My Toyota Echo/Vitz/Platz/Yaris alternator is making a chirping sound at idle.
- It charges just fine at around 14v.
- It doesn't have a tensioner. (Tension is applied by moving the alternator and tightening the nut on its bracket.)
- The noise is definitely from the alternator pulley/bearing, not the belt.
- The sound goes away when the revs increase
- The sound goes away when I spray a lubricant in the small gap between pulley and alternator housing. (I only did this as a quick method of diagnosing which ancillary was making noise.)
This is my daily driver. Should I treat this chirping noise as the alternator is going to fail imminently and leave me stranded or is it a noise that can be ignored for some weeks or months?
Update July 2017: Car was rear ended at speed and squashed into stationary vehicle in front. Front bar compressed into engine/alternator area. Car is a total loss write off, alternator still works, charging at 14.4v, despite physical damage! :-).