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Thread: Belt squealing in the cold - OK?

  1. #1

    Default Belt squealing in the cold - OK?

    2005 Hyundai Elantra. Problem started a couple months ago, never happened before this year.

    When it is cold out...say less than 25F, the car makes squealing noises when I turn the wheel, and it's louder when This even happens when I am not moving (and it's even louder then), and only for about the first 30-45 seconds of driving, then it goes away.

    A mechanic told me this is just glazing on the belt, and nothing to be concerned with. It gets very loud at times - could he be right in saying that it's ok, or does this sound like it's something that should be fixed immediately? Thanks.
    Aspiring DIYer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    8,533

    Default

    I'm not sure what type of belt you have -- a large surpentine one with a spring loaded tensioner, or a few smaller ones manually tensioned. Belts squeal when they slip. A belt will slip it the tension is not tight enough, or if the device it is turning has more resistance than usual.

    In the cold, the bearings could be tight (or they could be lacking grease and squealing themselves), and oil fluid pumps could be harder to turn. Making the steering pump do work (i.e. turning the steering wheel) will increase the force on the belt required to turn the pump (so it slips more squealing louder). So maybe your power steering pump is getting hard to turn in the cold. I'd check its fluid level. If it is real low, perhaps it is failing. Could also be the alternator or other device, but if steering affects the squeal the most, it is probably related to the power steering pump. You'll need to listen with a stethoscope or a dowel to see which item is making noise if you're not sure.

    Also check the belt tension. Maybe your tensioner is getting tired (you can pull one way on the tensioner pulley with a breaker bar and socket to make it loose and the other way to make it tighter). Try tightening it when you first start up and see if the problem goes away. If not, it may be the bearings of a pump or alternator that are squealing. Also, maybe your belt is damaged.

    If the problem is belt tension, I'd consider replacing the belt first to see if that fixes it. It is cheaper than a new tensioner. Unless this belt is manually tensioned by loosening a bolt and pulling the pump tight against the belt and tightening down the belt.
    Mark
    Kent, WA

  3. #3

    Default

    This is a common problem. Glazing on the belt will cause slipping and thus squealing, but the belt can also be developing hairline cracks, which eventually lead to failure. Belts are cheap to replace (at least if you do it yourself).

    There is a kind of belt lubricant which you can buy from auto parts stores. Looks like candle wax (but don't use candle wax) - you apply it by touching the belt while the engine is running (be careful). You only need to touch the belt for a few seconds. This will silence the squeals, but for how long depends on the condition of the belt.

    regards,
    Robert
    "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country."
    - Kurt Vonnegut

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
    When it is cold out...say less than 25F, the car makes squealing noises when I turn the wheel, and it's louder when This even happens when I am not moving (and it's even louder then), and only for about the first 30-45 seconds of driving, then it goes away. ks.
    The power steering works harder when you turn the wheel when you are not moving so squealing if any will be louder then.

    Check the power steering fluid level too, while you are at it.
    How to restore power more quickly: Electric company does a hasty job and quickly moves on to the next job site, and, after hooking up individual affected homes, comes back to finish/dress things up. (2) Massachusetts eliminates the requirement for a police detail at the job site.

  5. #5

    Default

    I went to the auto parts store, the only belt lubricant they sold is in a spray can, called Belt Dressing. The guy told me some people don't like it because they think it deteriorates the belt.

    I don't know enough about cars to really try to fix this myself, i'll probably just bring it to a mechanic I trust this weekend

    The last mechanic I brought it to told me it looked fine, no signs of cracking, that it was just glazing and not to be concerned, the sound just makes me nervous.
    Aspiring DIYer

  6. #6

    Default

    the only belt lubricant they sold is in a spray can, called Belt Dressing.
    Yep, that is what I've always used for squeaky belts.

  7. #7

    Default Belt Dressing - Not for Serpentine Belts ?!

    I've been told that belt dressing should not be used on serpentine belts. I don't know if it's true or not.

    Just a cautionary note. . .

  8. #8

    Default Grit in the grooves

    I have a 2009 2.7L Santa Fe that developed a serpentine belt squeal at about 60,000 miles. It was easy to remove the belt by pushing the tensioner forward with a wrench and sliding the belt through a small space between the power steering pump and the engine mount.
    After cleaning the belt with a tooth brush and carburtor cleaner I noticed shiny objects in the bottom of the belt's grooves. They were small pieces of sand/quartz.
    After digging them out with a small screw driver (more than 50 of them) and re-installing the belt the squealing noise was gone.

  9. #9

    Default Belt squealing in the cold OK

    Hi All ,

    Could you please recommend a glue for cold splicing a Fabric Belt PN800/4.

    Regards
    Alex

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