: Tremendous Belt Noise



bstrang6
02-28-13, 08:19 PM
So I bought the truck and noticed that it had a small amount of belt noise while it was idling, but couldn't really hear it much going down the road. It wasn't a constant screaming noise, more of a 'Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp Chirp' that increased with the idle.

Well It got a bit worse, and finally the alternator actually went out in my truck. So, while I had the alternator out getting bench tested the guy mentioned that the bearing was shot, and it sounded like hell. I thought, SWEET, two birds with one stone eh? Not so much. I put the new alternator on and the truck ran quiet as a church mouse. Drove it home, parked it, and later that evening used my remote start to warm the truck. Once I left the front door I could hear a tremendous CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP coming from my truck ( 2003 escalade 6.0 w/ 129k miles on it )

So I do some research and come to find that the tensioner is a likely culprit, and I can buy the tensioner pulley for 17 bucks from Oriley's, so I have them holding one for when I get off work. Meanwhile I grab a can of wd40 and spray the belt down, and the noise goes away. It came right back after a short trip home. So while the truck is running and chirping away, I pinpoint the tensioner and hose down the pulley front and back, ( not the belt ) and the noise went away for a few seconds.

Would it be safe to assume this is my culprit? Should I grab a new belt at the same time? Oriley's has just the pulley, not the whole tensioner, should I replace the whole tensioner instead?

pmartell12
02-28-13, 10:03 PM
I had a similar noise in mine last year.. so I took it to my uncle's garage, he replaced the tensioner pulley, and the idler pully. (cost me $55)

as for replacing the tensioner pulley vs. the whole tensioner.... I would do the whole thing,,, they are usually around $50.. and for the time it takes to change it, I would do it right the first time

the cadillac man
02-28-13, 10:41 PM
I had a similar noise in mine last year.. so I took it to my uncle's garage, he replaced the tensioner pulley, and the idler pully. (cost me $55)

as for replacing the tensioner pulley vs. the whole tensioner.... I would do the whole thing,,, they are usually around $50.. and for the time it takes to change it, I would do it right the first time

I agree as I think someone tried to replace the bearings in the ac tensioner on my moms 02 and last time I drove it the ac kicked in and the belt squealed like crazy so I guess the tensioner will need replacing
I had both done on my 03. When I had the belts changed as the bearings were driving me crazy after awhile of driving

bstrang6
02-28-13, 10:55 PM
Well I may have messed up lol. I purchased the pulley only, not the whole assembly. It was only 17 bucks, so no biggie. The belt was going to be 50 bucks for a gates, so I passed on it for now, If the pulley doesn't fix it I will probably spring for a new belt. If that doesn't fix it I will probably just drive it like this until the weather breaks and its not such a pain in the ass to work on the truck. Is it possible to do more damage by driving it like this? Could this chirping belt be something that I need to address before it gets worse and does even more expensive damage to my truck, or more than likely just an annoyance that I will just have to live with for now?


And just to restate the trouble shooting

Belt Noise,
Spray belt with wd40, noise goes away, comes back
Spray tensioner pulley ( not belt, but the front and back sides of the pulley itself ) with wd 40, noise goes away, but comes back.

I have a feeling that spraying the belt is allowing it to glide over the tensioner, and spraying the pulley is lubing the bearing up.

the cadillac man
02-28-13, 11:06 PM
Well I may have messed up lol. I purchased the pulley only, not the whole assembly. It was only 17 bucks, so no biggie. The belt was going to be 50 bucks for a gates, so I passed on it for now, If the pulley doesn't fix it I will probably spring for a new belt. If that doesn't fix it I will probably just drive it like this until the weather breaks and its not such a pain in the ass to work on the truck. Is it possible to do more damage by driving it like this? Could this chirping belt be something that I need to address before it gets worse and does even more expensive damage to my truck, or more than likely just an annoyance that I will just have to live with for now?

And just to restate the trouble shooting

Belt Noise,
Spray belt with wd40, noise goes away, comes back
Spray tensioner pulley ( not belt, but the front and back sides of the pulley itself ) with wd 40, noise goes away, but comes back.

I have a feeling that spraying the belt is allowing it to glide over the tensioner, and spraying the pulley is lubing the bearing up.

It may or may not hurt it to drive it like it is but I do suggest getting the whole assembly next time since its less of a headache

bstrang6
02-28-13, 11:33 PM
How do I swap just the pulley? The more I think about it the more it sounds hard. I know to loosen the tension on the belt I turn the bolt clock wise if I am looking at the truck from the front. So do I remove the belt, then just turn the tension'ers bolt ( same one used to release tension on serp belt ) counter clockwise?

the cadillac man
03-01-13, 02:25 AM
How do I swap just the pulley? The more I think about it the more it sounds hard. I know to loosen the tension on the belt I turn the bolt clock wise if I am looking at the truck from the front. So do I remove the belt, then just turn the tension'ers bolt ( same one used to release tension on serp belt ) counter clockwise?

I have never thought of how it comes off I may take a look at my old one if it hasn't got lost or thrown away(I kept my main belt tensioner and the ac belt tensioner when I had them replaced)

6lbsofSound
03-01-13, 01:49 PM
Remove the belt once you release the tension from pulley. You can do this with a breaker bar and socket. To change the pulley you need to remove the tensioner anyway, thats why it makes sense to replace the whole unit versus the pulley. And to be on the safe said I would replace the belt as well, if you havent done so. Cheap insurance as the belt strecthes over time and the tensioner takes up that slack. You can run the old belt for a short time but I wouldnt suggest it. A new tensioner on an old belt will cause more wear on the tensioner and the belt stretch on the old one can cause it wear or break faster.

jnrsesv
03-01-13, 03:01 PM
While you are in doing the main serpentine thingie. You may want to check the AC serpentine belt and tensioner its often over looked. Location is lower left of engine when viewing standing in front of vehicle.

Often when any type of liquid ie.. coolant, oil, even the old style belt dressing gets on a serpentine belt it squeeks "chirps" forever and replacement is inevitable.

the cadillac man
03-01-13, 05:28 PM
While you are in doing the main serpentine thingie. You may want to check the AC serpentine belt and tensioner its often over looked. Location is lower left of engine when viewing standing in front of vehicle.

Often when any type of liquid ie.. coolant, oil, even the old style belt dressing gets on a serpentine belt it squeeks "chirps" forever and replacement is inevitable.

I agree the ac belt on mine was ready to snap before I replaced it