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Engine Whine Diagnosis (Video)

X6StringerX

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2011 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost
My X has been whining since the day I bought it, which was August of last year. I thought all along that it was the notorious power steering pump whine that so many Fords suffer from. A month or so ago, I decided it was annoying enough that I would try to get rid of it. I stethoscoped the p/s pump, but the noise didn't seem to be coming from there. In fact, it seemed as if it was coming from the opposite side of the engine. At that time, I stethoscoped the alternator and was sure the bearing was bad because even the stethoscope vibrated significantly when I touched the alternator. I replaced the alternator with a new one and the problem was still there. I swapped my old one back on and got a refund. At that point, I thought it might be one of the idler pulleys below the alternator, but it was getting dark and the next few days brought foul weather. I got out of the mood to work on it until today. I thought I would take an exhaust video and when I put the video on my computer, I could hear the whine over the exhaust. I took a second video under the hood and in the video, it appears that now the sound comes from the driver's side of the engine. The next step is to remove the belt and see if the sound disappears, but I thought I would seek advice here on the forum since I'm sure someone will know exactly what the problem is. Anyway, here are the videos.



 


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IAmTodd

4x Explorer Veteran
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Johnstown, PA
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2015 Jeep
Power steering pump. If you remove the belt the sound will go away.
 




jlsparky7

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1996 5.0 XLT AWD
Prolly power steering pump. Fan hitting anything?
 




Sams01XplrSprt

Southern Cali Explorer
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2001 Sport (sold)
yep its the power steering
 




H.Flores

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City, State
Meriden, CT
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Limited AWD 5.0
Interested in finding out your result my 04 limited V8 (70,000 miles)makes same exact noise and it's driving me nuts
btw if it were the power steering pump would it not turn hard? mine turns real easy
Harry
 




X6StringerX

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I ended up selling the Explorer last week, so we'll never know for sure, but it certainly did sound like the PS pump. Ford is notorious for producing noisy PS pumps.
 




celly

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calgary
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99 eb 5.0 awd
I thought my PS pump was bad for years and sounds similar to your issue. Even had PS pump replaced at no obligation to me. They told me it was the alternator next. I disagreed because the whine was present before I swapped in my aftermarket alterator. With help from this site. I suggested idler and tensioner pulleys. Had both replaced. Dead quiet.

I did the stethoscope thing too. Definitely sounded like it was coming from passenger side despite what 3 different licensed mechanics told me! My experience is here.

Just listened to your vid. Sure sounded like the issue I had. I don't think it's the PS pump. It sounds like it "might" be alternator because the sound comes from under it. Common issue, especially with the 5.0 as I've seen.
 




lakewood216

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Lakewood Ohio
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'99 Eddie Bauer 5.0 130k
It's not the PS Pump

I too had the infamous whine. It didn't change when I turned the wheel, but it did get louder when the RPMs increased. This led me to the idler pulley right under the alternator. I replaced it as well as the tensioner wheel. The engine is now quiet.
 




quackattak

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1997 mountaineer
Just bought a 97 mountaineer awd 5.0, had belt off and idlers felt fine. flushed ps pump, still loud whine. Took belt and idlers off, lower idler with grooves had little chunks of dried grease in bearing. Replaced and now quiet. Almost bought new alternator, great info on this site, already 200.00 ahead on repairs
 




yoyotommy

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oceanside ca
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 exlorer 5.0 V8
Same Whining Noise

I have the same whining noise, and today tried to take the belt off to replace the pulleys....problem is, I COULDN'T figure it out for the life of me! I loosened the nut on the front of the tensioner pulley, but it didn't budge.

I watched a video online of how to loosen the tensioner, but it was for a '96 and a little different from mine (which is a '99).

Can anyone tell me how this pulley replacement is achieved? Help is much appreciated.
 




charlieice4

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Whining problem fixed by Lucas Oil!

For anyone still on this thread, I had the same engine whining problem. I replaced the pulley, tensioner pulley, idle air control valve. With the belt off everything seemed to turn smoothly. Nothing made the sound go away. Not wanting to remove the power steering pump and replace it, I removed my old power steering fluid and replaced with with Lucas's power steering stop leak. After a few days of driving around the noise just disappeared! Lucas has also made my automatic transmission stop slipping. Give it a try! (just remember for the power steering it took mine a week to work its way into the pump)

PS In case anyone else can't get their belt off, just get a 3/8" breaker bar, insert it into the tensioner pulley (there's a hole for it) and TURN. Quick and simple!
 




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