How to Stop Serpentine Belt From Squeaking? Fast and Easy

Have you ever encountered a situation when you are driving your car on the road in the hustle-bustle of everyday traffic, and suddenly the vehicle starts producing squeaking noises?

Like, it is also so frustrated with this terrible traffic and endless wait on the traffic signals to make its way through to the destination. But hey!

Let me inform you that it is not your vehicle crying like a spoilt kid when faced with the harsh reality of life. It may be a sound coming from one or more engine parts, denoting the need to maintain that or those parts.

Most often than not, when a vehicle produces squeaking sounds, it is safe to guess that there is some problem with the Serpentine Belt in the engine system.

What is a Serpentine Belt?

Serpentine belt! A long belt runs like a snake in the front of your vehicle’s engine system over a pulley arrangement. Did you ever notice it?

No issues if you did not. Many people don’t. And it is not very critical about your daily schedule that gaining knowledge about the serpentine belt should be part of your everyday affairs.

Stop Serpentine Belt From Squeaking

But yes, it is crucial to know that a serpentine belt plays an essential role in the running of your vehicle. Your vehicle’s power steering, air conditioning, engine cooling, exhaust, and many other engine parts are driven or operated by a serpentine belt only.

If there is a failure in the serpentine belt or the belt is knocked out of position, your vehicle will suddenly stop. Certain parts of the vehicle will entirely and immediately shut down.

You cannot run the vehicle until the serpentine belt is fixed in its original position in a proper serviced manner. So listen to it when the serpentine belt is squeaking out loud to get your attention fixed.

How to Fix a Squeaky Serpentine Belt?

Well, the answer is simple. Call for a mechanic and get it done. But meanwhile, it is also advisable to know oneself.

Just in case you bump into a situation where calling for help might take a more significant toll on you than fixing it yourself. Like, on an access-free highway or forest roads, etc.

Reasons for the Noise

Let us first diagnose why exactly the serpentine belt is facing problems in functioning.

It may be any reason ranging from wearing the belt, lack of greasing of the machine parts, some defect in belt tensioner, functioning issues in the devices that the serpentine belt is driving, misalignment or dislodging of idler or tensioner pulleys, defect in the connection bearings, etc.

Pulley misalignment, worn-out belt, and a bad bearing are the three major reasons.

  • Fixing Worn Serpentine Belt

Usually, if the serpentine belt is worn out, its tension decreases. The tensioner pulley cannot supply enough tension to the belt, and the belt starts slipping. That causes the squeaking noise.

The solution to the problem is to change the belt. You can control the squeaking sounds by spraying plain water over the belt and the pulleys.

Although it will smoothen the running process for a while, the issue will be recurring as soon as the water dries away. Unless you replace the belt with a brand new one, the old one will continue to wear and create a nuisance.

  • Solving Pulley Misalignment Issue

If the pulleys connected to the serpentine belt are misaligned, that will indicate that the belt is not running straight from one part of the engine to the other.

It will look like the belt is wobbling back and forth while spinning – enough reason for it to produce sounds.

The solution to this issue is to realign the pulleys manually. These pulleys are fitted tightly to their position, which is good for the smooth functioning of the engine system.

So, it may take a little effort to realign them manually, but it will not be too difficult. You may also use some hardware to help the strength partly in aligning.

The alignment of pulleys should be such that the serpentine belt runs straight without slipping over. You will know the alignment is right once the belt stops squeaking.

  • Defective Bearing Repair or Replacement

If the bearings connected with the belt are gone wrong, it will indicate a fault in the functioning of the pulleys and belt.

They will not get smooth connection support and start producing noise. Also, the pulleys will start to wobble considerably.

To fix the issue, identify the bearing which is not working fine. The signs of a bad bearing will show in the belt and the nearest pulley to the bearing.

The whole section will vibrate a little more than the other sections of the engine system. Take out the defective bearing, repair or grease it if needed, and fix it. You may have to replace the bearing if this does not solve the puzzle.

  • An Alternative Way

Belt Dressing is sometimes used to quiet the squeaky noise from the serpentine belt. But it cannot help in all situations. First, when the belt dressing solutions are dried, they make the belt even noisier.

And what if the squeaking problem is not because of the belt condition? It might be the fault in the pulley alignment or the bearing. In that case, one has to inspect the whole belt arrangement to fix the issue.

Wrap Up!

Understanding the functions of a serpentine belt and fixing the issues is no rocket science. In certain cases, it is better to have some in-hand knowledge about critical vehicle parts, their function, and repair techniques.

Why so? Not getting stuck suddenly in the middle of nowhere where a hand to help is difficult to find.

The car or any four-wheeler, for that matter, maybe giant mechanical inventions. Still, their parts, as critical as the serpentine belt, may be easy to understand and operate.

Knowing how to handle the issues with it gives you an edge in handling your vehicle better, as far as the overall performance of the vehicle and your experience with it is concerned.

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