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2003 Escape XLT - Whining noise?

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Old 09-13-2018, 10:39 PM
hg3300
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2003 Escape XLT - Whining noise?

I honestly don't know where to start. This whining has been going on for maybe a month or more and I'd like to diagnose it so I don't destroy my car by ignoring it.

It seems to rise in pitch when accelerating, BUT sometimes when I take my foot off the gas, the whining remains. I don't believe it's a wheel bearing (I've experienced those on my Impala) or low oil, and it doesn't seem to be related to steering. I figure I'm left with a belt, possibly the transmission, maybe check the steering fluid, or something else in the engine I don't know about.

What is the most likely suspect and how do I get rid of the whining?
 
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:11 PM
got2bjoester
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The first thing that came to my mind was when the catalytic converter in our '02 started to plug up. There was a minor loss in power, but not enough to make me think the CAT was plugging. We had a slight whine/whistle sort of noise too. Turns out it was the exhaust finding an escape (no pun intended) through the EGR valve.

Being an '03, I would check the alternator, idler, A/C compressor, ect. If the whine is only at speed and not idle (assuming you have a 4X4), I would check the intermediate bearing on the drive shaft.
 
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:33 PM
hg3300
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It is a 4x4, yes. I do think that the whine is still present at idle, just softer.
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:26 PM
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Crucial to find out of the whine is at idle/engine rpm so engine-related or occurs with road speed and drive-line related.

If it IS present at idle then only stuff spinning at 0mph is relevant, that means engine, ancillaries and the gearbox input/torque converter.

You can use a long screwdriver as a stethoscope to fine the source and you can confirm by removing the appropriate belt (water pump or alt/pwr steering).
 
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