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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I've had a squealing sound for a long time (almost 8 months) coming from what I thought was the serpentine belt. It seemed to be squealing only when I had the A/C running so naturally I thought it was the belt. The car has 70k miles and the belt hadn't been changed yet.

So a few weeks ago I decided to change the belt myself.

I removed the belt and put the new one on, fairly easy job. The old belt looked pretty nasty, lots of what looked to be rust residue.

I put the new belt on and everything was good at first, until I started hearing squealing again the next day.

It only squeals when I have the A/C on and it squeals louder when I'm turning and/or braking.

So maybe you can help me figure out what could be the problem? I guess it could be anything that is directly or indirectly connected to the belt. So this could mean the P/S pump, A/C compressor, Alternator or any one of the pulleys on these systems correct? Or could something else be squealing?

Seems like a daunting task to diagnose myself. Is there any way I can find out what's wrong without taking the car to the rip-off dealer?

Thanks in advance.
 

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If it is a fitment / size issues you can check on the belt tensioner. The belt tensioner has a gauge on it, if the arrow is within the little box or lines, then the belt is the right size. When i did mine, it was pretty tight, so i think you would know if the new belt went on too easy. Take the belt off again and spin all the pulleys, they should all spin relatively free. I think the dust or rust you saw on the old one is probably normal from the AC clutch. Spray WD40 on the belt and see if that helps the squealing. WD40 will not harm the belt, might just make a mess. You can also spray around each pulley to see if it temporarily stops the squealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Leemaster - I compared both belts when putting on the new one and they were the same size.

I did notice the arrow on the belt tensioner gauge wasn't perfectly aligned within the box, it was pointing directly on the outer edge. Will the belt stretch? I will go out tomorrow morning and check if the arrow is aligned correctly.

TSXCop - wouldn't spraying wd40 on the belt cause slipping? I know the teeth should keep it from slipping but for some reason this doesn't sound right to me, unless you know something I don't?
 

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Yes i know it sounds dumb, but its one of those old mechanic tricks to pinpoint a squeaky belt or pulley. It will burn off very quickly from the friction. You can also spray a little water on the suspected area but it burns off even faster. WD40 just gives you a little more lubrication on pulleys and bearings. If something is causing so much resistance that WD40 makes your belt slip, then you obviously have another problem (seized pulley). A light spray of WD40 will dissipate almost immediately when sprayed on a moving belt or pulley. You'll be ok with it, and if you aren't comfortable, get a water bottle with a trigger sprayer and go that route.
 
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