Q: I own a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer, and just recently, I have been hearing a low squealing/grinding noise when I start it. This occurs when the engine is cold. The sound lasts about 45 seconds and stops. About a year ago, I had the serpentine belt replaced. I was wondering if you could provide me any insight on this. The vehicle has 122,000 miles.
A: Noises are pretty hard to diagnose in this column. So, I can only tell you what we see as common issues with your vehicle and vehicles like it. Your SUV may be equipped with an alternator that has a clutch-type pulley. If so, these have been a problem with noise. The other problem we see is with the pulleys that track the belt that run the air-conditioner compressor.
Car Care Tip: This is the time to have your battery checked. When the deep freeze sets in, your battery loses 10 percent power for every 10 degrees less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.