By watching the video I've taken, can you tell what component is causing this grinding noise? Someone suggested it might be the harmonic stabilizer.

Known issues

  • Discovered low power steering reservoir, haven't noticed level go down since filling
  • Power steering fluid found under car
  • Recharged AC after the winter, isn't as cold as it used to be
  • Increasing RPM will increase pitch of grinding noise
  • The ticking noise is probably a timing chain tensor I have to replace.

Tested good

  • Turning wheel, to test power steering, doesn't change the sound
  • Not over heating, indicating good water pump?
  • Car voltage tested good, indicating good alternator and battery

Pulley diagram

enter image description here

  • 1
    This is a well asked question. It's helpful to others. Shows what you've tried, what you know. thx.
    – zipzit
    Jun 19, 2016 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


If you don't have a stethoscope or a screw driver or similar that you can use as one. Pull the belt off, put some tension on one pulley at a time and spin them by hand any roughness indicates bearing/bushing failure.

You can probably rule out the compressor pulley as the noise doesn't change as the clutch engages. Idler pulleys are the most likely to fail first. A water pump has a deeper sound when they go bad and usually leak. It doesn't really sound like a harmonic balancer either, usually when they go bad the rubber will separate and cause a screeching sound.

It will probably end up being the alternator or idler pulley.

  • 1
    I wouldn't be so quick to take the A/C compressor pulley out of the conversation. Remember those bearings have to spin if the A/C is engaged or not. They rarely go bad, but I wouldn't discount them entirely. Once you get those belts off, it should take less than 60 seconds to find the grinding noise. Spin each of the pulleys, find the one that isn't smooth, grinds or has excessive slop or free play.
    – zipzit
    Jun 19, 2016 at 7:35

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