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 2: 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 2: 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

576

Rating Summary
540
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540
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Phillip

17 years of experience
200 reviews
Phillip
17 years of experience
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.
Toyota Tundra - Drive Belt Tensioner - Sacramento, California
Great work, showed up early, which I liked and finished early. Very friendly and clear at communicating, even saved me some money!

Fadi

18 years of experience
85 reviews
Fadi
18 years of experience
BMW X5 - Drive Belt Tensioner - San Diego, California
I request FADI to do the work on my car . Why: he has a spirit of excellent Very knowledgeable he Not only replace the part but explain the function of it to keep the car running smooth The job was done In a timely manner. I didn't have to wait all morning in a auto shop. I am very satisfied with his Excellent workmanship. I considered him to be my mechanic.
Acura CL - Drive Belt Tensioner - La Jolla, California
Fadi was great. Knowledgeable and efficient. Showed up early and got the job done on time, all while I was at work so I didn't have to take any time out of my workday to get the car fixed. Definitely recommend.

Henry

32 years of experience
137 reviews
Henry
32 years of experience
Honda CR-V - Drive Belt Tensioner - Vineland, New Jersey
Henry is an A+ mechanic. He was prompt, polite, respectful, clean, and very capable. Henry explained everything that he did and completed all repairs requested. I loved his old-school auto repair methodologies and work ethic. There was no cutting corners with this man. Highly recommended !!!

Eduardo

17 years of experience
329 reviews
Eduardo
17 years of experience
Nissan Frontier - Drive Belt Tensioner - Houston, Texas
Eduardo texted to say he could arrive earlier than my appointment which was great for me - he showed looking 100% professional and completed the work promptly! Very professional and I would book him again.

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