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Old 03-20-2017, 04:48 AM   #1
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Lopey Idle, Strange Smell, and Trouble Running

This morning I went out to start the car, and when I did, I heard what sounded like high pitch squeaking, as if an idler pulley was squealing. The car started, and I only ran it for a couple minutes, but it sounded awful and left a strange smell. So far there aren't any codes that were generated, probably because it didn't run long enough, but I didn't feel like risking it long enough to generate a code before I had a chance to open up the engine covers.

It's making a squealing noise, didn't hold a consistent idle speed, and smelled synthetic. It didn't smell like burning oil, nor did it smell like the usual rich fuel mixture that comes with starting in the cold.

Tonight I'm going to open it up and see if something broke, but it worries me that it's making such a weird smell. It idled and drove fine last night, but left that same smell in the garage. I'll check the usual, but any suggestions as to what else might be causing this?

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Old 03-20-2017, 05:05 AM   #2
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Update:
Oil and coolant levels are both normal, no weird smells from the oil fill tube or from the coolant reservoir. No milkshakes, either.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:26 AM   #3
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Could be a seized idler or alternator or another accessory, have to see if everything is turning.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:51 AM   #4
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Would that explain the smell?
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:25 AM   #5
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Yeah, your belt would be burning and alternators and the like don't smell great either if they fail.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:27 AM   #6
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If you can jack up the car and crawl under there while someone starts it you could watch all the pulleys to see if all is turning.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bwdz View Post
If you can jack up the car and crawl under there while someone starts it you could watch all the pulleys to see if all is turning.
Better to just remove the bulk head panel behind the seats and actually see the belt and all the pulleys. Easier to do than crawling under the car while it is running.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:48 PM   #8
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If you can jack up the car and crawl under there while someone starts it you could watch all the pulleys to see if all is turning.
Make sure your life insurance is paid up before you do this. Also make sure to make a YouTube video to serve as a warning to others.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:49 PM   #9
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Got the panel off, started the car and confirmed that it was still doing it. Took off the belt and started again for a couple seconds and the problem was gone. It looks like the pulley on the alternator bolt had seized up and melted the belt to it, which explains a lot. Ordering a new pulley, bolt, and belt. However, I have no idea how to get the old idler pulley out without removing the entire alternator, which is an utter drag. Any ideas?
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:00 PM   #10
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Spin all the pulleys by hand to make sure there is no wobble and hang ups in anything else so that you don't burn up a new belt and have to go back in there.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:04 PM   #11
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Make sure your life insurance is paid up before you do this. Also make sure to make a YouTube video to serve as a warning to others.
That is a smart-alecky comment. I do own tire chocks and jackstands. I also put my car in gear on hoists to test stuff and have done for over 25 years and have all my fingers, toes, arms etc.. Actually, have a car up in the garage right now and spent a few hours under it replacing the steering rack.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:06 PM   #12
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You will need an < Alternator Clutch Free Wheel Pulley Removal Wrench 33 Teeth Spline Tool >
off ebay to remove the clutch. You can achieve this with the alternator in place if you use this tool, otherwise you have to remove the alternator and take it to an electrical workshop.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cornontherob View Post
Got the panel off, started the car and confirmed that it was still doing it. Took off the belt and started again for a couple seconds and the problem was gone. It looks like the pulley on the alternator bolt had seized up and melted the belt to it, which explains a lot. Ordering a new pulley, bolt, and belt. However, I have no idea how to get the old idler pulley out without removing the entire alternator, which is an utter drag. Any ideas?
if you are talking about the idler pulley just to the right of the alternator pulley, you'll just need to pull the center bolt. You'll get the bolt, a washer and a spacer along with the pulley. They all need to go back the same way.
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Last edited by Jamesp; 03-20-2017 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:14 PM   #14
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That is a smart-alecky comment. I do own tire chocks and jackstands. I also put my car in gear on hoists to test stuff and have done for over 25 years and have all my fingers, toes, arms etc.. Actually, have a car up in the garage right now and spent a few hours under it replacing the steering rack.
You gave monumental and stunningly bad advice. First, dangerous, second the top pulleys cannot be seen by simply jacking up the car and looking up, particularly with the belt on. I too have been under the car and had the engine in and out several times. Climb under the car with someone in it running it? If your lucky you get away with simple third degree burns from the headers and don't end up close and personal with your oil pan as it crushes you to death. I hope you keep your string of good luck, others may not be so lucky.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:25 PM   #15
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This may help:
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:36 AM   #16
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Yes I should specify that it's the idler pulley to the right of the alternator, not the alternator pulley itself. However, the bolt is so long that I cannot remove it, as it hits the sheet metal of the body before it fully comes out.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:48 PM   #17
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I've only taken the alternator off with the engine removed, so others can correct me if this is not correct with the engine in the car. You should be able to pull the long bolt with the pulley on it as you have, loosen the other alternator bolt, and swing the alternator up using the other bolt as a hinge. I don't know if that gives enough clearance though. If you do end up taking your alternator out, I'd suggest disconnecting the battery to eliminate the possibility of a dead short to ground from the battery lead on the alternator,

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