Alternator Whine

alynn11
10

Asked by alynn11 Oct 18, 2013 at 09:11 AM about the 2008 Scion xD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi,

  A couple of years ago I had my alternator die on me during a road trip. My care was only 3 years old at the time... Since then, it's been nothing but a slew of problem after problem with it. When the alternator initially went out, I was in a very small town that only had one of those "we'll rebuild your current dead alternator" shops. So, I paid $250 to have it rebuilt and went about my way. About 3 months ago I noticed my car was making a constant whining-type of noise. It's most obvious on the outside of the car. As long as the car is running, it's whining. I took it to a local shop, had quite a few repairs done on other problems, and was told that the whine is my alternator, but it is working just fine and doesn't need to be replaced. I don't not have enough mechanical knowledge to argue, so I paid and left. My problem now is that the whining noise is unbearable. It never dies down and is my car is embarrassing to drive around in. It's noticeable to anyone who I'm near. I go to the carpool every day to pick my children up from school and everyone just stares. I'm hoping someone can tell me if the mechanic I took it to just wasn't willing to address the problem, and there might actually be something I can do. I'd have a very hard time justifying spending the money on an entirely new alternator when the one I currently have is apparently "doing it's job and working just fine" according to the mechanic.

Thanks!

3 Answers

Tom Demyan
94,825

Well, the alternator is doing it's job of charging, but the pulley bearing is slowly failing. The longer you let this condition exist, the more likelyhood you will be on the side of the road. What will happen is the pulley bearing will heat up so much that it will catch on fire, or sieze up, causing a fire, and or breaking the belt destroying other components in the engine bay. Sometime it isn't worth the labor removing the alternator just to replace the bearing, so replacing the whole assembly is sometimes a better option. So to answer your question, have it replace, sooner than later, you'll thank me.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer
alynn11
10

Hi Mark, I really appreciate your answer. I forgot to add that my biggest concern other than the sound, was that there is obviously something still wrong with it, and I was afraid I'd end up stranded... again. But I was told there was "nothing wrong with it" and that I didn't need to address it at all, as there was no problem. With this new information you gave me, I'll take it to another shop and just have the whole thing replaced. Even though it's working for now, I hate waiting until the last minute to fix problems. Thanks again! Amber

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Li Tao
0

You know what? your problem exactly happened on my car. first whining, then burnt rubber smell, finally alternator caught on fire, just as what Tom said above. Thank God, the alternator was on fire when it's just back to my garage, I put it off by a glass of water. so damage was limited. Well it has been 10 months, I hope your problem is long solved.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

xD
Looking for a Used xD in your area?
CarGurus has 2,024 nationwide xD listings starting at $4,599.
ZIP:

Search Scion xD Questions

Scion xD Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 50
#2 dandyoun
dandyoun
Reputation 20
#3 alynn11
alynn11
Reputation 10
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Scion xB"
180 Great Deals out of 5,625 listings starting at $2,950
Used Scion tC"
153 Great Deals out of 6,786 listings starting at $2,500
Used Honda Fit"
102 Great Deals out of 7,984 listings starting at $4,400
Used Honda Civic"
829 Great Deals out of 55,840 listings starting at $995
Used Toyota Yaris"
177 Great Deals out of 4,819 listings starting at $2,995
Used Toyota Corolla"
1,232 Great Deals out of 53,380 listings starting at $995
Used Toyota Matrix"
76 Great Deals out of 1,665 listings starting at $2,589
Used Honda CR-V"
657 Great Deals out of 52,082 listings starting at $1,400
Used Toyota Camry"
1,632 Great Deals out of 69,626 listings starting at $1,395
Used Hyundai Elantra"
766 Great Deals out of 45,168 listings starting at $1,200
Used Hyundai Accent"
286 Great Deals out of 13,425 listings starting at $1,495

Used Cars For Sale

2014 Scion xD For Sale
1,046 listings starting at $14,505
2013 Scion xD For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 192 listings starting at $12,888
2012 Scion xD For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 158 listings starting at $11,200
2011 Scion xD For Sale
11 Great Deals out of 98 listings starting at $10,975
2010 Scion xD For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 145 listings starting at $4,999