Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Posts Tagged: serpentine belt

Serpentine belt versus timing belt

Serpentine belt versus timing belt — what’s the difference? What does a timing belt do? People often confuse serpentine and timing belts. They both drive rotating components, but that’s where the similarities end. A timing belt has cogs that fit into corresponding depressions on the driven components. The cogs prevent the belt from slipping out of time with the driven components and keep the camshafts synchronized with the crankshaft. What does a serpentine belt do? A serpentine belt drives accessory components that do not have to be in time with … Read More

Serpentine Belt noise

Serpentine belt noise squeal or chirp How to diagnose and fix serpentine belt noise NOTE: Never spray a drive belt with belt dressing, WD-40 or any lubricant to quiet belt noise A serpentine belt can be damaged by motor oil and coolant. If you have an ongoing oil or coolant leak that drips onto the belt, fix that first. And, despite the fact that many Internet sources tell you to spray WD-40 onto a belt to quiet the noise or detect the cause, DON’T do it. You will ruin the … Read More

Diagnose a belt tensioner

Diagnose a belt tensioner A worn automatic serpentine belt tensioner can cause belt squeal, misalignment, belt chirp, and alternator bearing damage. Automatic tensioners tend to wear out at around 100K miles. If you have a belt noise or vibration and you’ve changed the belt, it’s time to test your belt tensioner. It’s easy. Just follow the procedures below. First, understand the belt tensioner’s TWO jobs Belt tensioner job #1: Maintain proper belt tension The belt tensioner’s first job is to maintain the proper tension on the serpentine belt. That’s easy … Read More

Should I use belt dressing

Belt dressing and belt squeals and chirps If you’re thinking about using belt dressing to stop belt squeal and chirps, DON’T. It’ll stop the noise for a while. But belt dressing is nothing more than a sticky adhesive. Yes, it helps the belt grip better, but that same adhesive picks up road grit that’ll pick up road grit and destroy the belt and wear out your pulleys. It NEVER solves the root cause of the belt squeal or chirp. Don’t use belt dressing. Find the real cause of belt squeal … Read More


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