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Chevrolet Repair/High Pitch noise in 97 Monte Carlo

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Question
QUESTION: Hello Mr. Sheets,

Last weekend I purchased a 97 Monte Carlo Z34 with a 3.4L DOHC V6 engine, from a used car dealership. I also printed out a carfax on the vehicle that shows no issues and has a buy back guarantee on the vehicle. The Vehicle itself has under 85,000 miles on it, The carfax shows one previous owner (2 if you count the person, or dealership that only had it a month) and almost all of the service work shown was done at a chevy dealership. (Said service work shown was mostly oil changes, detailing, passing smog tests and one replacement of Pinion barings)

So here's my question. When I drove it home from the dealership, I was going 70 MPH on the interstate, and noticed a high pitch "whining" noise from the engine which would change in pitch depending on when I pressed or released the accelerator, as well as whenever the transmission switched gears. Also the noise is only audible at higher speeds, or when driving uphill (where The noise sometimes "Revs" up, then is suddenly silent.) The noise doesn't sound like a normal engine rev, the pitch is much higher, then again my last two vehicles were a 96 blazer and a 87 Ford T-bird. So I'm hoping its normal for this engine. When I explain it to some friends, they think the engine might be a turbo engine, others think I might have a Vacuum issue. In any case I'm hoping this is normal for the engine. Could this be a potential Problem?

Thank you for your time.
-Rob

ANSWER: GOOD DAY ROBERT, YOUR ENGINE IS NOT A TURBO CHARGE. IT HAS HAS 4 CAMS.USUALLY A HIGH PITCH NOISE IS FROM A DRIVE BELT PULLEY NOISE CAUSED BY A [FAULTY BEARING] WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO DO IS REMOVE THE ENGINE DRIVE BELT AND START IT UP LIKE THIS AND SEE IF THE NOISE IS GONE..IF SO CK EACH PULLEY BY SPINNING IT BY HAND AND SEE IF YOU CAN HEAR THE NOISE LIKE THIS. IF YOU CAN NOT FIND THE NOISE BY SPINNING IT BY HAND PUT THE BELT BACK ON AND START THE ENGINE AND LISTIN TO EACH PULLEY WITH A LONG EXTENSION IN FRONT OF EACH PULLEY NOT THE PART THAT IS SPINNING [FURTHER BACK ON THE OBJECT] WHEN YOU FIND THE NOISE WHERE IT IS THE LOUDEST THAT IS MORE THEN LIKELY THE PROBLEM..LET ME KNOW HOW YOU MAKE OUT..TOM..


PS ,,HI ROBERT AGAIN,I FORGOT TO ANSWER YOUR LAST QUESTION [COULD THIS BE A PROBLEM]YES IT COULD BE. IF THIS NOISE IS COMING FROM THE ALTERNATOR BEARING THIS COULD LOCK UP ON YOU THROWING THE DRIVE BELT,SAME WITH THE POWER STEERING PUMP AND ON AND ON.ANY PULLEY THAT LOCKS UP WILL THROW THE DRIVE BELT,WHICH WILL CAUSE THE CAR TO OVERHEAT,STEER VERY HARD AND THE BATTERY WILL DIE...BUT BEFORE WE JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS REMOVE THE DRIVE BELT AND START THE ENG AND SEE IF THE NOISE IS GONE..LET ME KNOW,,,, TOM...

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Mr. Sheets,

The noise has been getting progressively worse. Iv'e done some investigating, and the noise doesn't seem to be coming from the drive belt. It sounds closer to the transmission on the driver side. I don't know if this is related, but a buddy of mine hooked up a diagnostic tool and a code came up that describes "torque converter clutch solenoid circuit stuck open" There does seem to be transmission issues. a couple times when I drive up hill, the check engine light will come on and the car will do this hard kind of kick whenever I was stopped at a light, then hit the accelerator. The following day, that problem would disappear and the check engine light would go away.

Well I actually have 2 questions, First, how would I go about dealing with that torque converter issue, and second, I need to repair a leak in my timing belt chamber as well as change the belt. I took it to a mechanic, who refused to fix it because he said the sprockets needed some special tool to stay aligned properly to change the belt. He mentioned something about the sprockets not having markers. Is a special tool required, and is it possible I could purchase it? I really don't want to Spend excessive money for a Chevy dealership to repair it when I could get it done for cheaper.

Thanks again for your reply.
-Robert

Answer
HI ROBERT,LET ME ANSWER YOUR FIRST QUESTION ABOUT THE TRANSMISSION PROBLEM. THIS IS A BAD TORQUE CONVERTOR LOCK UP SOLENOID PROBLEM. IT SOUNDS LIKE IT IS NOT LOCKING IN OVERDRIVE AS IT SHOULD AND THIS WILL GIVE YOU A KICK IF YOU WILL AS YOU SAID AS IT LOCKS IN OVERDRIVE OR COMES OUT OF OVERDRIVE..THIS SOLENOID IS UNDER THE SIDE CAR OF THE TRANS ON THE DRIVERS SIDE. THIS WILL COME AND GO UNTILL YOU REPLACE THIS SOLENOID..HOWEVER THIS WILL [NOT] MAKE ANY NOISE AT ALL.TO REPLACE IT YOU WILL NEED TO POSSIBLY DROP THE TRANS ENOUGH AFTER REMOVING SOME OF THE MOUNTS. [NOT A GOOD JOB FOR THE DRIVEWAY..] TO REMOVE THE PAN ON THE SIDE,ONCE OFF YOU WILL SEE THE SOLENOID..PICK ONE UP AT THE CHEVY STORE...AS FOR THE NOISE, AS I SAID ABOVE IF YOU REMOVE THE ENGINE DRIVE BELT START THE ENG AND SEE IF THE NOISE IS GONE ,IF THE NOISE IS GONE THEN YOU KNOW THE PROBLEM IS IN ONE OF THESE DRIVE PULLEYS..IF THE NOISE IS STILL THERE THEN YOU KNOW THE NOISE IS FROM THE ENGINE SOMEWHERE..[VALVE TRAIN,TIMING BELT PULLEY WATERPUMP OR SOMETHING LIKE THIS...NOW FOR THE TIMING BELT ISSUE,IF YOU HAVE NEVER DONE A TIMING BELT BEFORE I WOULD NOT LEARN ON THIS ONE. THIS IS NOT FOR THE FAINTHEARTED. THIS IS A HARD BELT TO DO BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO LINE UP 4 CAMS AND CRANKSHAFT SPROCKETS AND THEY HAVE TO BE PERFECT..BUT THIS CAN BE DONE IN YOUR DRIVEWAY. YOU CAN BUY A CAM HOLDING TOOL THAT LOCKS THE CAMS IN PLACE WHILE YOU LINE UP THE PULLEYS WITH THE NEW BELT,,OR YOU CAN GET SOME FRIENDS AND HAVE THEM HOLD THE PULLEYS WITH A WRENCH WHILE YOU LINE THINGS UP.. I ALSO THINK THAT THIS ENGINE THE TIMING BELT DRIVES THE WATERPUMP..IF SO YOU WILL WANT TO REPLACE THE WATERPUMP AS WELL..THE CAM SPROCKETS DO HAVE LINE UP DOTS ON THEM. GET YOURSELF A MANUAL OR GET ON LINE FOR THE LINE UP MARKS...ALSO A GOOD SHOP IN YOUR TOWN IS CAPABLE OF DOING THIS,YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE IT TO THE DEALER FOR THIS..THE LAST ONE I DID WAS SEVERAL YEARS BACK, BUT I WAS NOT THAT HARD TO DO.BUT I HAVE DONE MANY TIMING BELTS. THERE ARE SOME TRICK TO IT..SUCH AS WHEN YOU PUT THE NEW BELT ON YOU WANT THE SLACK SIDE OF THE BELT TO BE BY THE TENSIONER SO WHEN THE TENSIONER TIGHTENS THE BELT IT REMOVES ALL THE SLACK FROM THAT SIDE OF THE BELT.THIS WAY THE BELT WILL STAY TIGHT AS THE ENGINE TURNS OVER..HOPE THIS HELPS YOU AND GOOD LUCK...TOM.  

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TOM SHEETS

Expertise

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS BEFORE ASKING ANY QUESTIONS. IF THIS CHEVY SECTION IS MAXED OUT.YOU CAN REACH ME IN THE OLDS/BUICK SECTION. Will answer questions from 6:00am to 10:00pm all days [EST][[[ NO DIESEL OR PAINT QUESTIONS]]] will answer all 1965 to present QUESTIONS ON ALL GM'S on mechanics of these cars. Keep in mind i am not there in person i am going on what you are telling me !! PLEASE IF ASKING A QUESTION GIVE ME AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE. THE MORE THE BETTER. SUCH AS YEAR,MAKE,MODEL,ENGINE SIZE. THIS WILL HELP ME HELP YOU. I will not be able to answer all questions because of some situations that i would really need to be there and see things for myself,such as electrical issues. In many cases i would need wiring diagrams. I can also give you an estimate on what the cost would be at our repair shop as an idea to help you. Keep in mind that my answer is ONLY MY ADVICE,ck with your mechanic as well.. >> THANK YOU, TOM..

Experience

I have been a ASE certified master mechanic for over 30 years and certified IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES,[engine repair,engine performance,auto trans,manual trans,clutches,steering and suspension,brakes,electrical systems,heating and air/cond. I am also a state CERTIFIED inspector for over 30 years. I do computer work [pcm]fault codes,pcm flashing,state inspection monitor readiness,repairs on exhaust,fuel service,[injection and carburetor,] charging system problems, running issues,alignments,frame problems,tire balance,struts and of course standard and anti-lock brakes.

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nys state auto repair industry and ase group.

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Education/Credentials
high school,4 years of tech school,and many many hours of auto training with many gm classes and aftermarket training classes..

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ASE MASTER TECH CERTIFIED IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES.NYS INSP LICENSE AND A/C CERTIFIED

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MANY CUSTOMERS IN OUR BUSY SHOP.

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