1988 Mercury Grand Marquis
My car is squealing wit the heater on. What could
be causing my issues? I am a single mother who
doesn't have very much money for repairs, let alone
for exploritory maintenance done. If I could
diagnose the problem I could fix it. Why would it be
squealing? Plus it just started to smoke on a day
that the windchill had the temps down to -20.
When you turn your heater on, it's actually the blower motor that turns on, the heater core itself is just a mini-radiator and is always on. So the squealing noise is either the blower motor or fan (the "birdcage"), cost to replace it is nominal - can be a DIY job if you have some basic mechanics tools (sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers). Google for a guide, or search youtube. You also mentioned "smoke," but you don't mention where you see smoke coming from - the dash vents? The tailpipe? Keep in mind when it gets that cold, the exhaust, which contains hydrocarbons and heated water vapor, will cause a much bigger plume the colder it gets. It's nothing to worry about. Actual smoke however could indicate an engine burning excessive oil or head gasket problems, and would need to be diagnosed by a mechanic. If it's something as dire as that, you probably would be better off from an economic point getting rid of the car and into something newer.
Pull into a small shop/have a friend or neighbor who knows cars / sounds like your various belts is going
Needs a new blower motor as KenF posted.
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