Customer complaint: squeaking noise coming from the engine especially when the car is started.
Diagnose: a bearing was bad, causing all the noise.
Solution: replace the bad part, inspect the other moving parts, replace them as needed.
Work done: upon the initial inspection, we took the customer’s car for a test drive, as well as to get the new part and install it. While in AutoZone, the car didn’t start anymore. The starter just died! We found out that it was getting weak and sometimes it was not working properly, but it died while WE were driving the car. A new starter had to be installed.
We also found the bad part causing the noise: a bad alternator. That’s some bad news for anybody, to find out he needs a new starter and a new alternator!
As the customer was a student, we decided to replace the idler pulley at no cost, in order to avoid future problems.
Later on, we installed a new starter, a new alternator and the serpentine belt. The same job in Firestone was quoted at about $750!