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Old 01-27-2010, 06:36 PM   #1
lylos
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Squealing belt after replacement.

Since the cold weather has moved in (35 degree highs), I now have a squealing belt on my car. I replaced the belt and the new belt is still squealing sometimes. I have a 4 cylinder grand am so the belt change wasn't as involved as the 6 cylinder.

Anyway, I was wondering how I could diagnose what was causing the belt to squeal. I have done a couple steps myself to try to pinpoint the problem.

1) The belt squeals worst of the mornings.
2) The belt only squeals at low RPMs.
3) After replacing the belt, sometimes the squeal is worse and sometimes it is not there.
4) If not squealing, I can turn on multiple accessories and the squealing comes back and goes away again at higher RPMs.

I have a feeling it has to do with either the alternator of battery, both of which have been on the car since I've owned it (5 years). I have a voltmeter, is there any way to test the alternator without having to take it off, or that battery for that matter? Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:01 PM   #2
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Take a length of hose about two feet long and stick one end in your ear and point the other at the various pulleys. Be careful you dont get your hair/cloths/fingers in the way though.

This trick will allow you to hear where/what is squealing.

Did you replace the tensioner? It may be failing and allowing the belt to slip on some of the pulleys which is causing the squeal.

Also, the a/c compressor may be going out. When you turn on your defrost the clutch will engage to dry out the air being blown on the windshield....just something else to keep in mind.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:52 PM   #3
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dirty pulleys also rev it up and watch the tensioner to see if it's bouncing around.
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I could be wrong, but if you keep clearing the code with the OBDII scanner, it will keep coming back until the problem is solved.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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I took off the hose from my vacuum cleaner and the attachments and took it out to the car. What a sight to see. Anyway, between my roommate and I, we figured that the loudest sound was coming from the tensioner.

Now I can control when it starts to squeal. When I turn on my rear defrost and any a/c setting which invokes the blower (not only defrost) then it starts to squeal a little.

I also pushed down on the belt once the car was off. It allowed for about an inch of straight down deflection, and while looking at the tensioner I could see that pulley move slightly.

If it is the tensioner, which I'm starting to think it might be, is this a part that I could service myself?

Last edited by lylos; 01-28-2010 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
lylos
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I wouldn't expect the tensioner to actually be the pulley which is squealing on second thought. Maybe it was from the alternator. There definitely wasn't a noise coming from the compressor or the engine.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #6
rocketfast123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylos View Post
I took off the hose from my vacuum cleaner and the attachments and took it out to the car. What a sight to see. Anyway, between my roommate and I, we figured that the loudest sound was coming from the tensioner.

Now I can control when it starts to squeal. When I turn on my rear defrost and any a/c setting which invokes the blower (not only defrost) then it starts to squeal a little.

I also pushed down on the belt once the car was off. It allowed for about an inch of straight down deflection, and while looking at the tensioner I could see that pulley move slightly.

If it is the tensioner, which I'm starting to think it might be, is this a part that I could service myself?
so it does it with a load on the motor.
where is your belt mark?
http://www.gaownersclub.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=116853
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Hauler: 1984 Buick Electra Estate Wagon Olds 3oh7. 268H camming
"Used car dealers are scum of the earth, and the more ball-busting you can do to them, the more I salute you. If he won't budge, let it sit a couple of weeks, then go in and offer him $750, reminding him that he won't get jack **** for it at auction."
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Originally Posted by sleepyalero View Post
I could be wrong, but if you keep clearing the code with the OBDII scanner, it will keep coming back until the problem is solved.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
lylos
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I believe i have found my problem. After referring to the image rocketfast123 had posted I checked my tensioner belt mark. It was extremely loose (the notch on base was aligned with the single notch on tensioner). I had went to AutoZone to pick up the belt and they sold me a 48" belt. After a little research, I do believe that our cars take a 47.5" belt (2001 SE 2.4L). A smaller belt would cause the tensioner to tighten up a little and could potentially cure my squeal. I'm off to get a new belt now and will be sure to update with the results.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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Beings that it squeals when the accessories are under load that is usally always a good indication that the belt is loose. Also an inch of deflection is quite a bit, mine has the 3400 and it only deflects about a quarter of an inch if you really push on it. So I'm pretty much just saying it sounds like you found your problem.
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