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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey so my wife's car is making this squeaking noise when you turn the car on or you leave it in park and give it a little gas right about the 2000 rmp range. It will make the noise then stop. It doesn't make the noise if the AC is off, it also doesn't make this noise while driving only on start up and me testing it out at that range. The belt looks good giving it a glance. Any ideas?
Thank you.



EDIT: So This piece is what is making the noise. Any idea what it is called, or have a youtube video I can watch, or what to do?


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My guess is that the serpentine belt is worn. It may not look it, but chances are it is. It may be worn to the point where the tensioner can't compensate for the slack as the drag of the a/c compressor loads up the belt. Belts aren't expensive and if you haven't changed them yet, make a Sunday project of it and get it done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My guess is that the serpentine belt is worn. It may not look it, but chances are it is. It may be worn to the point where the tensioner can't compensate for the slack as the drag of the a/c compressor loads up the belt. Belts aren't expensive and if you haven't changed them yet, make a Sunday project of it and get it done.
Is what i circled in the picture the tensioner?
 

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Yes.

If there is oil visible on it or around it (it will get on a number of other things, including the alternator, and look like dirt) the shock is blown and the tensioner needs replacement. Its not hard, just fiddly as the clearance is tight.

There are marks on the tensioner and the hex that you use to release the tension so you can get the belt off. The belt is worn beyond service limits when the hex is outside the marks. You need a mirror to see it, but its clearly visible with one and a light.

The other possibility is that the roller on the tensioner, the alternator or A/C compressor bearings are either dead or locking up resulting in the belt squealing. They have to be pretty far gone to do that, so if that's what's going on you definitely want to take care of it. Note that the water pump has its own "stretchy" belt (no tensioner) and thus is not involved in this, but if you're changing one do both because you have to take the serpentine off to get the other one off, and you're definitely not doing that on the side of the road (the only reasonable way in to do it is through the wheel well, so that means removing the wheel and the splash shield.) It's not a tough job in your garage but on the side of the road will be no fun at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes.

If there is oil visible on it or around it (it will get on a number of other things, including the alternator, and look like dirt) the shock is blown and the tensioner needs replacement. Its not hard, just fiddly as the clearance is tight.

There are marks on the tensioner and the hex that you use to release the tension so you can get the belt off. The belt is worn beyond service limits when the hex is outside the marks. You need a mirror to see it, but its clearly visible with one and a light.

The other possibility is that the roller on the tensioner, the alternator or A/C compressor bearings are either dead or locking up resulting in the belt squealing. They have to be pretty far gone to do that, so if that's what's going on you definitely want to take care of it. Note that the water pump has its own "stretchy" belt (no tensioner) and thus is not involved in this, but if you're changing one do both because you have to take the serpentine off to get the other one off, and you're definitely not doing that on the side of the road (the only reasonable way in to do it is through the wheel well, so that means removing the wheel and the splash shield.) It's not a tough job in your garage but on the side of the road will be no fun at all.
Awesome not the worst news there is oil on it so ill go ahead and replace it and give you guys and update. Thank you guys!
 

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I just replaced my tensioner and both belts 2 weeks ago having no prior experience to performing that repair and it was simple to do.

Do yourself a favor and order a new tensioner bolt and nut, and get an extra long 10mm (or maybe it's 12mm) cresent wrench. You won't be able to get sockets in there so save yourself the trouble and don't bother trying lol.

For a new tensioner, both belts, and new tensioner hardware (lower bolt and upper nut), you can easily be under $160. I imagine a dealership will charge 3x that at a minimum.
 

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Is what i circled in the picture the tensioner?
Yes (as has already been mentioned). I've seen videos of changing the serpentine belt and one tutorial involved removing the engine mount on that side. I don't know if that's the easy way or removing the wheel and going through the wheel-well but you will have to get creative, for sure.

Do yourself a favor and order a new tensioner bolt and nut, and get an extra long 10mm (or maybe it's 12mm) cresent wrench. You won't be able to get sockets in there so save yourself the trouble and don't bother trying lol.
It's a 17mm wrench to compress the tensioner so you can get the belt off. But if you don't have an extra long one, you might be able to extend the 17mm with a 19mm fitted to the other end of it:

 

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It's a 17mm wrench to compress the tensioner so you can get the belt off. But if you don't have an extra long one, you might be able to extend the 17mm with a 19mm fitted to the other end of it:


I was referring to the tensioner bolt and nut that need to be removed to replace the tensioner but that is also important will be helpful to anyone attempting this. I cut my belts off due to laziness but the 17mm wrench is still needed to get the new serp belt on properly.


If I am not mistaken, it's recommended to replace the tensioner whenever the belts are replaced. I didn't replace it when my first serp belt needed replacing and it covered my alternator in oil/grease shortly afterwards due to the tensioner failing.


Replacing the crankshaft seal (also known as the front oil seal) is also very doable during this process if you have a strong enough impact to break the crank pulley lock bolt loose.
 

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There's no reason to replace the tensioner if it is not leaking and the roller's bearing is ok. I went close to 200,000 miles before I replaced mine.

I do the belts every 100k, and check the wear indicator every oil change (takes seconds with a mirror and flashlight.)
 

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Tensioner is cheap. Change it while in there. I did it when I changed the alternator and put on new belt. You can do the belts, tensioner and even the alternator by removing only the wheel and wheel well. Expect great cussing and trial and error if doing the alternator. (It goes out through the top, btw). The tensioner is pretty simple but is done mostly blind. Having a wingman always helps.
 
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