Serpentine Belt Question?
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Serpentine Belt Question? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I came across this thread for replacing the serpentine belt. Nice procedure! Does anyone know approximately when the belt should ...
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    jammgm's Avatar
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    Serpentine Belt Question?

    I came across this thread for replacing the serpentine belt. Nice procedure!
    Does anyone know approximately when the belt should be replaced? Mine is the original belt of 15 years and 113,000 miles and was told it was fine when I last had it checked.

    I have a clicking noise coming from somewhere near the pulleys when the car is idling in gear and going to pop the belt off to find what's causing it.
    I figure if it needs to be replaced, I'd do that too.

    Can anyone tell me when a serpentine belt should be replaced or how to check if it needs replacing?
    I have a clicking noise coming from somewhere in the pulleys when the car is in gear at a low idle and need to pop it off to find the cause and replace if needed. Mine is the original belt of 15 years and 113,000 miles.

    I found all the forum links on how to replace it so I'm good there. Thanks everyone!

    Thanks,

    Jim

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Changing the Serpentine belt on a VIN Y Northstar V8

    If there are chunks missing from the belt it needs replacing. Cracks are normal.

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    vincentm's Avatar
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    you sure it's the original? Does the belt have any cracks in it? FSM states:
    1. Remove the drive belt.
    2. Run the engine for no more than 30 to 40 seconds, in order to confirm that the engine noise disappears.
    3. Inspect the power steering pulley for proper alignment.
    4. Inspect all other pulleys for excess paint, debris or pills in the grooves.
    5. Clean the pulleys with a wire brush, as necessary.
    6. Removal:
    1. Install a 1/2 inch drive extension into the belt drive tensioner (6).
    2. Push down on the extension to release tension.
    3. Remove the drive belt from the power steering pump (13
    4. Slowly return the tensioner to the original position.
    5. Remove the belt.
    INSTALLATION
    1. Thread the drive belt through all the pulleys except for the power steering pump (1) and the drive belt tensioner (6).
    2. Insert a 1/2 inch drive extension into the drive belt tensioner.
    3. Push down on the tensioner and feed the belt around the tensioner wheel.
    4. With the tension applied, complete the belt routing. Make sure the belt is properly seated in all pulleys.
    5. Slowly return the tensioner back to its original position. This will apply tension to the drive belt.
    6. After installation, check the belt for proper seating on the pulleys, proper routing and alignment.
    7. Start the engine and check for proper belt and accessory operation.

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    Mafiaman111 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    I read somewhere before the belt should be changed every 25,000 or 30,000 and so many cracks in the groves was a reason to change it

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by jammgm View Post
    Can anyone tell me when a serpentine belt should be replaced or how to check if it needs replacing?
    I have a clicking noise coming from somewhere in the pulleys when the car is in gear at a low idle and need to pop it off to find the cause and replace if needed. Mine is the original belt of 15 years and 113,000 miles.

    I found all the forum links on how to replace it so I'm good there. Thanks everyone!

    Thanks,

    Jim
    --------------------------------
    Mine is the original belt of 15 years and 113,000 miles.
    IF it is the original - you are long overdue -

    I have a clicking noise coming from somewhere in the pulleys
    you usually do NOT get a clicking noise from a belt -
    that sound IS usually from an idler pulley going bad -

    with the tension off the belt - there should be NO play in the idler pulley -
    if there is - replace it -

    while your at it - check the water pump drive belt - and pulleys -

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    Guys, thanks for the quick feedback!

    I'm pretty sure it's the original belt since I'm the original owner and don't recall ever replacing it. I'll check for cracks as well.
    As for the clicking noise, my suspicion is that the idler pulley is bad which would be better than anything else being bad.

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    stoveguyy is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Don't want to start a poll here but, I have never met someone who actually has broken a serp belt. I think a crazy beaver could chomp on a serp belt and it would still work fine.

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    Re: Changing the Serpentine belt on a VIN Y Northstar V8

    Even the GM service manual says that, unless the Kevlar backing is shredding or the V-grooves and/or ribs are missing chunks, the belt is serviceable. Cracking across the V-ribs is normal and is not cause for replacement.

    BUT - 100,000 miles is MY absolute limit as to how far I want to test fate. (Especially the way I exercise the engine) Think of the strain on the ribs when that belt bends backwards to turn around a smooth pulley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafiaman111 View Post
    I read somewhere before the belt should be changed every 25,000 or 30,000 and so many cracks in the groves was a reason to change it
    You read wrong. These belts will last well over 25-30K as evidenced by yours. Cracks are normal, missing chunks are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by stoveguyy View Post
    Don't want to start a poll here but, I have never met someone who actually has broken a serp belt. I think a crazy beaver could chomp on a serp belt and it would still work fine.
    I agree. While I have changed more V belts than I care to remember, I have yet to change a serp belt. These things are totally different animals.

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    This thread may look a bit weird - the OP posted the identical question in another thread in Engines, Northstar. They have been merged here.

    jammgm, Please do not multiple post the same question in different forums - let one work for you - it keeps all advice on the same question in the same place for all to see. Thanks.

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    I thought it sounded familiar like I had answered it before.

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    I've only had them break when something seize or damaged pulley.
    I would change my Park Ave belt every couple years because it was such a pain and if it broke on the road that bill was going to hurt. Have to remove engine mount as the belt goes through it. Got it down to 3 hr's or so.

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    Hey Rod, was that on the 3800? Ben there, but I don't recall it taking that long.

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    rodnok01's Avatar
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    Yes it was the 3800... There is almost zero room to get the mount off on a 99PA.

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Question?

    The time for changing a serpentine belt is when the top ridges of the pulleys touch the bottom of the grooves in the belt.
    The belt looks like this VVVV so do the pulley. The V's of a brand new belt are slightly deeper than the pulley. So the pulley rides on the peaks of the belt, the peaks of the pulley are not touching the bottom of the groves on the belt (see below):
    VVVVV - Belt
    vvvvv - Pulley
    As the time pass the belt sunken more and more into the pulley. When the pulley peaks are touching the bottom of the belt groves then you have greater friction and may start hearing belt squeaks (I assume ideal condition no contamination/misalignment on the belt because that can cause even a new belt to squeak). The belt does stretches in time (neglectable anyway) and is nothing that the tensioner spring cannot compensate.
    They say this is the time when the belt should be replaced if there are no obvious cracks on the belt.
    If there are cracks (few are normal) more than 3 per inch are considered end of serviceable life.
    So whichever comes first is the end of the belt.
    I am sure if pretty much impossible to detect when the belt is sunken all the way into the pulley grooves. Squeaks can be caused by other things so a squeaky belt doesn't necessarily means belt is done.
    So the best practice is, if you have repetitive cracks all around the belt (across the V's) or there are many missing chunks on these V's or the belt squeaks (and alignment is OK and there is no contamination) then you may consider replacing it.
    Our cars will run for at least 20 miles with a broken accessories belt (until will drain the battery) or few miles with the broken WP belt until will overheat (and then another 20-30 miles in limp mode but DON'T try it!).
    So breaking a belt is annoying but nothing else.

    I changed both my belts because the accessories belt had few cracks (nothing that will classify in the 3 per inch) when the vehicle was 13 years old (~150K). I could have easily run on the same belts today.
    Think the timing belts are usually replaced after 60K (and we all know what a broken timing belt do to an engine), accessories belts are nowhere near as critical. But on the other hand are cheap so if you are the kind of person that likes to play safe even if the belt shows no signs of wear but you get nervous because of the age or mileage by all means have it replaced is only a 10 minutes job.

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