General Squealing when starting

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General Squealing when starting


New member
Dec 30, 2005
When i started my 1.2 this morning it squealed when i turned the key, took 4 or 5 go before it started , then ran OK. Any ideas
a one off squeal on startup means a belt is wet, and if the belt got wet i guess others things may have too, such as the coil, meaning it took a while to start. guess it rained heavy the night before and you were parked on a hill or slope? it occasionally happens to every car (i've ever owned) in bad weather.
Its been on a couple of long runs in the dry but it is still squealing when you turn the key, this can happen 4 or 5 times and then like magic it starts as normal. Any ideas as to if it is a problem , seems too persistant to be the cold and damp. I recently put new plug leads on but i can't think this will have made a difference.
ok then if its not damp it may be a loose belt. the timing belt is automatically tensioned so assume thats not the problem. you need to have someone make it squeal while your listening with bonnet open. if the squeal comes from the area near the belts (left side) then its time to try tightening the fan belt (alternator). there is an adjuster bolt with a lock nut that you can adjust to tension the belt. give it a try. if that doesn't work its time to record the noise and post an audio file.
When it squeals the engine is not turning over at all, then when it catches there is no squeal at all and it starts ok. Is this consistant with a belt being loose? It sometimes starts first time, usually when warm but not always.
dragon said:
When it squeals the engine is not turning over at all, then when it catches there is no squeal at all and it starts ok. Is this consistant with a belt being loose? It sometimes starts first time, usually when warm but not always.


There are a few possibilities with your problem.

Flywheel ring-gear worn and starter not engaging correctly(somtimes it will and others not).

The starter could be on its way out.

Alternator is seizeing causing engine not to turn(my girlfriends cinquecento cut out on the motorway and would not turn over, I cut the alternator belt off and it started and ran fine-so she drove home quick and I fitted a spare alternator and belt).

The alternator belt could be loose but the car would still start and run fine albeit with a squeel.

The cam-belt tensioner could be seizing but again the car should start ok.

The water pump may be on its way out.

Best thing to do is remove the alternator belt and try it to eliminate the alternator and loose belt then try the next thing and so on. I cant think of much else it could be. Is that right what you say about it squeeling but not turning over? What kind of squeel is it? Metallic?
There is no squeal when driving. It sounds like someone scraping their finger nails down a blackboard, that type of noise. It is also pretty loud. When you turn the key it is clearly not going to start so it only gets a quick turn and then its try again until its fires up. When it does take there is no squeal at all.
If it is the starter whats the approx cost of replacement?
OH RIGHT!! the engine doesn't turn over at all when it squeals, wish you said that sooner, in that case forget a loose belt. i'd suggest the starter motor is acting up, i've seen a similar squealing problem on a civic that had starter motor problems. when i took the starter off all the teeth on the gear were severly worn becuase the starter was not fully engaging. the owner said it usually happened first start of the day and was ok after than until next day. i still suggest you get your ear in the engine bay, put it near the starter motor to see if thats where the noise is from, if you're still not sure get a piece of hose pipe and hold one end against your ear, now hold the other end near the starter motor and see if its coming fom there, a piece of hose is great for locating noises.
a starter motor usually costs 15-20 if you remove it yourself, add a tenner for off the shelf at breakers, fiting is easy peasy, 3 wires, 4 bolts if i remember rightly, should take an hour max. there are several starter motors used because fiat changed suppliers at least twice during production, check the make and model number of your motor, others will fit but the wiring connections differ ever so slightly, not that you couldn't modify your wiring to accomodate a different model, its just more hassle.
Its a 1999 with 68000 miles, does that sound about right for a new starter?
Anyway it looks like i will make a trip to an auto electicians.
Thanks for the help
Presumably if the worst happens and it wont start i can still bump start it.
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yer.. bump start will be fine... you could try a scrappy.. bought a start and alternator for my Skoda from a scrappy... worked fine :)

it does sound like the starters the prob.. could always pop it down to fiat for a quote.. you don't have to accept it.. but you'll know just wots up with it :)
i have a similar problem to this, let me know what happens.

with mine i have a problem starting sometimes, it fires up 2nd or third time, but most of the time i can start it straight away. today i parked on a hill at mums house in the heavy rain and i couldnt start it for 4 attempts, it turns over fine but doesnt sound quite right, the previous owner said he sometimes had the same problem but had it fixed - something to do with the injectors or fuel rail. i always wait for the injector light to go out each time i start it.
Mine squealed today. I called out breakdown as it would not start at all. Apparantly the cause was WAY too much fuel getting into the engine, bled it and all was gravy.
Ok, resurrecting a 3 year old thread cause i'm still having that problem with 'i think' the starter ring. I'm finally getting round to having it fixed in a couple of weeks.

I'm being quoted £430 (thats the cheapest so far) and i know the car isn't worth it etc (1.4) but i wanna do it regardless.

Has anyone else had this done and is this a decent price?