want to just change the part. no sense in changing the pulley to have the alt to quit in 4 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You folks are great! I do appreciate everyone's input & suggestions & I am learning a lot!. I got called into work today & I was not able to get under the hood of the Taurus. Hope to get to look at it tomorrow but I can't turn down any extra hours with gas near 4 bucks a gallon. Anyway, I was thinking about the suggestions on the A/C clutch/pulley bearing. If that turns out to be the trouble, is it difficult to change? Does the a/c compressor have to come out to change the pulley/clutch bearing ? I've done some work on cars before but never had to mess with the a/c. By the way, the a/c seems to work great--never had a problem with it, even though we hear a slight clinking/rattle sound. Hopefully I'll know more after checking everything with the mechanics stethoscope, and also after taking the belt off. Also, I've seen a couple of youtube videos about people checking pulleys by wiggling them to see if the are bad. Does this work? In one video they were barely able to wiggle the pulley at all but they said it was bad. I'm thinking a pulley has to really be loose or wobbling, or somewhat crooked (missaligned) to be a problem--am I wrong? What indicates a bad pulley or bearing? What should I look/listen/feel for that would indicate that a pulley or pulley bearing is bad or about to go out, or that the a/c clutch bearing pulley is failing? Of course, my big question is the noise, ie: that a bad pulley, idler, or belt tensionor could cause the engine to sound so LOUD. Wouldn't want to change out a pulley and still have the noise. But I'm willing to do what I can. LOTS and LOTS of questions I know-- but again, thank you to everyone for all of the help!
 

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pulleys should have no side to side movement. they are made to just spin, remove the belt. check the pulleys and find which one is bad. as far as the loud engine. with belt off start the car and listen and see if the engine sounds normal.a quick 15 sec should be enough. if the a/c clutch is bad its not extremely difficult to change it out if you have some mechanical ability. the compressor would need to get unbolted to allow room to work. you dont have to pop the line so no recharge. if it turns out to be the a/c let us know and we can give you the steps to change the clutch.
 

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bearings are very sensitive when exposed to dust/ water or when go out of lubricant. the noise level or vibration would exponentially increase leading to a bad failure. dont get surprised of having a big noise caused by a bearing going to fail. A/C pulley bearing most likely to fail fast due to over heating by clutch / electrical lose connection to clutch coil. i have a very bad experience with my contour 96 with such failures until i found the problem to be from electrical side....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
2001 Taurus Engine Sound

Finally got a few hours(where I didn't have to go to work) and took the serpentine belt off to check the pulleys for noise, wobble and play. I took a quick video of the results, and showed the play(if any)on the pulleys/tensioner/idler pulley, etc. On the video you can see that the: 1) Power steering pulley appears to have the most play/side to side-in & out wobble movement, 2)The Idler pulley has a little play, 3)The Alternater pulley doesn't appear to have any loose/play or movement at all, 4)The water pump pulley has only a VERY slight amount of play/harly noticeable. 5) The tensioner seems very good/tight-no play. 6) The A/C pulley seemed fine as well with hardly any play or loose movement. None of the pulleys made any kind of noise when turning them by hand, and they all seemed to turn OK. Finally, with the belt off we started the engine for a few moments and the noise was noticeably quieter. I would say you folks are correct that the trouble is related to one of the pulleys. After comparing the video I took earlier (and posted to this thread at the beginning) against this latest video taken today, I hope it can help you all in giving me the advice or suggestions at to what to do t. It seems to me the power steering, and possibly the idler pulley may need to be changed. And I guess it would make sense to change out the tensioner & serpentine belt, although both look/feel/sound in great shape. However, since I am not sure what is 'normal' for pulleys, I am open to any & all suggestions and help. So if anyone out there see's something else, or has any suggestions, let me know. Also, While I have the belt off, if anyone wants me to recheck someting or film something, just let me know.
 

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I would r&r the idler pulley for starters. In/out (lateral) play on ps pulley is completely normal.
I agree. Idler and tensioner are usually the first to go and start making noises. The idler is cheaper than tensioner so for the sake of guessing, go cheaper first :rolleyes2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got a new idler pulley from Autozone and compared it to the the one from the Taurus--didn't really see/feel any noticeable difference between the two pulleys. Mounted the new pulley on & put on the belt & it STILL makes the noise, just as loud as before. **Incidentally**, when I took the bolt off of the original idler pulley, I noticed a little bushing(?) that seemed to be threaded on the idler pulley bolt. I am guessing it is there to take up space because the diameter of the idler pulley bolt is smaller than the opening diameter in the pulley. Does that seem correct? A new 'bushing' didn't come with the new idler so I just used the old one that was already on the bolt. Can anyone tell me if this is right? Is it supposed to be there? Should I have gotten a new one & replaced it? If so, where can I get one. Finally, since I've replaced the idler pulley and the noise is still there, What is next? Someone mentioned checking & changing out the a/c clutch pulley. Is that next, is it hard to do & do I need to discharge the a/c first? I checked all of the other pulleys & they all seemed to move fine with no wobble. Not really sure what to do next. Getting kind of frustrated by will persevere!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
2001 Taurus LX engine noise

Hi everyone, I'm still trying to diagnose the engine noise on our 2001 Taurus LX (180,000 m, a/c). As you will be able to tell from the two videos attached to this thread, the noise is loud with the serpentine belt on, but the engine is MUCH QUIETER with the belt off! The prevailing opinion was that the noise has something to do with one of the pulleys going bad, and the fact that the noise is greatly reduced running the engine with the belt off(for a few seconds) seems to prove it. Advice at this point was to change out the idler pulley since they seem to have a higher track record of failure, they are cheap to buy, and easy to r & r. Well, after changing the idler pulley & putting the serpentine belt the noise is still there and still extremely loud. Any suggestions? What to check next? I appreciate everyone's help & patience.
 
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