: Squealing pulley?

11-29-04, 11:03 AM
Seems to be coming from the power steering unit; went away and came back on its own; disappeared after I sprayed Liquid Wrench on the power steering pulley thinking it was silicone spray; most confusing of all: DISAPPEARS above about 1000 RPM...any thoughts? Thanks!

11-30-04, 01:46 AM
Quit greasing the drive belt and you will not have a squeal. The squeal is the belt slipping on the pulley(s), caused by low friction (the oil you sprayed on it).

The belt and pulleys need to be throughly cleaned from lubricants. The best way would be to remove the serpentine belt and wash it in hot water and detergent. Then clean the pulleys with a strong solution of detergent. Allow to dry and reinstall.

Another way that is nearly as good, is to throughly spray the belt and pulleys with Wesley's Bleche Wite Tire Cleaner. It is very good at stripping away oils. On a warm (not hot) engine just spray the belt and pulleys throughly. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then rinse with a hard spray from your garden hose. Let drip for at least 5 minutes and then repeat.

Let drip for a few minutes then start engine. You may hear a little squeaking for a minute until all of the water is thrown off of the belt and pulleys. Just let it idle until it is quiet.

In the future do not spray any lubricants around the belts or pulleys, that includes any type of spray detailing products like Armor All, etc.


11-30-04, 11:06 AM
Thanks for the tip on cleaning the belt w/o removing it. I'm still thinking it's the power steering pump bearing and not the belt cuz as soon as I shoot lube on the bearing it quiets down. Of course in today's world, you dont replace the bearing, you just R&R the pump. My gas pumping mechanic is going to look at it tomorrow so I guess we'll see. Thanks again!

Anthony Cipriano
11-30-04, 02:41 PM
Make positively sure that the power steering pump is aligned correctly. An incorrectly aligned power steering pump will cause a belt squeel.

Look at the mounting bracket that the power steering pump sits in. It's an aluminum bracket under the pump. There is a tab on the front face of the bracket (toward the front of the engine or toward the passenger side of the car) that hangs down and overlaps onto the front surface of the engine block. That alignment tab must be flush against the flat, machined surface of the front of the block. If there's a gap between the tab and the front face of the block loosen the mounting bolt on the right (rear) side of the mounting bracket (down in between the pump and the cam cover) and slide the pump rearward on the engine until the tang is hard against the block and then retighten the bolt.

In my experience, once a belt has a lubricant on it it's very difficult to get it clean and quiet again. You may end up replacing the belt. When the belt is off, clean the pulleys with acetone or brakeclean or other non-greasy cleaner that flashes off easily. Then put the new belt on and keep the lubes, belt dressings and such away from the belt.

12-02-04, 12:30 AM
Thanks for the reply, Anthony--it was in the shop today and the belt was identified as the culprit and replaced: squeal gone. Interesting to me is that they noticed the dogbone motor mounts were shot (which I knew and had been dragging my feet on since my head gasket repair) and I had them done at the same time. Voila! Nasty creaking over speed bumps that I thought was a front strut/CV joint/etc is cured. Bad news is that they heard the fuel pump squealing and it's probably on its way out to the tune of about $800+...the sending unit alone was priced at $429...And there was a time when I thought I'd never own a project car...LOL...

12-02-04, 04:33 AM
hmm...I have the same squeaky, thought it was my front struts sound too...I shall check out my top motor mount thingamajigs too, eh. :)

12-02-04, 07:12 AM
Spyder, I knew mine were bad cuz the rubber was near gone but the mechanic said it fell off in his hand when he took the bolt off...guess it was perfect timing...

12-02-04, 06:31 PM
As I thought the belt was slipping, causing the squeal.

Keep in mind using Wesley's Bleche Wite Tire Cleaner, as a general purpose degreaser. I have used it on several of my vehicles when oil or coolant has got on the belts and pulleys. It has worked very well every time.

Another plus is that it is almost oderless and non-flammable, washing off with plain water.

A simple home fix that will save you some money by cleaning, instead of replacing parts unnecessarily.


12-02-04, 06:39 PM
Bad news is that they heard the fuel pump squealing and it's probably on its way out to the tune of about $800+...the sending unit alone was priced at $429...And there was a time when I thought I'd never own a project car...LOL...
I don't think you need to change the sending unit, just the pump, about $200 and $200 labor. I'd get another estimate.