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Q: Alternator belt noise when running the air conditioning

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My 2003 honda odyssey, about 95,000 miles is making noise (Belt) whenever I turn the air conditioning on. My mechanic sprayed some wd40 on the belt (not sure which one) and the sound temporarily went away. now it is back. My mechanic says to wait changing the drive belts when it is time(105000) to change the timing belt, and believes the problem is the belt, and that I can wait another 10000 miles to do it. He doesn't believe leaving it the way it is now will hurt the car. I have not changed the timing belt. I did all the routine maintenance work. Air filters, oil and filter, spark plugs. Is my mechanic right?

My car has 95000 miles.

A: Hello. Noise signifies a problem. The probl...

Hello. Noise signifies a problem. The problem could be a worn belt but the noise could also be due to a faulty tensioner, misaligned pulleys, or glazing on the belt which by the way in certain configurations will result in the accessory drives running below intended speed due to belt slippage.

It’s hard to say what effect WD-40 might have had in possibly masking these other problems, if they exist, and the reality is you can’t keep spraying the belt. In essence, the mechanic is suggesting that the diagnosis be put off for six months to a year (10,000 miles). That is you won’t know for sure if it is just the belt "alone" and not a weak tensioner or a pulley issue for some time to come.

Generally, unperformed maintenance and failure to perform repairs that are needed brings one on to the proverbial slippery slope. It is better to just repair it now if it is a known issue than to wait and wonder. If it were me, I would just fix it now.

If you’d like a fresh pair of eyes on the situation, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to diagnose the sound you’re hearing for an accurate repair.

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