Alternator Whine

10

Asked by 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

254,745

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 of 2 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful
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 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

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.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

xD

Looking for a Used xD in your area?

CarGurus has 699 nationwide xD listings starting at $2,995.

ZIP:

Scion xD Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
    Reputation
    50
  • #2
    Gary Barnette
    Reputation
    30
  • #3
    tennisshoes
    Reputation
    20
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Scion xB
66 Great Deals out of 2,134 listings starting at $1,499
Used Scion tC
110 Great Deals out of 3,318 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Fit
108 Great Deals out of 16,983 listings starting at $1,950
Used Mazda MAZDA3
340 Great Deals out of 26,401 listings starting at $950
Used Toyota Corolla
865 Great Deals out of 55,990 listings starting at $1,488
Used Honda Civic
787 Great Deals out of 72,311 listings starting at $1,350
Used Toyota Yaris
66 Great Deals out of 3,035 listings starting at $2,200
Used Toyota RAV4
779 Great Deals out of 49,361 listings starting at $1,500
Used Toyota Camry
1,042 Great Deals out of 72,908 listings starting at $295
Used Toyota Matrix
45 Great Deals out of 1,267 listings starting at $1,995

Used Cars For Sale

2014 Scion xD For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 186 listings starting at $7,995
2013 Scion xD For Sale
6 Great Deals out of 115 listings starting at $5,999
2012 Scion xD For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 75 listings starting at $5,999
2011 Scion xD For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 39 listings starting at $5,490
2010 Scion xD For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 80 listings starting at $2,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.