Belt problem
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Belt problem in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hi, I'd like to know what is the big belt on the left of the engine because I've got a ...
  1. #1
    ecarca is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Belt problem

    Hi,

    I'd like to know what is the big belt on the left of the engine because I've got a problem with it. I think it's the belt that drives all accessories but I'm not sure of it.
    The thing is that this belt does a strange noise and also gets really hot, with a nice burnt plastic smell coming out the engine bay.
    I was afraid that it was a timing belt but didn't have internet to check (french countryside, no cadillac dealers closer than 180 miles and on a sunday) and discovered later that it was a timing chain on Northstar engines. Still to prevent any damage I got back home (Paris, 220 miles from where I left My 95 Eldorado TC) with a rental car.
    I'd like to know if anybody ever had a similar problem and if I can drive with the car any longer. I think I'm going to rent a truck to pick it up and bring it to my Cadillac dealer as long as I wouldn't like to **** the engine up (the car has only 45K miles on it).
    Also I had previously a transmission problem as long as the automatic transmission doesn't shift in 4th so I have only 3 gears left, maybe electronic problem ? Do you guys have ideas ?

    Thanks for your answer.

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    unruley247 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Belt problem

    Sounds like you have a bad idler pulley or auto tensoner.

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Belt problem

    It is called the serpentine belt and does infact drive all the accessories, except the water pump. That belt is smaller and on the other side. I agree with unruley, probbably a tensioner or idler wheel bearing frozen causing the belt to slide over the wheel and burning.

  5. #4
    ecarca is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Belt problem

    Quote Originally Posted by unruley247 View Post
    Sounds like you have a bad idler pulley or auto tensoner.
    Thanks for your answer. I remember I tried to look at the engine while it was running and apparently the crankshaft pulley wasn't turning straight ......... I don't know if it is because of a bad tension (all other pulleys looked like they were turning straight) or if there is a problem with that pulley. Any idea ? Thanks

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    ecarca is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Belt problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    It is called the serpentine belt and does infact drive all the accessories, except the water pump. That belt is smaller and on the other side. I agree with unruley, probbably a tensioner or idler wheel bearing frozen causing the belt to slide over the wheel and burning.
    Do you think it is safe to try the 220 miles trip to my dealer ?
    It only does that sound and smell for a day.........
    What if the belt brakes ? I guess no steering assistance, no alternator ....

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    Re: Belt problem

    I think the crankshaft pully has an elsatomer dampener (the rubber between the inner & outer pully). If that bond breaks, the pully can begin to wobble.

    use a 1/2" drive breaker bar and put the drive lug in the square hole on the backside of the tensioner. Use that as a lever to release tension (engine off). Now you can spin the idler and tensioner pullies by hand to see if they are seized.

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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Belt problem

    If one of the bearings are siezed and the belt is sliding over a non-spinning wheel, you'll never make it 220 miles. You'll have to diagnose it and know for sure what you are dealing with.

  9. #8
    ecarca is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Belt problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    If one of the bearings are siezed and the belt is sliding over a non-spinning wheel, you'll never make it 220 miles. You'll have to diagnose it and know for sure what you are dealing with.
    My problem is that the car is 220 miles away from me and the dealer so I can't really check it. I'll give the dealer a call tomorrow to see what he thinks about it.
    I am pretty sure all the wheels (pulleys ? I think it is what you mean) are spinning but I'm not sure how bad the belt is sliding.
    If it only the crankshaft pulley that wobbles maybe it only eat the belt on the sides and I have maybe a chance to make it.
    I think it is maybe safer to rent a truck to bring it back.

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    Re: Belt problem

    You could always bring a 1/2" drive breaker bar and a spare belt with you and try to drive it home. Even two belts would be cheaper than a truck.

  11. #10
    unruley247 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Belt problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    You could always bring a 1/2" drive breaker bar and a spare belt with you and try to drive it home. Even two belts would be cheaper than a truck.
    That would be alot safer and you should beable to make it home or dealer.

  12. #11
    ecarca is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Belt problem

    Quote Originally Posted by unruley247 View Post
    That would be alot safer and you should beable to make it home or dealer.
    Thanks for your advices, I think I'll try this spare belts solution in 1 or 2 weeks. We'll also go with another car following so if there's a problem we'll trail it.
    I'll let you know what is the exact problem.

    By the way any idea about the trans (It was happening before the belt problem) ??? It doesn't shift in 4th and I have the "service engine soon" light.... also sometimes when I start the car I don't have any "service engine soon" light and it appears after about 1 mile driving and then the trans doesn't go further than the 2nd gear (also goes back in second if I'm already in third). I think it's maybe an electronic security or something. Then when I stop/start the car the light is displayed right away and the trans works as usual on 1st 2nd 3rd gear except for the 4th that is still not working.

    Thanks

  13. #12
    unruley247 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Belt problem

    Quote Originally Posted by ecarca View Post
    Thanks for your advices, I think I'll try this spare belts solution in 1 or 2 weeks. We'll also go with another car following so if there's a problem we'll trail it.
    I'll let you know what is the exact problem.

    By the way any idea about the trans (It was happening before the belt problem) ??? It doesn't shift in 4th and I have the "service engine soon" light.... also sometimes when I start the car I don't have any "service engine soon" light and it appears after about 1 mile driving and then the trans doesn't go further than the 2nd gear (also goes back in second if I'm already in third). I think it's maybe an electronic security or something. Then when I stop/start the car the light is displayed right away and the trans works as usual on 1st 2nd 3rd gear except for the 4th that is still not working.

    Thanks
    If trans is giving you a service code your dealership will beable 2 pull it and tell you the problem.

  14. #13
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Belt problem

    Be sure to take along a pinic lunch and some wine so if it gives you trouble you can stop in that beautiful countryside for a few more belts.

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    Re: Belt problem

    Your trans problem sounds like shift solenoids. It should have set a DTC. Pull the codes.

  16. #15
    ecarca is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Belt problem

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    Be sure to take along a pinic lunch and some wine so if it gives you trouble you can stop in that beautiful countryside for a few more belts.
    ;-)

    The trunk is filled with 5 box of 6 bottles each that I was bringing back from the south....... it wasn't fitting in the rental car (stupid renault megane).

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