30 Second Squeal When Driving Cold

rangerbugrangerbug Member Posts: 9
For the last few weeks, when I start driving my 2001 Forester S w/ 5-speed manual transmission cold (i.e., when it hasn't been driven overnight or while I am at work, _not_ when the temperature is very cold), I hear a high-pitched squealing coming from somewhere under the car that lasts only 30 to 60 seconds, then goes away. I hear it whether I am turning or driving straight. Once it goes away, I don't hear it again until the car has been sitting idle for many hours.

Any idea what it could be? Thank you.


  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    Does the noise seem to be related to the drive train, or to the engine?

    Does the noise only occur then moving?
    Does the noise change when using the clutch, or change from one gear to the next, or vary with road speed?
    That would indicate the drive train is the source.

    Or does the noise also occur at idle when the car is not moving?
    Can you hear the noise when you raise the hood at idle?
    Does the noise vary with engine RPMs?
    That would indicate the engine is the source.
    Maybe just the accessory drive belt slipping. Check its tension and wear. Put a few dabs of belt dressing on it here and there, and see if that stops the noise.
  • danielldaniell Member Posts: 128
    Same symptoms, 2002 Forester. Identified as rear wheel bearing going bad. Does not necessaritly mean it's the same thing in your situation, but something to consider.

  • rangerbugrangerbug Member Posts: 9
    Thank you for responding.

    The answer to all the questions is "no." I only hear it when the car is moving. It is at low speed, because it has gone away by the time I get to a road where speed is possible. Engine rpm, shifting, and working the clutch doesn't seem to make a difference. The sound is there for up to a minute, then is gone for good, though it is not necessarily constant during that brief period.

    (When I leave home or work, I am driving out of a parking lot onto a road, so it is stop and start, not a steady build-up of speed.)

  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... The answer to all the questions is "no." I only hear it when the car is moving. It is at low speed..."

    That is actually a "yes" answer to my first question, which was whether you only heard the sound when moving.
    Your "no's" indicate the noise is in the drive train rather than the engine, and I would agree with rangerbug on the likelihood of it being in a wheel bearing.
  • rangerbugrangerbug Member Posts: 9
    Thanks to both of you who replied.

This discussion has been closed.