Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; So my mechanic just replaced the alternator on my '97 SLS and now I've got a really bad squeak from ...
  1. #1
    digitalcaddie is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    So my mechanic just replaced the alternator on my '97 SLS and now I've got a really bad squeak from the serpentine belt. Did I get a bad part? After the engine gets warm, the noise goes away while idling which leads me to believe the problem is not the alternator bearings. But as soon as I speed up the engine (in gear or neutral), the squeak gets pretty bad. If the pulley is out of alignment, how do you fix/adjust that? I like the car, but it seems like I can't go 30 days without fixing/replacing something... Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions. -digital

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    count the number of grooves on the alt pulley. Should be 6.

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    clarkz71's Avatar
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    I could just be the mechanic got some grease on the belt while re-installing it.

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    digitalcaddie is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    OK...so if my mechanic got grease on the belt, whats the best way to clean it off? I read a couple posts saying put belt dressing on the belt, but several people had theirs squeaks get worse with too much dressing. So if thats the way to go, then how can you tell if you get too much on there?

    The number of grooves in the alternator pulley is the same as the number on the belt.

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Look at the belt, do you see evidence of grease or oil? Is it slick, shiny, or cracked and hard?

    If it's in good shape clean it with some type of cleaner (Alcohol, small amount of carb cleaner or brake cleaner) and apply some belt dressing. If you can take it off you can clean the pulleys better and check for noisy bearings.

    You don't soak it in belt dressing. A few quick shots in various spots around the belt is all you need.

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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Why not take it back to the mechanic who replaced it and let him clean the belt?

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    digitalcaddie is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Good point, Ranger. Problem is my mechanic's shop is 45 minutes from my house or work which isn't very convenient. The guy's honest and much cheaper than the dealer so thats why I go to him although in this case it appears like I got what I paid for (ie the alternator is installed, but maybe his carelessness caused this other problem).

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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Yeah I was going to say take it back but it is kinda far...

    My car squeaks in the cold too...I just never bothered to fix it. Never did any major repairs to the engine though. I know if I put some water on the belt when it is spinning the sound goes away. Not sure if that means anything (grease, needs lube...)

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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Well, that being the case, make sure that the belt tensioner is applying enough tension. Then remove the belt and clean it soap and water or some type of degreaser. You could do it on the car by releasing belt tension, moving the belt and cleaning a section, then move it again and clean til you get the whole belt done.

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Or you could just replace the belt... I think they're about $20.

    I had a squeek I couldn't figure out... new belt fixed it. Tried everything and a half to get rid of it... new tensioner, idler pullies...

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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by eldorado1 View Post
    Or you could just replace the belt... I think they're about $20.

    I had a squeek I couldn't figure out... new belt fixed it. Tried everything and a half to get rid of it... new tensioner, idler pullies...
    Hold a bar of soap to the grooved side of the belt long enough for the belt to go all the way around a couple of times. It's been the standard fix for a squealing belt for a hundred years.

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    and saw dust will fix a slipping tranny.....

    what's your point?

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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    Hold a bar of soap to the grooved side of the belt long enough for the belt to go all the way around a couple of times. It's been the standard fix for a squealing belt for a hundred years.
    Or...... you could just replace the belt. I agree with Eldo on that.

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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    I would be scared the soap would cause it to slip...I say change too.

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    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Alternator Replaced, Now Belt Squeaks, How to Fix?

    Don't smear or spray anything on the belt.
    That will only be a temporary repair. The pulleys should be clean and dry.

    Typical things that cause a belt to squeal are pulley misalignment, improper belt installation, or contaminants such as belt dressing or coolant.
    Make sure the grooves in the belt align with the grooves in ALL the pulleys. Sometimes one will move over a groove and will cause the belt to pull between two pulleys, making it squeak.
    If all the pulleys look good and the belt is on all the way you might just consider replacing the belt.
    Contamination on a N* is not really an issue since the coolant is on the back mostly. Dex cool can be a real squeaker if you get it on the belts.
    If your alternator is one of the ones that is liquid cooled, then it's possible homey got Dex all over it.

    If the belt is installed properly and the tensioner looks good, I'd replace the belt.

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