How to Quiet a Noisy Drive Belt

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The drive belt is used to drive the accessories mounted on the front of the engine, such as the alternator, power steering pump and water pump. The belt itself is driven off the crankshaft pulley. There are a number of lubricants for sale which claim to quiet a noisy drive belt, but the only effective way to silence the squealing is to adjust the drive belt to specification.

  • Note: If the vehicle is equipped with a serpentine belt, it is not possible to adjust it. In that case, a squealing belt indicates a failed tensioner or misaligned pulley system, which will require repair.

Materials Needed

  • Free repair manuals - Autozone provides free online repair manuals for certain makes and models
  • Protective gloves
  • Pry bar (as needed)
  • Safety glasses
  • Wrench or ratchet and sockets of the appropriate size

Method 1 of 2: Adjusting a belt with an adjuster pulley

point of adjustment via a pulley

Step 1: Locate the point of adjustment. Drive belt adjustment is performed via either a adjuster pulley or accessory pivot and adjuster bolts.

Either design will be located on the front of engine in the drive belt area. In this case you are looking for the adjuster pulley.

loosening the adjuster pulley nut

Step 2: Loosen the adjustment pulley locking fastener. Loosen the locking fastener on the face of the adjustment pulley by turning it counterclockwise with the appropriate sized ratchet or wrench.

  • Note: Do not remove the fastener, only loosen it.

tightening the adjustment bolt

Step 3: Tighten the adjustment fastener. Tighten the adjustment fastener on top of the pulley by turning it clockwise with a ratchet or wrench.

checking belt deflection

Step 4: Check the belt deflection. Check that the belt has proper tension by pushing down on the longest section of the belt. The belt should have about ½” of deflection if the belt is properly tensioned.

tightening down the pulley locking fastener

Step 5: Tighten down the pulley locking fastener. Once the proper belt tension has been achieved, tighten down the adjustment pulley locking fastener by turning it clockwise with a ratchet or wrench.

Method 2 of 2: Adjusting a belt with an accessory pivot

point of adjustment via an accessory pivot and adjuster bolt

Step 1: Locate the point of adjustment. Drive belt adjustment is performed via either a adjuster pulley or accessory pivot and adjuster bolts.

Either design will be located on the front of engine in the drive belt area. In this case you are looking for the accessory pivot.

loosening the adjustment bracket bolt

Step 2: Loosen the adjustment bracket fasteners. Loosen the adjustment bracket fasteners by turning them counterclockwise using a ratchet or wrench.

  • Note: Do not remove the fasteners.

moving the belt driven accessory

Step 3: Move the belt drive accessory. Using a pry bar, pry the belt drive accessory (whether it be the alternator, power steering pump, etc.) until the belt is tight.

moving the belt driven accessory

Step 4: Tighten down the adjustment bracket fasteners. Tighten down the adjustment bracket fasteners while still applying tension to the belt driven accessory.

belt deflection

Step 5: Check the belt deflection. Check that the belt has proper tension by pushing down on the longest section of the belt. The belt should have about ½” of deflection if the belt is properly tensioned.

That’s how you properly quite a noisy belt. If this seems like something you’d rather leave to a professional, the team at YourMechanic offers expert belt adjustment and repair services.


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Recent Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

625

Rating Summary
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584
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Phillip

18 years of experience
230 reviews
Phillip
18 years of experience
Scion tC - Drive Belt Tensioner - Sacramento, California
Philip got my car back on the road!! He was very professional, knowledgeable, hard working, and explained everything that he was doing to my car. I would definitely have him work on my car again, and I will be recommending him to all of my friends and family!
Chevrolet Express 1500 - Drive Belt Tensioner - Elk Grove, California
This was my first time using Your Mechanic, and it was so much easier than trying to get your car back and forth between a shop. I will definitely be using Your Mechanic, and Philip again. Philip was prompt courteous and in and out of our lives quickly. I would definitely recommend Philip to anyone heating car help.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
203 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Drive Belt Tensioner - Decatur, Georgia
Mazyar is the best mechanic I have had! I’ve had a lot. What makes him so special is the fact that he did the job right! He didn’t cause problems and was completely honest with me. His 50 point inspection revealed all issues that I needed to fix and I knew that he was the one I wanted to do it. His is very nice and courteous and very funny! He is also very timely and got the job done within the expected amount of time. You won’t go wrong trusting him with your car.
Chevrolet Express 1500 - Drive Belt Tensioner - Atlanta, Georgia
Got the job done right, great guy. Showed me exactly what was wrong and took time to explain everything. 10 stars

Attila

18 years of experience
519 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz E350 - Drive Belt Tensioner - Saddle River, New Jersey
An absolute pleasure he was on time great personality clean did the job quickly and very happy with the result

Ostus

7 years of experience
70 reviews
Ostus
7 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz CLK350 - Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement - Decatur, Georgia
Ostuss arrive on time, with the required part and repaired my vehicle in record time. NO MORE SQUEAKING! He provided knowledge about the condition of my vehicle along with future recommendations, for awareness. His confidence and skillsets were very visible in his analysis and recommendations. I will definitely utilize his services again.

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