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FAQ: Belt squeals when cold?

Why do my belts squeal when its cold?

Most squeals are cause by engine belts that need to be adjusted or replaced. Bad or loose belts that need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear or a bad tensioner on cars with a serpentine drive belt. Bushings are designed to keep the metal parts in your car quiet, but when they are worn, they squeak.

Why does my car squeal on cold start?

When you have a squealing noise on start up, that goes away after a few minutes, is normally a belt issue. You may need to also take a look at the pulleys to be sure they are not “glazed”, which can also cause a belt to slip, and be sure to check the belt tensioner to be sure that it isn’t beginning to fail.

Is it safe to drive with a squealing belt?

That’s why it’s recommended that the serpentine belt is replaced early when the squealing symptoms are first noticed. Although it may be safe to drive with the squealing for a few days or weeks, the belt will eventually need to be replaced, and for safety, the earlier it’s repaired, the better.

Can I put WD-40 on a squeaky belt?

Everyone has to start somewhere and spraying WD40 on the serpentine belt is an “old trick”, it’s just not a good one. You’ll have to clean the WD40 off the belt. Keep an eye on the belt; if it keeps slipping or you start seeing cracking it’ll need replacing.

Do timing belts squeal?

The timing belt has teeth, like a chain, so it cannot slip and squeal. But it does wear out and break without warning. Earlier, the technician may have tightened your accessory belt or your power steering belt, not your timing belt. A worn accessory belt can certainly can slip and squeal if it is worn out or loose.

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What belt squeals when I start my car?

What Makes Your Vehicle Squeal when Starting. Most of the time, the squealing is do to something called a serpentine belt. When you open your hood, it’s the incredibly long belt that winds around multiple pulleys. It connects the crankshaft to other systems like the alternator, power steering, AC, and water pump.

How do you diagnose a squealing belt?

One method to determine if the noise is a chirp or squeal is to use a water squirt bottle and spray the rib side of the belt while the vehicle is running. If the noise gets louder, it’s a squeal. If the noise goes away, it’s a chirp.

What does it mean when your belt squeals?

Your engine belts make a screech or squeal noise usually because the rubber belt is slipping on the metal pulley and just like your tires spinning on the road, this causes noise. The belt may be slipping due to improper tension or because it simply has gotten old and the surface has become glazed, cracked or brittle.

Why are my brand new belts squealing?

You have an extra load somewhere causing the belt to slip. It could be a bad battery causing the alternator to work harder or it could be a power steering pump going bad causing the same thing. It could also be a worn bearing in one of the idler pulleys or the tensioner its self could be worn out.

How expensive is it to replace a serpentine belt?

It is very inexpensive to replace a serpentine belt whether it’s broken or loose. The replacement cost is only going to be between $100 and $200 in most cases. The belt itself will cost between $25 and $80 while the labor costs will probably be between $75 and $120.

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Can a tight belt cause squeaking?

A Belt That Is Too Loose or Too Tight



A belt that is either too loose or too tight will often slip against the pulleys, causing the squeal. While the motor is running, pour water over the squealing belt.

Will soap stop a squeaky belt?

Sometimes a belt will squeal upon starting a vehicle and will disappear shortly thereafter. That’s right, ordinary bar soap can usually stop the squealing when rubbed on a fan belt. Just a few rubs on the belt with bar soap can solve the bar squealing problem for quite some time and save money in the process.

Can I change my serpentine belt myself?

Serpentine belt replacement is easy because today’s automatic drive belt tensioners eliminate the need to loosen bolts or pry components into position for retensioning. Just rotate the tensioner, remove the old belt and install a new one.

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