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I've had really, really loud belt squeal since sometime in December. I fixed it for a while with some belt conditioner, but it started up again and has recently gotten much worse. So this week I treated the belt again a few days ago and then treated it again this afternoon before going to run an errand.

While I was driving to my errand I noticed a gravelly rattle occurring somewhere in the engine, so I came home, googled a little to see what I needed to do next.

I can say definitively now (after almost being run over by my daughter who was working the gas and brake) the rattle:

  • Only occurs at about 1500 rpm's
  • Only occurs when the car is in Drive (3rd, 2nd, L all the same)
  • Is definitely on the right (passenger) side of the car. This is the same side where the belt and all pulleys are.
  • Revving the engine up past ~1800 rpm's there is no noise
  • If the car is in Park or Neutral there is no noise

I'm thinking that the most likely culprit is a bearing, but I'd like to hear the opinions of those that know more and most particularly whether this is likely to be a critical "don't drive your car except to the mechanic" issue or if I can keep driving the car until I have the opportunity to get it in to the mechanic.

Engine

Right side of engine where noise occurs

  • Since you are having issues with your belt squeeling, I think I'd take a look at the pulley(s) and tensioner(s). More than likely you need to replace the belt anyway, so now might be a good time to do that. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 30 at 22:43
  • Does she know you are insured :), no seriously please be very careful how you find noises “live” - I was very selective amongst work colleagues... – Solar Mike Mar 31 at 7:31

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