Do you know what sound you never want to hear coming from your engine? Banshee screams. Anything that sounds like the squeal of an unholy demon spawn coming from your engine bay is probably going to be very expensive. So when we heard screaming and squealing coming from the engine bay of our 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino, we immediately suspected something terminal. Follow along as we diagnose and solve the issue.
This is what our particular banshee noises sounded like. Interestingly, this sound only occurs when the turbocharger is making boost. Once boost hits, you get the banshee. This almost certainly sounds like a turbocharger that is eating itself alive. This turbocharger is 30 years old with almost 90,000 miles on it and if it was not well maintained the bearings could be going and what we’re hearing is the impeller contacting the turbine housing.
Or is it? Way back in grade school I was a music nerd who played clarinet. The noise coming from the Cappuccino sounds a lot like a clarinet mouthpiece removed from a clarinet and blown through, creating a shrill, off pitched note that pierces the skull (played by a teenage asshole pranking his friends). It’s as if exhaust gas is leaking from somewhere in the turbocharger area, maybe past a gasket that’s acting like a reed. Maybe we actually have an exhaust leak around a flange, causing the metal gasket to vibrate and act like a clarinet reed.