Q: When the car is cold and first starting, the serpentine belt seizes up temporarily.

asked by on

I am wondering if it's the water pump or alternator or something else.everything appears to be functioning ok but this is definitely not normal

My car has 70000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. A belt that seizes up during cold starts can be caused by a few things. If one of the pulleys is seizing up, it can cause the belt to squeal as it passes over the stationary pulley. I would remove the belt and check each engine accessory pulley to see if any may be seizing up, possibly as a result of a loose or worn bearing.

If one of the pulleys shows any signs of seizing or irregular movement, then that component may need to be replaced or the bearing serviced. Belt issues at cold starts can also be caused by a loose belt, usually the result of regular wear and tear or a faulty tensioner. If the belt and tensioner are the originals, it may be possible that one of them is worn and needs to be replaced.

I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to determine if the seizing is a serious problem and if the serpentine belt needs to be replaced.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. When the car is cold and first starting, the serpentine belt seizes up temporarily.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Timing belt is tight and yet appears to be slipping several teeth when belt is rotated,

This is okay since there are more notches on the belt than the amount on the sprockets. Once you aligned the first time the belt marks will almost never line up perfectly again. The marks are used to put the...

Q: Oil drained out and engine seized

If the engine will not turn over with the starter, there is a good chance that the engine has seized up due to lack of oil. I would ask for help from one of the mechanics at YourMechanic to inspect...

Q: The car loses acceleration intermittently

Hello. It would be recommended to have the vehicle looked at by a certified mechanic. They should have the specialty tools and techniques to identify the problem and repair the situation correctly, and avoid any damage or injury. This could...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...