Saabscene Saab Forum - Saab Technical Information Resource banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

I've got a squeaking sound from the front of my engine. My car is a 1993 9000i. It only happens when the engine is warm, and at idle makes a squeak-squeak-squeak sound, not unlike a a hungry seagull. As the engine revs it turns into an high pitched constant sound.

It seems to be coming from the front of the engine and I figured I was hearing a bearing squeaking. I tried disconnecting the secondary belt that drives the A/C compressor as the A/C never worked anyway, and I wouldn't miss it. But the squeaking is still there.

Therefore what is left is the grooved drive belt. Given that it sounds is possibly from the front of the engine, I'm tending towards the water pump bearings getting worn, and I was planning to take off the grooved belt and try turning by hand.

My question therefore is, am I at least pointing in the right direction? Has anyone else had squeaking as a symptom of impending water pump failure?

Cheers

John P
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
I take it that you can't detect the sound is from the water pump. Shrill screaching can be the water pump bearings or a slipping belt but that's unlikely.

Why not take off the other belt temporarily and see if the noise continues?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think the grooved belt is slipping, as that is more of a shriek when load is applied to the engine.

I've taken off the A/C compressor belt completely, and the squeak is still there. Was that what you meant?

Cheers
John P
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
Since you have a seperate A/C belt then you must have the earlier serpentine belt with a manual tension adjuster. The alternator and power steering pump are at the rear of the engine so the only items at the front driven by the belt are the water pump and the tensioner pulley. So it must be one of them. taking off the belt and turning the pulleys by hand might be your only way of determining which. Check them for sideways rock as well as for stiffness. I replaced my water pump last year, it made no noise and didn't leak water but the pulley rocked in it's bearing and moved enough to let the belt jump off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, finally investigated things on Sunday. I decided, seeing as how I was going to rip off the grooved belt to see if anything felt sticky, I might as well replace it with a new one. Even sprung for a genuine Saab one...

So I opened my copy of Haynes and started ripping out wheel arch inners. A top tip here : Go to a jet wash the day before and clean all the muck out, the job will be much more pleasant. Learned that the hard way...... Also to get at the tensioner you only need to remove the front section of the wheel arch inner.

The belt itself came off with no real problems, and individual grooves were cracking and there were small stones embedded in there as well.

With the belt off I tried turning the water pump pulley by hand and couldn't feel any resistance. I then started on the rest of them, alternator, steering pump, and tensioner pulley, and everything rotated nicely. Hmmmmm, I thought. Was it just the belt slipping?

So I fitted my new grooved belt, set the tension to roughly where it was before, and put it all back together again. After a bit of a drive it was still squeaking. However on Monday morning it was a bit damp and I got (for the first time ever with the Saab) a loud belt slipping shriek.

Bingo! I said to myself, and Monday lunchtime I tightened the belt a wee bit. Haynes says to adjust the grooved belt tension, to remove all wheel arch gubbins again. You don't need to do this. A 13mm socket on a ratchet will fit down the side of the tensioner to get at the lock nut, and a 13mm ring spanner will allow you to take up the slack in the belt. Granted about 10 degrees of arc at a time, but you get there...

The slack in the belt now feels about right, and I haven't heard any squeaking for a day or two now. I may even tempt fate and say it's fixed....

Thanks to Carlsson 986 and Derek for their help, much appreciated folks, stars on their way.

Cheers
John P
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Doh! Spoke too soon....

Squeaking is back (intermittently). After a quick chat with a Saab mechanic, it looks like the water pump is once again the prime suspect.

Therefore I'm now carrying around a special diagnostic tool (a 4 foot long cardboard tube) to try and definately locate what is squeaking.

More updates once it's fixed

Cheers
John P
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,925 Posts
Try a long metal object, extension or screwdriver. Touch that to where you tink the noise is coming from, ie water pump - beware of moving belt of course, and put your ear to it to use it as a stethoscope. This is how we pinpoint noises on engines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well it started squeaking again, so I tried Neil's trick of listening with a long metal object, which unfortunately wasn't long enough for me to safely have a listen (foot long screwdriver...) Therefore, the carboard tube it was. Bingo, definately the water pump.

So I picked up a pump from German Swedish and French in Portsmouth, and read

http://www.duke.edu/~csf/saab/waterpump/

a few times to brace myself for it. Got everything stripped down to get to the pump, and then could only remove two of the six bolts holding it on. Grrrr Must eat more spinach...

Anyhow, it was a case of put it all back together and take it to a garage for them to do it. After a chat with the bloke who services the car, the secret is to remove the AC compressor first so you can access all the bolts, that and a really big ratchet...

And the good news is the squeaking seems to have finally stopped...

Thanks again to Neil, Derek and Carlson 986 for their help.

Cheers
John P
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top