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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a used 2006 Honda Element. Good price, interior chewed
all to hell by a wolverine or whatever the previous owner had, but nothing
seat covers can't fix. 160K miles. Manual trans. When I start the car there
is a whine that seems to come from the right side (passenger) of the engine. High pitch, almost like a screeching. When starting the car cold the whine is there regardless of what gear it is in, but it is most prominent in first and second. Accelerating doesn't make the noise louder but the rate of the noise
increases with acceleration. After a while of driving the noise will disappear,
sometimes showing back up at slower speeds. But disappearing entirely
when in neutral. Depressing the clutch will also get rid of it, but only after is
has been driven for a while. In the morning when I start it, the noise in there
regardless of gear or hitting the clutch. I've read it could be a belt or a
bearing. I can't really replicate the noise for the dealer, because by the
time I've driven it out to them, it isn't as loud or isn't making the noise at idle
like it does cold. Any thoughts?
 

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Welcome, Rickcal88.

I was thinking that the noise was coming from the belt (faulty tensioner) or one of the accessories—right up until you mentioned the clutch.

Drop the car off at a dealer or your favorite shop at the end of the day so they can start it first thing in the morning and hear the noise. If the belt is loose it should be easy to tell even without starting the engine, and removing the belt will allow the tech to turn each pulley by hand to feel/hear if something's not right.

Please let us know what you find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I took it to my mechanic, rather than the dealer. The tensioner and belt were bad and were replaced. The dealer had replaced the gasket on the oil pan before I had bought it and had apparently spilt oil all over the serpentine belt assembly. After the replacement, no noise at all. The involvement of the clutch still concerns me, so I'm keeping my eye on it.
 
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