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drive belts (ex. serpentine, v-belt)

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Top 10 Bad Car Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Ignoring car problems costs more than fixing them right away. Never ignore if your car has rough shifting, a shaky steering wheel, or is smoking.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Drive Belt Tensioner
Common signs include grinding or squeaking noises coming from the belt, unusual belt wear, and belt-driven accessories like the alternator failing.
How Long Does a Drive Belt Tensioner Last?
In order to keep the proper tension on your vehicle's serpentine belt, a drive belt tensioner is used. This is a pulley that is either mounted to an adjustable pivot point...
How Belt Tensioners Work
The drive belt tensioner in your car is a small component that works in conjunction with the serpentine belt to ensure that everything in your engine works as it should. From time to time,...
How to Buy a Good Quality Drive Belt Tensioner
The drive belt – also known as a serpentine belt – keeps important components of your car’s accessory system running smoothly. The power steering, air conditioning, and sometimes even the water pump,...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Serpentine/Drive Belt
Common signs include a squealing noise from the front of the vehicle, power steering and AC not working, engine overheating, and cracks on the belt.
How Do Drive and Serpentine Belts Work?
The drive belt on your vehicle delivers power to the car’s engine, alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and air conditioner compressor. Usually, a car has one or two drive belts, and if there...
How Long Does a Serpentine/Drive Belt Last?
In order to operate, your car needs more than just a working engine and transmission. The “accessories” attached to the engine aren’t really optional. For instance, you need the alternator to...
How to Tighten a Drive Belt
If you have just replaced your drive belt and you are noticing high-pitched squeaking or squealing under the hood, or if you’ve noticed that your drive belt doesn’t seem to...
How to Replace Your Serpentine Belt
If your engine squeals in the morning when you first start it up, take a look at your serpentine belt under the hood. Any cracks, glazed areas, or...
How Long Does a Water Pump Pulley Last?
The pulleys and drive belts on a car help to ensure that everything is getting the power it needs. Without these components working properly, a car will usually not be able...
How to Adjust Drive Belts
Drive belts power electrical systems and other features in your car. An improperly adjusted drive belt can cause damage to your engine.
How to Check a Faulty Timing Belt Tensioner
The timing belt is a critical part of the automotive engine; if it breaks, it can cause some serious damage. The belt can break due to a number of...
Why Serpentine Belt Replacements on Cars With Limited Clearance Can Be Tricky
Changing a serpentine belt is a service that can involve performing some difficult maneuvers on the engine, especially on cars with limited clearance.
How to Check Belts in Your Car
Engine drive belts are a crucial part of how your car functions. Knowing how to identify any issues with them can help prevent a breakdown.
How to Quiet a Noisy Drive Belt
The drive belt operates different accessories mounted on the engine. The best way to minimize it's noise is to adjust the drive belt to specification.
How to Replace a Serpentine Belt
Replacing the serpentine belt can be challenging, as it involves removing the tensioner and determining the correct route to install the new belt.
Understanding All the Drive Belts in Your Car
Your car’s engine has a number of mechanical parts attached to it that perform essential functions like delivering power (the alternator), cooling your engine (the water pump), helping you to drive more easily...

Related questions

Question
Hi my belts squeels randomly when I turn my car on. Today for the first time while I was driving it started to squeel, what could
Noise of that type is often due to a failed or failing bearing in one of the pulleys or accessories (e.g., alternator, water pump, A/C compressor) that is driven by the serpentine belt, the belt is not properly tensioned, or...
Question
I got a diagnostics back from firestone as I went to get my oil change. I was told the belts were soaked with oil from an oil leak
Hello, thank you for writing in. The belts are designed to be clean, dry, and tight. There are no products or aftermarket sealers that will keep the oil from negatively impacting the drive belt. With that being said, you may...
Question
Old belt was sqeeking, new belt does not but it slips off constantley. The old belt stays on though. Why is this?
Check to be sure that the new belt is actually the right part number or, better yet, use an OEM (dealer) belt. Also, be sure the tensioner is the right part number or use an OEM sourced tensioner. Check to...
Question
2010 Subaru Forester power steering does not work, battery light is on, smell of rubber from engine compartment
It does indeed sound like your drive belt is broken. Your vehicle has two belts: one for the A/C and another for the power steering and alternator. Obviously, if the latter breaks, you no longer have power steering and your...
Question
Trying to bypass the compressor on a 07 mkz
The labor time to replace the compressor is about 3 hours. Although a mechanic could be dispatched to attempt to size a belt that will bypass the compressor, you are probably better off just replacing the compressor and be done...
Question
Hi Steve I have 2002 Dodge Dakota and the serpentine belt seems to be overlapping the grooves down were the harmonic balancer is n
The rubber bond in the harmonic balancer assembly can sometimes separate and as a consequence the crankshaft pulley can get out of plane relative to all of the other driven pulleys and accessories. Similarly, it is possible that a pulley,...
Question
Joshua, I have a '02 Acura MDX with about 90K miles. It has always been garaged (since 2003). It's probably time to change the m
Since all the belts need to be removed to get to the timing belt I would recommend all accessory belts be replaced also. I would also recommend replacing the water pump and thermostat at the same time since the water...
Question
My Honda Civic 1989, has a issue on alternator overcharged. My a.c system has not worked since 2003, I left it alone. I am going t
Hello Tuan, thank you for writing in. The alternator and the air compressor are both driven and powered by the drive belt. If the belt does not look bad, worn, or old, then it is likely just fine. In this...
Question
Nissan Sentra 2007 problems with the tension pulley
Hello, thank you for writing in. There are a few things you need to look into. One, have you been buying the same brand of tensioner, and have they been warrantied? You may want to make sure you are getting...
Question
Belt is siezed? car starts whining as I accelerate and it starts smelling like burnt rubber
If noise is suspected from the serpentine belt or belt driven accessories and/or pulleys, just disconnect the belt and momentarily run the engine. If the noise goes away, all components driven by the belt need to be closely examined. If...
Question
My serpentine belt on my Volkswagen Passat cc 2009 snap. The ac stoped working. On a closer look it looks like the crank shaft pul
Hi...if all pulleys move freely and noiselessly, and all are in the same plane, and the tensioner is working correctly, the belt snapped either due to age (most likely) or a manufacturing defect. Assuming that no pulley bearings need replacement,...
Question
I have a power steering issue after doing a donut. The pump no longer assists at idle, only when the rpms are up. No leaks and fl
Hello, thank you for writing in. The power steering pump has likely failed. The pump gets its power from the drive belt, if it is tight, the power steering pump should be supplying plenty of hydraulic pressure at idle speeds....
Question
2000 vw cabrio. How do I put tension on the power steering pump belt? Thanks
Your vehicle may be equipped with an automatic tensioner. If so, it will be assembly that is spring loaded and pivots to maintain a constant specified pressure on the belt. If it is so equipped, there might be a problem...
Question
Squeaking in the belt area
One or more pulleys are out of plane and/or a pulley or idler bearing is faulty. If the origin of the noise is not really obvious (pinpointed) on the mechanic's initial inspection, a quick diagnostic can be performed by simply...
Question
2003 Sonata starts then will stall. I have to wait ten minutes then it starts right up?
Check the belt and see if its loose or too tight. A drive belt that is loose or too tight can cause the alternator to not function properly and make the battery get low on voltage causing a no start...
Question
My power steering just stopped working as o got stuck in the snow just now
It's possible that the front suspension and/or the steering rack sustained damage during this incident. The only other potential cause is a power steering pump failure and/or a failure of the drive belt. I recommend you request a power steering...
Question
I just got my serpentine belt replaced and it's squealing when I start the car and sometimes when I hit the gas
Noise of that type is due to a failed or failing bearing in one of the pulleys or accessories (e.g., alternator, water pump, A/C compressor) that is driven by the serpentine belt, the belt is not properly tensioned, or the...
Question
Hello, I just got a 2001 Montaro Sport and I went to get in tonight and it started squealing. What cold it be?
The noise could be the serpentine belt slipping due to age or the tensioner not holding the belt tight on the pulleys. Also an idler pulley could have a failed bearing causing the noise. Try removing the serpentine belt and...
Question
What is the correct procedure for tightening the belt tensioner on a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo? We put the new belt on.
The belt tensioner on your vehicle should have an automatic tensioner, however, some models have the manual tensioner. Tighten the tensioner to where the belt is tight but loose in the middle length area as about the width of the...
Question
I got my serpentine belt replaced on my 2002 Q45 and now my car wont start. This never happened before. 2002 Infiniti Q45
Argh! These are scenarios that make most of us pull our hair out! Is the service event related to a failure? Or was the failure waiting to happen "the next day" anyway? It's unlikely something was bumped, jostled or damaged...

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