Why Does My Car Makes Screeching Noise When Turning Key?

Imagine a pleasant sunny morning. You step inside your car for a soothing long drive. A feeling of comfort and excitement hits your mind. It’s a perfect start to the day but what is that screeching noise when you try to start your car? A sudden wave of disappointment and discomfort surrounds you. Your car is a complex machine and a minor malfunction can initiate a screeching noise when you try to start your car. The stater of your car is responsible to channelise the current to the engine. However, a fault in this process may cause a rough starting experience for your car.

This screeching noise can be a result of a minor fault in the starting mechanism of your car. Sometimes the starter of your car functions improperly and is not engaged properly. Noises from your car are an indication of damage and malfunction. Therefore, proper diagnosis and inspection of the problem are necessary. Consequently, a fix to this problem not only ensures that the screeching noise is eliminated but also increases the overall performance of your car.

Why Does My Car Makes A Screeching Noise When Turning Key?

The starting mechanism of your car comprises various components. Any one of these can act faulty with time. Therefore, the screeching noise can be a result of varied problems. Usually, a car will experience such a noise when the starter is unable to function efficiently.

1. Damaged Belt

Your car can make a screeching noise because of a faulty serpentine belt. This belt is a prominent component of your car. It is easily observable as the long belt running through multiple pulleys under the hood of your car. The serpentine belt connects various components together. The alternator is a part of this belt. A worn-out belt makes a loud screeching noise when you turn the key. Evidently, any malfunction in the belt leads to partial engagement of the mechanical components of your car. Therefore, the serpentine belt must be checked for any potential damage. The belt can also wear out with age. A new belt will last for around  100,000 miles. A considerably old belt must be replaced with a new one to regain efficiency in performance.

2. Faulty Starter

The starter of your car is a small motor that gains current from the battery. It is the initial component that gets engaged when you turn the key to start your car. A transfer of power between the starter and the engine gets your car started. A faulty starter is unable to channelize the current from the battery. Consequently, this process leads to a screeching noise as the starter is partially engaged. Bad starter issues are common in nature and they can be fixed with ease. A faulty starter causes a loss of current from your battery and hampers the life of your car battery. Therefore, any malfunction with a starter must be fixed on priority.

3. Loose Tensioner

A tensioner performs a rather conventional function for your car. It holds the serpentine belt in accordance with the required standards. The belt is required to be in a specific taut position. The tensioner ensures that the belt does not slip out of position. A loose tensioner causes the belt to lose connections. A taut belt engages all the components with ease. However, when you try to start a car with a loose tensioner, the seprentine belt makes a loud noise. If you observe that the car makes screeching noise when turning key, the tensioner of the serpentine belt must be inspected for faulty positioning.

4. Faulty Bearings

Sometimes, the screeching noise can initiate from the pulley bearings under the hood. The serpentine belt runs through a variety of pulleys to establish a connection between the mechanical components of your car. However, the pulley bearings are responsible to hold these components together. A faulty bearing causes a loud screeching noise when you turn the key to start your car.

How To Fix This Screeching Noise?

After diagnosing the actual problem, you must ensure that the noise is eliminated. There can be various ways if you observe that your car makes screeching noise when turning key. Proper diagnosis of the problem helps to ensure a smooth and silent start for your car.

1. Replacing The Starter

If a problem is diagnosed with the starter of your car, replacing it is the best option. Starter motors have specific life and replacing them with a new one leads your car to a smooth starting experience. A new starter is efficient in channelizing the current from the battery to the engine of your car. A smooth start process is quiet in nature and indicates that the components are functioning properly.

2. Repairing The Serpentine Belt

Evidently, the serpentine belt is a prominent component of your car. The belt should be inspected for faulty positioning. Furthermore, all the connections must be checked for a potential fault or damage. The pulley bearings should be replaced with new ones if they are the reason behind the screeching noise. A repaired serpentine belt engages all its components efficiently. Consequently, the starting process of your car is eased out and you can easily get rid of the screeching noise.  Sometimes, this problem calls for an easy fix. Lubricating the belt can prove to be an effective solution for this complex problem. Rusty components are prone to damage and can initiate a screeching noise. Additionally, you must seek reliable professional help to ensure that the tensioner of the serpentine belt is in a perfect position. A slipping belt also causes a problematic starting process for your car.


Starting your car creates the first impression for your vehicle. A noisy start can be an embarrassing situation. A screeching noise can lead your car into a much more serious problem in the near future. Therefore, it is advised that you shouldn’t ignore this noise. Getting the problem fixed in an initial stage helps you prevent your car from a complex malfunction in the future.

Stay safe and keep driving

Thank you

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