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I've read through all the posts that use the word "squeal" in hopes of solving the squeal problem on my son's 2001 Gen 4 Sable with the 3.0L Vulcan engine, but I still need some advice. Here's a summary of what I've done:

--The squeal is definitely coming from the belt area of the engine. There is no sound in the CPS area.
--Took the car to two mechanics who used stethoscopes, and they collectively recommended changing the idler and tensioner pulleys, and alternator.
--First I replaced the serpentine belt. No help.
--Next I replaced the idler pulley. No help.
--Next I replaced the belt tensioner pulley. No help.
--Next I replaced the alternator (the old one on there had a lifetime warranty from Pep Boys). No help.

From all the "squeal" posts I read here, one person eliminated it by changing the water pump. Another by replacing the belt tensioner spring assembly itself, another by changing the power steering pump, and another had a bad AC compressor pulley.

What should I do now? The water pump is not leaking or seeping, the A/C and power steering work great, and the belt tensioner holds the belt in place well. Any suggestions on the next thing to try in the process of elimination, or how to diagnose the exact cause? Of the remaining choices, replacing the tensioner spring would be easiest. Thanks for your help. :(
 

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I had the same problem with my son's car. I was sure it was the tensioner. Changed that and no help. Turned out to be the a/c clutch bearing. Is your squeal still there when you turn the a/c on? You might try a squirt bottle with water in it and try to spray behind the pulleys and see if any difference is made. Also you could remove the belt and run the engine for a few seconds to make sure it is one of the external parts or inside the motor. It can drive you crasy trying to find the source some times. If you take the belt off and it is quiet you know it is one of the items that it drives, if so you may want to let it get worse until you can tell where it is coming from. No damage will be done to the motor that way. Not much help but I tried.
:p
Ed
 

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LOL. The stethoscope is just to impress the peasants. All U need is a length of hose, garden variety, to listen for the noise. Hanging parts on to solve a problem is what keeps the crooks/dealers/incompetant mechs. fat. If a belt is suspect, just rub the drive surface w/ some bar soap and test. If a bad bearing is suspect, just listen near the various rotating parts. If the A/C is engaging OK, just listen before and after the A/C switches from on to off near the clutch. Also, look for a wobble in the pulley if it is bad enuf.
 
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