If it was an idler pulley, your serpentine belt would be toast by now. A whining noise is usually a pump noise, most likely the power steering pump. It is a common failure on older Cavaliers, along with other Chevy models. Usually happens over 100,000 miles.
99' Chevy Cavalier Makes Winding Noise When I Accelerate And While Its Ideling. Anyone Have Any Idea's Or Have Had Experiance Of This Themselves?
Like the other person said, it's probably the power steering pump. Mine has been making the noise for almost 3 yrs now. Unless you have something else wrong with it, best advice would be to take it to a mechanic or shop and have them diagnose it for you. I don't worry about mine anymore and I guess they take a really long time to crap out. I figure when it does I will worry about it then. Mine just sounds almost like the cars that have turbos in them, sound. When they make a high pitch noise when accelerating. Anyway, good-luck!
Hey I have the same problem on my 96'... It's kind of annoying.. And now when I accelerate it makes e peeping noise like there's when the belt has a rip... Any suggestions??
That noise generally happens when the power steering fluid is low (or gone). You may have a power steering fluid leak. There is power steering fluid that can stop minor leaks. Try that out.