Engine Whine - 2005 Trailblazer

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by trailblazer58, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. trailblazer58

    trailblazer58 Member

    Anyone know anything about an engine whine sound on 2005 vortex I-6? I don't have time to describe it again because my whole thread got lost the first time and I'm not sure this one will work.

    Basically a whine sound. Not related to power steering apparently (sound does not change when turning steering wheel). Not a belt from what I can tell. 61 K miles - owned from new. Seems to be getting louder. Thanks!
  2. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    it could still be the power steering pump, does the sound progress with engine speed or stay the same
  3. trailblazer58

    trailblazer58 Member

    It progresses with engine speed. It sounds like the way the older power steering pumps used to sound but when those did it you could definitely hear it get louder when you turned the steering. The pPower steering feels fine and I can even hear a way more silent "noise" that does come when I turn the steering. I'm pretty sure that's normal though.
  4. crane3447

    crane3447 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Check your belt and pullies. Sounds like the same thing that was happening to me before my pulley let go. Not on a trailblazer though.
  5. trailblazer58

    trailblazer58 Member

    Okay - thanks. I will do that when I get a chance. Never had to work on this thing before. Thank God it's a Chevy and not a more expensive Toyota (have way too much experience working on one of those unfortunately). Maybe I'll try prying the tensioner loose to make sure it has not gotten stuck. Although if it was stuck it would seem to be too loose rather than too tight (I could understand too tight may cause a whine but doesn't seem too loose would do this). I'm pretty sure it has one of those all-in-one serpentine belts with the tensioner. I had one on another '89 Chevy V8 and it never gave one bit of trouble to me but I repllaced it anyway after 100K miles just to be safe. Seems a little early to replace at 61K but I'll give it a good inspection anyway.
  6. trailblazer58

    trailblazer58 Member

    Engine Whine Part II ('05 I6 Vortex)

    No big revelations here. I checked the belts and pulleys visually per someone's suggestion while the engine was off. Belt tension appears to be just fine. Belt condition excellent. Nothing unusual looking about the pulleys. I don't know anything about this engine except what I've seen on paper. I have not "worked" on it except to change oil/oil filter and change the air filter - that's it. The engine whine seems to be getting slightly louder.

    Then I ran the engine and peared into the engine compartment with the engine running. I grabed one of the wife's garden tools that was handy and I held the rubber handle against the turning fan shroud to stop the fan and see if this made any difference in the whine. It did not. But of course the pulley on the fan clutch still turns so this may not necessarily make any difference.

    I would be very surprised if the noise was anything to do with the power steering pump as the sound is coming more from the right of the engine as you look towards it. The power steering pump is on the left. The AC compressor was also kicking on and off as I leave the climate control in the "auto" position always and I hardly ever shut it off. When the compressor kicked on and off it did not make any difference in the whine sound.

    Does anyone know if this engine has a cam gear drive on it? I cannot imagine the whine being from the alternator which seems to be the only component on the right side of the engine except for some pulleys. So it's coming from the alternator, the fan clutch, or something internal to the engine up front such as some sort of cam gear drive to control the variable valve timing. I think I'm going to google something that shows an internal diagram of this engine. If anyone has any other suggestions or things to try please let me know!

    Otherwise I guess I will just do nothing and wait - then if something breaks I will fix it...... At least then I won't have to guess about it. Maybe I just subconsciously long for the old days when I had to work on a car all the time and constantly fix things over and over again. In that case I should have bought another toyota. :neutral:
  7. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    The problem is the term "whine" can mean 200 different things. Something is causing noise under you hood, it's probably not two or three or five things, just one thing.

    The Trailblazer is known for fan clutches going out, that will produce a loud roar though, like you have an old WWII fighter jet's engine under your hood. You will struggle to talk over it in the cabin of the car if you hear this.

    1) Sometimes the alternator bearings will go out. That will cause a whine noise.
    2) The serpentine belt will make a ton of noise when it is wearing down, I had this happen and it can even leave a coating on your pulleys that you could clean up with some sandpaper. Get some belt dressing from your local auto store and spray it on the backside according to the directrions on the can, see if the noise goes away.
    3) The idler pully could be going out, that's a possibility too. If the belt dressing doesn't fix the noise, then this is a good possibilty and a cheap fix.
    4) I've not heard of many problems with the power steering units on this, it's possible though.

    (I merged these threads together to keep everything together)
  8. trailblazer58

    trailblazer58 Member

    Well, I already have some spray on belt dressing that's not too old that I've used before without a whole lot of luck. However, this was on V-belts for a 4 cylinder Infiniti G20 (a really great car I give complete thumbs up to). The problem ended up being more with the belts themselves, which I replaced, and having the tension set properly. Of course with the Trailblazer as with most newer Chevys I assume, the tensioner is supposed to handle any issues related to belt tension.

    I can get to the belt relatively easily and I think it should not be difficult to spray on the belt dressing. I'm not to optimistic that this will help the "whine" noise but it's woth a shot I guess. The alternator bearings may more likely be the cause as the noise seems to be coming more from that general area. Too bad I can't isolate the alternator somehow and determine if this is it. I wonder if I could just disconnect the entire belt and run the engine. At least this way I could find out if the noise is internal or not.

    Two side notes: I just got my OnStar monthly report and it shows no issues with anything. Everything checks out with the green marks. The other thing I'm wondering about is how many idler pulleys are on this engine. It seems it's more than just "the" idler pulley as I'm seeing there could be as many as two or three including the belt tensioner, which is just another idler pulley essentially.
  9. GaryL

    GaryL Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Remove the belt. Start the motor breifly and see if it still whines. If it does, it's internal. If not, turn each of the pulleys by hand and find the one that feels rough or makes a noise when you turn it.
  10. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I had massive loud whining/chirping from a bad belt and the noise went away in less than 10 seconds after spraying with belt dressing, so I knew that was my problem. You can even spray the belt in several places while the engine is off and run and start it, or have someone start it if you have a buddy start it just after you spray. I did it with the engine running, just watch your hands with the enging running.

    You can do all sorts of things like take a wood dowell or a long screwdriver and hold the safe end up to your ear to see if you can pin-point where the noise is coming from, but be careful when doing this. I've seen some type of stethascope looking devices that have worked as well too, but watch your hands again and don't get it caught in any moving parts.

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