Well the car sounded like a 757 on takeoff, the engine was SCREAMING at me, my Uncle says that two shops said it was failing alternator bearings and/or failing power steering pump bearings. I took off the right wheel, all splash guards, jacked the car up high as i could and started it. I localized the noise to the alternator side of the engine.
I took off the serpentine belt, WHAT A PITA!!!! . More on that later and then started the car again without the AC or alternator connected on the belts, I did leave the power steering belt on. NO NOISE!
Hmmmm looked up what i could on the Internet about the tensioner device (other names for it are generator tensioner, serpentine tensioner, some even refer to it as an idler pulley) and not much was available on replacement/repair.
I took the tensioner off the car (see photos) and the pulley wheel could be spun for many revolutions and the bearings made a rattling noise. I went to Autozone and Napa autoparts seeking a replacement tensioner, NO LUCK. Both said it was a dealer part, I CALLED the dealer and the replacement part (which must be ordered) was 142.00 .
However the guy working at Napa put me on to something, he took the dustcap cover off the pulley, exposed a Torx screw (use either T-45 or T-50) took that off and viola now you have the squeaky bearing off the tensioner. He didn't have anything on hand that was of the same dimensions but now I was off to O'Reilley's Autoparts in search of a replacement pulley wheel. He searched high and low for a "Chrysler Sebring" pulley and none worked or matched so then he went to the back and pulled one off the shelf that looks to be PERFECT (see photo). It does not accomodate the dust cover but its much cheaper than the alternative.
Slapped the new pulley on the tensioner bought a new serpentine belt for grins re-installed the tensioner, btw - I broke the tensioner upon reinstallation but luckily just after I got the belt back on it. shattered the piece where you insert the 3/8 drive wrench into, so next time I will have to cut the belt and un-install the tensioner via the 2 13mm bolts and replace it. But I have time to look on Ebay, pick and pulls salvage, etc to find one - I AM NOT PAYING 142.00 for it!
Upon restart of the car the noise is GONE, problem with a NOISY engine fixed without having to disturb the power steering pump or alternator.
QUESTIONS FOR YOU FOLKS:
Is there an "idler pulley" on this car? For some reason i am thinking it is part of the timing belt but I could be wrong.
IF i had to replace the power steering pump on my year of car can you direct me to a DIY (guide, thread, do-it-yourself) for this because initially i thought that is what i was going to replace but I found ZERO information on many forums for this replacement.... [:-]
Thanks a bunch guys for your feedback and hope this helps others solve noisy engines and/or save money!!!