Serpentine Belt Cleanliness
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Cadillac Tech Tips - How to fix it Discussion, Serpentine Belt Cleanliness in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Ok this is no big revelation, but I thought of it and it worked nicely for me, so I thought ...
  1. #1
    Tailfin's Avatar
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    Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Ok this is no big revelation, but I thought of it and it worked nicely for me, so I thought I'd share, just in case...

    We all know the belt should be lubricated, and that it can be over lubricated, and that oil and other crap tends to get on our serpentine belts.

    Before I get to this, let me stress to BE CAREFUL if you use this method, as there are some obvious dangers present, both to the vehicle and yourself. I did this on my 1990 Fleetwood, and the belt accessibility favors this method. Keep that in mind in case it's not so on other vehicles.

    Anyway, I had oil all over mine thanks to a leak which I fixed, and particles of junk in it and everything. Trying to clean out the tracks of the belt and the pulleys and everything would have proven a most annoying task.

    First, just start the car and let it idle. Get a can of silicone spray and plaster the belt with it. Then take a rag and hold it against the top of the belt. Spray the underside of the belt as well (On mine it wraps over the water pump with that side up). Between the air pump and power steering pump, again on the 4.x engines, there is room to press the rag on that underside of the belt. This is where care must be taken. Keep a good grip on the rag, as you sure don't want a pulley to catch it and jam it up like so...and even more importantly, your hand(s). Anyway, I got lots of gunk off my belt and it smoothed out well after doing this several times.

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    davesdeville's Avatar
    davesdeville is offline Banned
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Haha, a pulley wouldn't have any problem eating a rag. My belt got ahold of my power wire and fuse holder (for my amp) after a zip tie failed, ate it, spit it out and didn't miss a beat. Not like you want it to eat the rag, but still.

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    Patrick7997's Avatar
    Patrick7997 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Yeah, you're not gonna see this procedure in any safety videos, I assure you of that..... Yikes. If it grabs the rag, it's gonna happen REAL FAST....

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    gc_caddy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Just a thought.

    I would be very careful of spraying silicone around the engine compartment. If the silicone gets sucked into the intake, your Oxygen Sensors will get contaminated.

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    Tailfin's Avatar
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Haha, yeah I thought it might eat the rag ok, but I was putting a disclaimer there for that as well, because if it gets the rag, your hand may follow on said rag . Just know this isn't an "approved" procedure, like Patrick said, and be careful. Don't let any of the rag hang off of your hand. On the top side of the belt (on my car), as long as you're careful, there's not a lot of danger of it catching... It's more the underside. I went between the air pump and the power steering pump...only spot I could get to it...and that, I definitely used MUCH caution.

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Quote Originally Posted by gc_caddy
    Just a thought.

    I would be very careful of spraying silicone around the engine compartment. If the silicone gets sucked into the intake, your Oxygen Sensors will get contaminated.
    Yup, silicone + O2 sensors = $$$$$$$

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    nev131 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    frankly , i would just install new belt

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    I am well acquainted with an ex-submarine engineman, missing the first two fingers on his right hand, who tried exactly what you suggest. A $36 belt is cheap compared to the mess you'll have to clean up after a pulley eats you.

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    caddydaddy's Avatar
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409
    I am well acquainted with an ex-submarine engineman, missing the first two fingers on his right hand, who tried exactly what you suggest. A $36 belt is cheap compared to the mess you'll have to clean up after a pulley eats you.
    LOL, yep! That's a mishap report ready to happen!

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    Night Wolf's Avatar
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    At Advance we sell a speical "belt conditioner" spray made just for this.... I haven't seen the need to it tho.

  12. #11
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Wrap the wrag around a ruler or a stick of some sort tape it to the ruler or stick so it doesnt unwravel. Then comence to cleaning the bottom of the belt.

  13. #12
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Belts to not need lubrication, silicon, dressing, croutons, or salt and pepper.
    It is a belt, you put it on and you drive the car until it needs replaced.
    By applying anything to the belt you are contaminating the surface of the belt and ruining its ability to function properly, not to mention the physical harm the original procedure can induce.
    If you need to do anything to a belt, spray it with some water to remove contaminants. If it is oil soaked, clean the pulleys and get a new belt.

    They are not supposed to "look pretty" they are supposed to drive accessory components, lubricating a belt is akin to spraying super lube on your brake pads.

    Belt Dressing Notice
    Notice: Do not use belt dressing on the drive belt. Belt dressing causes the breakdown of the composition of the drive belt. Failure to follow this recommendation will damage the drive belt.

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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness



    Never, never try to clean or "dress" a serpentine belt with any sort of product. Both sides of both belts (Northstar accessory and water pump) ride on pulleys and tensioners. Coating a serpentine belt with goo or polishes is inviting disaster, especially during one of our midnight WOT runs..........

  15. #14
    jupiterpbc is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Serpentine Belt Cleanliness

    Folks, I have rarely posted over nearly five years, but you have to be "loose in the cranial department" to even consider this procedure. Forget the disclaimer and insure your safety!

    Clean all surfaces of any petroleum residue and replace the belt!

    Not only do I subscribe to the theory of well-deserved Darwin Awards, but we mustn't forget our beloved circus purveyor, P.T. Barnum. Just substitute dumbass for sucker.

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