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  1. #1

    Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Hey folks:

    I've been on vacation for about 3 weeks and the car starts right up. With almost 260,000 miles on a 1992 Series I 3800 V6, it runs beautifully and shifts beautifully.

    HOWEVER, in the last couple of days there has been a wheezing/whining sound from the engine bay (there is NO supercharger). It is related to rpms and will do it whether in drive, park or neutral, so it is apparently not related to the gears.

    I am thinking:
    (1) water pump starting to go - but that is more chirpy sounding, and there is no high temp nor coolant loss
    replaced once
    (2) power steering pump starting to go - but it is full and the correct color
    original
    (3) alternator starting to go - but there are no funny readings of the volt gauge
    replaced oce
    (4) idler pully starting to go
    original
    (5) A/C compressor clutch starting to go - I've replaced one on my 84 Cutlass once and that was more of a rubbing sound
    original
    (6) a small, weird exhaust leak - but it's not a groan
    original but exhaust donut at joinup with manifold replaced once


    Any ideas on how to diagnose this one? It drives just fine but I don't know how much longer until this problem becomes more pronounced or if it will give more noticeable symptoms. Help!

  2. #2
    88red4cyl's Avatar
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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Take the belt off, and turn each pulley by hand... If that is causing the noise, you will be able to pinpoint which accessory it is...
    -Will

    88 Fiero
    95 Lumina--SOLD
    99 Lumina LTZ -- SOLD
    02 Chrysler 300M
    06 Monte Carlo LT 3500 V6- SOLD
    06 Buick Rendezvous CXL AWD 3.6L DOHC

  3. #3

    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by 88red4cyl
    Take the belt off, and turn each pulley by hand... If that is causing the noise, you will be able to pinpoint which accessory it is...
    Thanks. I don't have the wherewithal to do that...can do diagnostics (somewhat) but don't have the tools to do the mechanics. Can I start with a stethoscope you buy at Pep Boys for $11? Is it a major problem if an assembly seizes up or is there a "default" when this happens?

    Looking at your sig, it looks like you got the MC! Congrats!

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    88red4cyl's Avatar
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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Thank ya!!

    It's easy to get the belt off.. Just take a ratchet, and there is a spot in the tensioner to put it.. Stick it there, and pull upwards on it to take off the tension.. Then just slip off the belt off... To put it back on, just raise up again and slip the belt back on...
    -Will

    88 Fiero
    95 Lumina--SOLD
    99 Lumina LTZ -- SOLD
    02 Chrysler 300M
    06 Monte Carlo LT 3500 V6- SOLD
    06 Buick Rendezvous CXL AWD 3.6L DOHC

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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    what he said. I would not be surprised it the a/c or alternator and making the whining noise due to a bearing having gone bad.


    BUILDER AND DESTROYER OF FINE(?) AMERICAN CARS.

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    88red4cyl's Avatar
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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy K
    what he said. I would not be surprised it the a/c or alternator and making the whining noise due to a bearing having gone bad.
    Probably... Does it stop if you turn the AC off?
    -Will

    88 Fiero
    95 Lumina--SOLD
    99 Lumina LTZ -- SOLD
    02 Chrysler 300M
    06 Monte Carlo LT 3500 V6- SOLD
    06 Buick Rendezvous CXL AWD 3.6L DOHC

  7. #7

    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by 88red4cyl
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy K
    what he said. I would not be surprised it the a/c or alternator and making the whining noise due to a bearing having gone bad.
    Probably... Does it stop if you turn the AC off?
    No A/C involvement. If it had to be the A/C compressor or the alternator, I'd pick alternator, though. LOL. That one's right on top and a fairly quick fix on this model.

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    88red4cyl's Avatar
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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    If its not a/c related, then it is more than likely the alternator (but could still possibly be the wp or ps pump)... Have you tried spinning the pulleys by hand yet?
    -Will

    88 Fiero
    95 Lumina--SOLD
    99 Lumina LTZ -- SOLD
    02 Chrysler 300M
    06 Monte Carlo LT 3500 V6- SOLD
    06 Buick Rendezvous CXL AWD 3.6L DOHC

  9. #9

    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by 88red4cyl
    If its not a/c related, then it is more than likely the alternator (but could still possibly be the wp or ps pump)... Have you tried spinning the pulleys by hand yet?
    I'll try this weekend...since I have to "dress up" to go to work, I usually reserve getting under the hood for the weekend. Let's see what happens.

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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by 2buickbob
    Quote Originally Posted by 88red4cyl
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy K
    what he said. I would not be surprised it the a/c or alternator and making the whining noise due to a bearing having gone bad.
    Probably... Does it stop if you turn the AC off?
    No A/C involvement. If it had to be the A/C compressor or the alternator, I'd pick alternator, though. LOL. That one's right on top and a fairly quick fix on this model.
    The bearing for the pulley is always turning whether the compressor is on or off. it was bad and whiny on my 95 3100 sedan...


    BUILDER AND DESTROYER OF FINE(?) AMERICAN CARS.

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    88red4cyl's Avatar
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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy K
    Quote Originally Posted by 2buickbob
    Quote Originally Posted by 88red4cyl
    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy K
    what he said. I would not be surprised it the a/c or alternator and making the whining noise due to a bearing having gone bad.
    Probably... Does it stop if you turn the AC off?
    No A/C involvement. If it had to be the A/C compressor or the alternator, I'd pick alternator, though. LOL. That one's right on top and a fairly quick fix on this model.
    The bearing for the pulley is always turning whether the compressor is on or off. it was bad and whiny on my 95 3100 sedan...
    Hm.. On my 95 3100 the compressor makes noise like crazy if its engaged.. If you turn the ac off, the noise stops... Must be something other than a bearing wrong with mine...
    -Will

    88 Fiero
    95 Lumina--SOLD
    99 Lumina LTZ -- SOLD
    02 Chrysler 300M
    06 Monte Carlo LT 3500 V6- SOLD
    06 Buick Rendezvous CXL AWD 3.6L DOHC

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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Heres a step-by-step guide to solve your problem:

    1. List Buick on Craigslist for $500 or 4 bags of pizza rolls
    2. Sell Buick for 3 bags of pizza rolls (the guy who bought it was a shrewd negotiator)
    3. Start searching local ads for an Intrigue (the car you originally wanted anyway)
    4. Locate Intrigue equipped with LX-5
    5. Purchase Intrigue for 4 bags of Pizza Rolls
    6. Do smokey burnouts all the way to the bank (or Costco whichever is closer)
    7. Drag Race every car on the road (whether they want to or not)
    8. Basque in glory from self proclaimed victories
    9. Tell all non LX-5 owners how inferior they are
    10. Live happily ever after


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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by IRONDOG442
    Heres a step-by-step guide to solve your problem:

    1. List Buick on Craigslist for $500 or 4 bags of pizza rolls
    2. Sell Buick for 3 bags of pizza rolls (the guy who bought it was a shrewd negotiator)
    3. Start searching local ads for an Intrigue (the car you originally wanted anyway)
    4. Locate Intrigue equipped with LX-5
    5. Purchase Intrigue for 4 bags of Pizza Rolls
    6. Do smokey burnouts all the way to the bank (or Costco whichever is closer)
    7. Drag Race every car on the road (whether they want to or not)
    8. Basque in glory from self proclaimed victories
    9. Tell all non LX-5 owners how inferior they are
    10. Live happily ever after

    Never really understood drag racing before ........... but that "basque" explains the whole thing and also why I'd never drag race ...... never been one for wearing women's underwear myself!


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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    bask whoops, basque makes it even funnier though!

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    Re: Buick 3800 V6 wheezing noise from engine bay, but NO drivability problems

    Quote Originally Posted by IRONDOG442
    bask whoops, basque makes it even funnier though!
    Especially in context .......... the mental images I was having of that drag race were right out of Monty Python!

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