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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.
I'm having a weird sound in my 2008 FJ when I first turn it on. It usually last a couple of minutes when it's cold.
To me, it sound like an alternator problem, but I'm not an expert on these auto-related things.

I have attached a sound clip:
Post info | SndUp

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Admin
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Sounds like it could be a pulley.
 
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Could be a bearing, the way to know for sure is to take a long screwdriver, or long thin metal rod, and carefully hold one end of it to the base of each moving thing on the running engine (alternator, AC compressor, power steering pump, idler pulley), and then hold the other end up to your ear. Using this like a stethoscope you can very accurately identify exactly where the noise is coming from.
 

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Could be a bearing, the way to know for sure is to take a long screwdriver, or long thin metal rod, and carefully hold one end of it to the base of each moving thing on the running engine (alternator, AC compressor, power steering pump, idler pulley), and then hold the other end up to your ear. Using this like a stethoscope you can very accurately identify exactly where the noise is coming from.
Or get a mechanics stethoscope.... they aren't expensive.
 
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4-Corners Moderator
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If it is your alternator, and your experience is like mine, within a week of the sound appearing the battery voltage will begin dropping on your dash and it will get more and more difficult to get the FJ to turn over. Eventually for me it got so low that all the dashboard warning lights came on when I wasn't stepping on the accelerator and when I did step on the gas the voltage went up just enough to get the lights to turn off, but the radio was also turning on and off with the lack of power supply and the interior center console and dash lights, including the headlights, would dim and get brighter with the throttle as well. After that it had to be jump started to start again and that's when I was finally able to replace the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I hear you @FJX2000. My dad has a 2004 4Runner and we had a similar problem while driving in the Argentinian side of Patagonia. We were in the middle of nowhere and the alternator started to fail just like you described, but everything happened in less than an hour. We used the second battery in his setup to keep going. We ended up driving using a flashlight to be able to see the road. It was a nightmare! That's why my bet goes for the alternator going bad.
To end that story, we replaced the alternator and fixed the old one, which is now in the back of the 4Runner as a replacement...

Thanks @norm356 for the input. I'll try that asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi guys.
I finally had some time to put into this issue. I went to a small mechanic's shop that I found near by my house, told him what to look for and show him the video with the sound I had on my cellphone.
They took the belt out and checked every bearing. Looks like the car has 3 of the bearings a little loose. They wiggle a little bit (I've touched one of them and it was).
The thing that I wanted to ask is: they said is something easy to fix, but it is not possible to just to tight them, but rather needed to be replaced. They obviously didn't have the parts, so I could not do it right there. Is this true and those bearings cannot be tighten? Is it possible to buy the parts and do it myself? I'm sure is always better to replace the parts, but I would like to know different opinions.
Thanks!
 
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