Detailed Guide To Understanding Car Squeals When Starting Then Stops?

Every individual that owns a vehicle expects it to start smoothly and quietly immediately after it is been turned on, but then it seems not to work out in such as way, and then sometimes you get to hear a high-pitched squeal or even a screech that can’t be overlooked. This noise usually happens when you start your car and then leave you with no choice but rather you keep wondering or asking questions about what is happening.

The fact is, there are so many reasons why your car squeals each time you turn it on and then you get to hear the squeals noise, and such sound could either be the belts, battery, or the alternator. But then it is very paramount to understand what lead to this high-pitched noise, find out if it is a serious issue or a minor one that can be rectified very quickly or better still if it is something you will take to a skilled mechanic to have it inspects.

Nevertheless, in this article, I will be sharing a more detailed guide on how to understand why your car squeals when starting and then stops and how such an issue can be fixed, and then Alongside other topics that I will also enlighten you about. Just keep on reading as you will find this topic more interesting.

Let’s get started.

Car Squeals When Starting Then Stops?

One of the common reasons why your car will squeals when starting it and then stops is caused by belt slippage, when this happens it will affect the shape and grip of the alternator belt of which immediately you start your car, you will hear a squealing noise and then it will stop, this is an issue that can’t be overlooked and it is more likely to occur in older belts, so I will advise that you should have replaced as soon as possible or get it fixed.

Why Does My Car Squeal When I Start It?

Basically what you see or called squealing is likely to be the alternator belt or even the serpentine belt as we all know. It is a long belt that you can find around the multiple pulleys, this belt is used in connecting the crankshaft to the other systems such as the power steering, AC, and water pump. But when we talk about the alternator belt, it is divided into three main reasons why your car would be making a squealing noise each time it’s been turned on. But do not worry these three main factors can be fixed such as loose tensioner, worn/damaged belt, and belt slippage.

1. Loose Tensioner.

In this scenario, the alternator belt needs to be kept in a certain tightness and tension which its job is to aptly-named the tensioner. On most of the older cars, materials, and systems do degrade the tensioner as not able to stay in a certain setting but the only way is to readjust the tensioner once in a while or better still, replace the tensioner at once.

2. Worn Belt/Damage Belt.

This happens when the belt is worn out or even old and it has been used for like 100,000 miles or longer of which it has ranged from belt elongating to worn-out edges and then down to worn-down teeth. All these signs indicate that the belt is bad. But the only way is to replace the belt.

3. Belt Slippage.

This happens when you usually park your vehicle outside, the reason is that there might be a problem and this can result in cold and dew affecting the shape and grip of the alternator belt. So therefore when you start your car and then you get to hear the squealing noise, it signifies that the belt needs to be replaced especially if it is an old belt.

Detailed Guide To Understanding Car Squeals When Starting Then Stops?

Additional Caused Of, Car Squealing When Started?

Apart from the other causes that I mention in this article, there are also other causes that could lead to why your car makes a squealing noise or sound when you start your car. And I will be sharing some of these causes with you as you continue to read on.

  1. It could be caused by a faulty idler pulley. Once your idler pulley not functioning perfectly, it can cause the belt to slip and generates a squealing noise.
  2. It could also be caused by a worn-out tensioner, be aware that the tensioner is in charge of keeping the belt at the right tension, which if it is damaged, it will lead the belt to slip and produce a squealing noise.
  3. Also, if there is a dirty worn-out bearing in the alternator, the power steering pump with other parts will be dirty automatically over time, and it will cause a squealing noise when you start your car.
  4. If there is any damaged water pump can also lead to the belt slipping and it will produce a squealing noise.
  5. Improper installation of the belt can also lead to squealing noise especially when starting your vehicle.
  6. Lastly, if the belt and other components is been exposed to cold weather, it will lead these components to be stiff and it will generate a squealing noise especially when starting your vehicle.

In other words, rectifying these issues in time will prevent further damage to your car. And also contact a qualified mechanic if you are not too sure about fixing it yourself.

Reasons For High-Pitched Squeal From Car When Moving?

Basically, before I will share with you the reasons why there is high –pitched squealing noise from your car when moving, I want to let you know that once this occurs it simply means there is a problem but before then, let’s take a thorough look at the problem in general.  A high-pitched squeal from your car while moving represents an issue in your vehicle, so it means that the outcome is not okay and so you simply need to do something about it very quickly.

When it comes to high-pitched sounds which are produced by an engine when you move your car shouldn’t occur but if such noise happens, then check the engine.

The question is, what exactly could be the reason for the issue, I am going to elaborate more on it. So therefore the crucial part is that whenever you hear a high-pitched squeal from your vehicle while moving, it is an important issue that can’t be overlooked, this squealing sound is not that too dangerous as it seems to be, and the reason is that the components are created by accessory which are found outside of the engine and not right inside of the engine.

Also, there are so many reasons why the high-pitched squeals from a car when moving and it could be a result of the bad serpentine belt, bad alternator pulley, bad idler pulley, bad power steering pulley, and bad serpentine belt tensioner. I will be deliberating on each one of them. So, therefore, if you are interested in learning more, just follow along.

1. Bad Serpentine Belt.

This is also known as an accessory belt, drive belt, and alternator belt. it is true that individual calls it different names, but it still does the same thing. We have lots of accessories in the engine, such as the AC, alternator, water pump, and power steering but they all need to acquire power from a source, and that is the work of the serpentine belt, which makes use of the rotational energy of the crankshaft to create momentum just to power the accessories in order for the engine to function properly. Also, this belt is placed on every accessory, and these accessories do have pulleys, so when the belt is spun automatically, the accessories start functioning.

In other words, if this belt happens to crack it will be a bit loose, and that is where the high-pitched squealing noise will be prompted from your car when moving.

2. Bad Alternator Pulley.

This is another reason why your car makes a high-pitched squealing sound when moving. This component is more likely to produce electricity spark plugs and then run just for the combustion to be easy.

There is a stator and rotor found inside the alternator of and the rotor is used to rotate around the central shaft that is been installed right in the middle of the alternator. Still, there is a bearings found on this shaft, which enable the rotor to spin ideally, so therefore, when this happens. The bearing wear-out then there will be a wobble shaft which makes the movement of the belt rather uneven, thereby causing the belt to generate a high-pitched squealing noise from your car when moving; this alone can create a grinding noise and cause a damage in your vehicle if not been inspected quickly.

3. Bad Idler Pulley.

The next reason that could cause a high-pitched noise when moving your car, is that bad idler pulley. An idler pulley is a special one that is found on the engine but the same as other pulleys. Just like the other pulley rotating around the shaft right inside the bearings but the slide difference between this special pulley and other pulleys is that, this pulley doesn’t do anything. It is used to route the belt in a certain manner just to power all the accessories. So therefore each engine happens to have at least one idler pulley while some have more but the most crucial part of it is, it has pulleys bearing right inside of them, but just like other pulleys too, they can fail and uneven around.

4. Bad Power Steering Pump.

This is another reason for a high-pitched squealing noise from your car when moving. Just like other accessories found in your vehicle, the power steering pump does run on a pulley. Although not all cars do run on hydraulic power steering then, there are cars that happen to have electric power steering which works with the assistance of an electric motor. But if you suspect that the car you drive, is running on a hydraulic system thereby producing a high-pitched squealing noise, especially from your car while moving, then it can be a result of the pulley having gone bad. In this case, you just have to fix it very fast to avoid further damage.

5. Bad Serpentine Belt Tensioner.

The last reason for the high–pitched squealing from the car when moving is the bad serpentine belt tensioner.

A tensioner happens to be one of the components that is designed to keep the tension on the belt, immediately after it is been placed, then you need to activate the tensioner just to increase the tension, but if ignored, then the belt will definitely fall. Tightened pulley is what the tensioner belt is used for, of which they are two types such as spring-loaded tensioners and hydraulic tensioners. The first one does have a spring in it while the second one is just like a tiny piston that moves around just the tension belt in order. But the thing is, both of them are not reliable, once the hydraulic gets to leak, it can cause a high-pitched squealing noise from your vehicle while moving, and as the spring loaded tensioner, if it is not tightened very well and gets to lose, it might cause damage to your vehicle.

So therefore once you notice any of these signs, please take your vehicle to a skilled mechanic to diagnose the issue with your car.

Causes Of High Pitched Squeal When Starting Car?

In this scenario, a high-pitched squealing when you start your car is caused by several factors, I have made research on this issue and then proffered a solution to this issue.

  1. What could cause a high-pitched squealing noise when starting a car is worn-out or a failing starter motor, of which can generate high-pitched squeal noise especially when the engine is turned on, It might also signify that the starter motor gear is engaged with the engine wheel.
  2. It can also be caused by low battery voltage, once the battery of your vehicle is low then the starter motor will begin to struggle to a take turn to the engine and that alone will prompt the high-pitched noise, it might occur especially when the car is park outside for a long period of time.
  3. It can also be caused by a loose or worn-out belt, this alone can generate a high-pitched squealing noise from your car when driving resulting to change a in pitch as the engine warms up, thereby causing the belt to expand more.
  4. It can also be caused by a faulty alternator that is if the alternator is not charging the battery properly well enough, it might result in the battery voltage becoming low thereby causing the high-pitched squealing noise immediately after the engine gets to start.
  5. Lastly, it can also be caused by misalignment of the serpentine belt, if the belt is not aligned properly, this alone causes a high-pitched squealing noise from your car when driving, and it occurs especially when the engine seems to be cold.

So therefore, as a car owner, if you notice any of this high-pitched squealing noise when you start your car, I will advise you to take it to a qualified mechanic to look into the issue just to avoid more damage.

How To Fix A High-Pitched Squeal When Starting Car?

In this scenario. Once you notice that the cold has affected the shape and grip of your serpentine belt and also, that your worn-out starter motor, loose worn-out belt, or faulty alternator, has gone bad, the only way to fix it, is by replacing them immediately. And also if the battery voltage is low, then you need to charge it or better still replaced it. That’s it.

How To Resolve, Car Squeals When Starting Then Stops?

  1. There are so many ways to tackle this issue and I will be sharing it with you. Firstly, all you need to do is to check the belt if it is tightened enough or if the situation of the belt is okay, but if it is not okay, then quickly replace it.
  2. Ensure to check the alternator, because a faulty alternator can cause the belt to slip and then generates a squealing noise. So once you take notice of this issue, quickly repair it or better still, replace it.
  3. Ensure to always look out for the power steering pump. If it is malfunctioning, it can lead to belt slip and produce a squealing noise, it must not be overlooked, quickly replaced it.
  4. Ensure to spray the right lubricant oil on the belt, it will help to decrease the squealing sound coming from your vehicle. Makes sure you use the one recommended by your manufacturer.
  5. Ensure to always contact a professional mechanic to inspect your car once you notice these signs and you could fix it yourself.

Why Will A, Car Squeals When Starting Cold?

  1. There are so many reasons that could lead to the fact that your car squeals when starting cold and the noise you are hearing could be a result of the new alternator belt that is sliding and skipping on the pulleys which can generate such noise.
  2. If the pulley is worn out or loose, it can actually cause the belt to slip, which can result in squealing immediately after the engine is turned on.
  3. If the power steering fluid is very low, it can cause the power steering pump to make a squealing noise during cold starts.
  4. Also, a worn-out starter motor can also lead to making a high–pitched squealing noise especially when starting the engine.

In other words, if your vehicle is making a squealing sound when starting cold, I will advise that you have your skilled mechanic check on it.

What Does High-Pitched Squealing Noise Sound Like?

In this scenario, I will say to you that a high-pitched squealing noise sounds so unappealing that is piercing to the ear. It is very loud and it’s like a whistle or even a metallic screech. The pitch of the noise is very high and it might increase or even decrease the intensity as you drive on a speed or even accelerate.

Although it depends on where the noise is coming from your vehicle, it might be from the hood or very close to the wheels. But it’s best if you hear this high–pitched noise and have a qualified mechanic to look into it. It’s very important.

How To Fix A High–Pitched Squeal From Car When Moving?

Basically, several reasons may lead to why your car has this high-pitched squealing noise when moving. This could be a result of a loose belt, brake pads, wheel bearings, power steering fluid, or even the serpentine belt. I will advise that once you notice these signs, you fix them or better still, replace them, most especially the belt pulley and it will eliminate the squealing noise.


In this article, I have enlightened you about several reasons why your car makes a squealing noise when you are moving and then stops. But I will say to you that, as a car owner, it is very important to understand the causes of these issues and then try as much as possible to rectify the issue. And also I have listed out so many reasons that could lead to this issue such as malfunctioning alternator, loose belt, and faulty power steering. So it is very crucial that it is been rectify very fast just to prevent damage to your vehicle.

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