Engine & Gearbox Engine whine after timing/balancer belt change

Discussion in '6th Generation (1997-2002)' started by Matt_F, Friday 2nd Nov, 2012.

  1. Matt_F Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    I had my timing belt, balancer belt and auxiliary belt changed at Honda yesterday. I've noticed a whine from the engine that wasn't there prior to the belts being changed. I've google'd this and it seems a common complaint with most cars after the belts been changed, but no one gives a definitive answer.

    Could the belt be too tight? Something not fitted right? No cause for concern?

    Just wanted to check with you guys incase it is nothing to worry about, before I ring the Honda garage in the morning.

    Thanks in advance, Matt
  2. Does seem odd...I just wonder if the alternator belt is set too tight...if you press it you should get a wee bit of movement
  3. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    It could just be that the new belt sits snug tight in all the pulley grooves and as such is to be expected.

    Spray a small amount of WD40 onto the belt with the engine running this may help.
  4. Matt_F Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    I'll give Honda a ring, just in case the belt is over tight. I'm not sure if the tensioners set themselves, or have to be set to tension the belt. If they have to be manually set it could be they've set it too tight. Sounds like there's a supercharger under there, albeit with no increase in power, haha. I've read that Gates belts can give this noise, but would rather confirm with Honda just in case.

    Thanks for the comments.
  5. I think it has to be set, using a 12mm bolt underneath the alternator - that's assuming it's the alternator belt that was changed & not the power steering pump belt which is adjusted by moving the pump.

    As Speedy says though it might not be that & possibly a squirt of WD is the cure.
  6. Matt_F Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Had car back at Honda, they agree it does now have a whine but wanted me to come back when they could spend a full day on it. Seems most noticeable from 1.5k-2.5k RPM.

    Bit of a pain it having to go back again but atleast it'll get sorted. It's more annoying if it kept on whining.
  7. Good of them to take the trouble...is it Kendal Honda?
  8. Matt_F Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    It's Stan Palmer in Cockermouth. They seem pretty good, albeit it would have been good to not have the problem in the first place. Getting a courtesy car too.
  9. alloy36 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Unsure if this is the sane thing but when i had my timing chain done at honda dealers the car also made a whining noise.

    I took it back and the technician said it was normal as the new auxillary belt will loosen slightly and it will go away after a while. I can't remember how long it lasted but it went away soon after.
  10. Matt_F Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Little bit of an update. Had it back at Honda and they've checked everything and have basically said that the noise is just one of those things. If they're happy it'll be ok then I'll just put up with it. One of the parts guys said he'd changed all the tensioners, rollers etc and his still whined.
  11. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    well that puts you are rest and atleast your have a years guarantee on the workmanship if anything was to go wrong.
  12. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    I was looking at some old posts and saw this one. The whining is possibly due to the new tensioner that was fitted not being properly located in it stud. If you think about the tensioner at one end is a "U" shape which locates on a dimple on the oil pump housing and this is what allows the tensioner to pivot. The other end of the tensioner is an arm with a helical tensioner spring attached so it is quite important to make sure it is the right place.Because the tensioner locking stud hole is much bigger than the stud it fits over, the tensioner can be fitted without the pivot point being properly engaged and when it happens it causes a distinct whining noise as you describe. I would highly recommend you ask the dealer who did the job to strip the lower cambelt cover off and check it. I would not be surprised if this is the cause but basically if it has happend then the tensioner roller is in the wrong position and is "fighting" the belt - hence the noise. If left uncorrected it would, I should think, lead to premature belt wear and presumably failure. Dealer technicians do a lot of these and if they have never had this problem they won't know it is there. Remember they will trying to earn bonus on the job too!
    Sorry to be dramatic but it is a known problem - usually among DIYers that are not so used to it. I will try to post a photo to help people showing a good tensioner installation and a bad one. I have a belt change coming up this weekend so i will dust off the Brownie.
    PS: it should take them about 45 minutes to get to it to check properly and remember they need to be looking for the mislocation or else they will not see it.
    SpeedyGee likes this.
  13. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    Great info there Stephen. Look forward to seeing the pics :Smile:
  14. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    The problem will be my photographic skills and the left hand front chassis member! I was just looking at the proper workshop manual and of course HONDA do not show the pivot properly. I will see what i can do Saturday.
  15. Matt_F Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    It's a difficult one, as its been in three times now including the original timing belt change. I'd have thought they'd have checked this...but I guess you never know. The tensioners weren't changed as I was advised they were ok, but guess they may have been removed as part of the job?
  16. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    I made the point that you need to know that it is possible to get it wrong in order to understand the problem. If you look at an incorrect tensioner it is not immediately obvious that you have made the error which is how it happens. Wait until I get some pictures and all will be revealed! The belts simply do not whine on these engines if fitted properly and if they do whine the tensioner is the first place anyone should look if they know that it is possible to mislocate it. I bet the person who did the job is not aware of this quirk. By the way, I have never personally seen a defective tensioner on these engines and most dealers will never replace them as there is no point in doing so. The cam/balancer belt change requires that you loosen off the tensioner, lock it against its spring so you can fit the belts and then release it and let the released spring retension itself afterwards then lock it off Unless you know about the mislocation potential you would assume everything is tickety boo as a mislocated tensioner feels no different to a correctly located one to the technician who is locking it up - unless you have the secret!
    Remember, I am only trying to help!
  17. Matt_F Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    That's great, appreciate your input. Could I check this at home rather than take it back to the dealership. Just don't want to have them look at fourth time if all is well. Completely agree though, it shouldn't whine.
  18. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

  19. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    OK, I have now photographed everything and they appear to have come out quite well given the limited space. All i need now is for someone to tell me how to upload them.
    I missed your question about whether it is possible to check the tensioner yourself. The answer is no because to do it you need to remove the plastic covers and that means doing most of the work that is involved with changing the belts in the first place.
    All will be revealed once I can undersand how to post the photographs.
  20. Stephen Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    As promised I photographed a 1999 Accord 2 litre having its timing belt and new water pump fitted. Please note the attached photographs.
    This shows the hole in the tensioner which fits over the stud that is cast into the water pump which can be seen in 1958. 1962 shows the tensioner hole and stud fitted correctly

    This shows the tensioner fitted incorrectly with the tensioner bracket and hole under the stud instead of over it.


    Just for completeness I have shown this image which is the whole job boxed up except for putting the covers back on and the ancillaries.



    You can clearly see the mark on the oil pump shaft relative to the mark on the housing which it more or less lines up with. Hope this is enough. I took a lot more photos but these show the point about the tensioner. Happy to answer any questions.


    SpeedyGee likes this.