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The serpentine belt in your car powers the accessories such as air conditioning,power steering, the alternator,fan,and water pump. There are three types of serpentine belt wear,pilling,glazing,and abrasion. Pulley wear will cause your pulley to squeak, a worn out pulley bearing or a worn spring in the tension pulley can also cause squeaking.
There are four common causes for belt noise:
No.1 Bad Belt
Belt is old itself belts last anywhere from five years, 50,000 miles to over ten years 100,000 miles, it really depends. But around five years 50,000 miles you might start having enough belt wear to cause some squeaking.
No.2 Bad Bearing
Squeaking is your bearing in the pulley. You have a bunch of pulley in your car, you have power steering, air conditioning , idler pulleys,tensioner pulleys ,alternator pulleys etc. All these pulleys have bearing in them and eventually bearing go bad. Typically it’s either an idler pulley bearing or it’s a tensioner pulley bearing that goes bad, but you can have other pulleys that go bad such as the alternator or power steering .
If you have a bearing issue,the thing you need to do is listen in the engine compartment , for where you think the noise is coming from in this situation. If it sounded like from somewhere, grab the pulley and shake the pulley back and forth and that pulleys should be solid. It shouldn’t move. Some pulleys might have a little play. usually a bad bearing will cause the pulley to wobble a lot.
No.3 Belt Tension
The other common cause of belt squeak is the belt tension. The tensioner on a belt is usually automatic tensioner, it’s just a spring-loaded pulley. And this pulley puts just the right amount of pressure on the belt. So if your belt is worn out the pulley might not be able to give you enough pressure on the belt , it slips and that causes a squeak. Usually when that’s the case if you turn your air conditioner on or if you’re making a turn and your power steering pump goes on, that’s when you’ll hear the squeak.Another symptom of a bad belt tensioner or not having enough or too much tension on the belt.
No.4 Misalignment
Final common problem is a pulley misalignment. Actually, this is probably the most common problem.
 
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