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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just inherited a 2007 FJ from my dad, it's got 310k, but he has taken excellent care of it, looks and feels brand new. I drove it from the west to the east coast to get it back home, since I've been back I've noticed a high pitched noise sort of a "whirring" sound from the front of the engine. I've done a little bit of research, seems like it may be an idler pulley? I am a novice in car repairs, I had a 96 Mitsubishi Galant that I did all of the repairs on.. but this seems like more of a professional job. Unfortunately all of the mechanics in my area are complete robbers and liars (the last car I had they charged me $430 to diagnose one issue). I am wondering if this is something I can do myself? If so, what exact tools/parts do I need to purchase for the project?
 

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What does dropping the belt mean?
There is a belt tensioner, you put a socket on it and turn it counter clockwise. I think the socket is a 14mm. This will let you slip the belt off. The idea is to get slack in the belt while keeping it in place, so when you start the engine briefly you can check for the high pitch noise to see if it is still there or has gone away. You should be able to do it without taking anything apart. Then turn the FJ off and put the belt back on. Make sure everything is back in place. Start the engine and then shut it off, check the belt again and then if everything looks good restart and do a final check. If you ever replace your belt, keep the old one as a spare. It could get you out of a jam. There are plenty of videos about replacing the belt, recommend watching to see how the tensioner works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a belt tensioner, you put a socket on it and turn it counter clockwise. I think the socket is a 14mm. This will let you slip the belt off. The idea is to get slack in the belt while keeping it in place, so when you start the engine briefly you can check for the high pitch noise to see if it is still there or has gone away. You should be able to do it without taking anything apart. Then turn the FJ off and put the belt back on. Make sure everything is back in place. Start the engine and then shut it off, check the belt again and then if everything looks good restart and do a final check. If you ever replace your belt, keep the old one as a spare. It could get you out of a jam. There are plenty of videos about replacing the belt, recommend watching to see how the tensioner works.
Okay, and if the noise goes away its an indication that I need to replace the belt or if the noise is still there that I need to replace the idlers themselves? Thank you for answering all of my questions, I am a total noobie to 4WD vehicles. I got super scared earlier cause I was putting it into 4H (I read that 4wd should be activated at least once a month to keep it lubricated), and it was going fine until I parked somewhere, when I came back in and turned on the car I got confused as to which gear I needed to put it in after restarting, if any.. so I moved the 4wd shifter into N by accident, then my middle shifter into R, but I wasn't moving, I pumped the gas a few times and nothing (no surprise there, I was in N 4wd). So then I tried putting it in park and it made an AWFUL sound, so I shut the engine off cause I didn't want to mess with my transmission. Anyway I found a very kind person to help explain the whole process to me, apparently to get in and out of N and 4L on the 4wd shifter, the center shifter has to be in N also, to get out and back to 2wd and 4H. So yeah I have a lot to learn about driving the FJ, but I want to do it right and make the car last at least another 200k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
2007 FJ Cruiser, got 310k miles on it, recently began making a high pitched sound in the front of the engine, I have upload a video here (click the link) of the sound both inside the car and out. I have watched some DIY repair videos and it looks fairly simple, I just want to make sure I have the right issue diagnosed before I start to fix it. Thanks!
 

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It's hard to tell precisely where it's coming from but I'm thinking idler pulley or alternator.
 

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Belts rarely make noise. If it looks worn or has high miles are on it, it may be a good idea to get it replaced. Once the belt is off, try spinning the pillows to see if they are wobbly, grindy, poppy or otherwise disgruntled. Same with the alternator. Give it a good spin. Tweak the pulley to check for too much play.
 

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Read this thread on what to do. It's probably the idler pulleys and if they're old, they'll need replacing. It's not a hard job but the alternator is a PITA if it needs replacing just because of one hard to get at bolt. Replace the serpentine belt as part of the job. You can spin the alternator pulley by hand once the belt's off and if it makes noise, it's bearing may be bad as well, requiring it's replacement.

 
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