Here’s a scene for you: Just imagine, it’s a normal sunny day. You get ready for the office, sit in your car, drive a few miles, and then you notice a sharp, shrill, ear-piercing noise coming out of your car. And gets louder with each acceleration and every turn. Is that sound getting on your nerves? Well, perhaps the reason is serpentine belt noise. Want to know more about it? Stay tuned!
What Causes Serpentine Belt Noise?
What is the reason behind the squealing your engine is making? A car produces an agglomeration of sounds ranging from clunking when braking, loud bangs on bumps, and slow buzzing under the car to frizzling under the snood. But most of these sounds are merely the default noises a car is supposed to make, indicating the perfect performance of the vehicle. But you know it when you hear the wrong noise. It may be indicating any underlying serious problem.
A sure shot sign of a bad serpentine belt is that a persisting continuous noise can be heard coming from the front end of the vehicle near the engine. You will hear a high-pitched nerve-wrenching squeal each time you start the engine. It gets louder while accelerating and taking a U-turn. Below are some of the other signs indicating bad serpentine:
1. Abnormal Shrieks
The most obvious one is those unexplained sounds you hear. Above I have shared plenty of information about it so I will not talk about it again, so let’s move to other topics.
2. Steering Malfunction
It is the unsafest one of all, so placing it on top of the list. The serpentine belt is directly linked with the steering power pump directly in most car models today. In this case, whenever you try to turn you will find it very difficult to rotate the steering wheel and hear serpentine belt noise simultaneously.
It’s one of the first symptoms of a system’s failure, the cause can vary. Serpentine belt plays a mentionable role in keeping engine temperature cool indirectly. If the belt falls, you will notice your car engine’s temperature boost up in no time.
4. Poor Battery Life
Since the power required to charge the battery is generated via the serpentine belt, thus once the belt falls, your battery will drain out more quickly than expected.
5. Poor Quality Or Worn Out Belt
Serpentine belt noise is a common problem with old cars as the belt erodes due to friction over time. As the edges are worn out now, they start slipping or the weakened belt may snap.
6. Loosened Belt
When exposed to rough terrain and uneven bumps, sometimes the belt displaces from its position triggering serpentine belt noise. It may happen due to excessive use of lubes, grease, and lubricants.
7. AC Troubles
When you start your system’s AC, you may notice it isn’t running as smoothly as it should. And the noise pitch gets higher while escalating with AC turned on.
8. Alternator Damage
The alternator found under the hood of your car’s engine may get worn out after traveling a few miles. The bearings and bolts may wear out thus system’s serpentine belt noise can be heard.
9. Bad Pulleys
In case your luck is not much supportive, worn-out pulley bearings may be the culprit o your trouble caused.
10. Excessive Stretching
Another possible cause is that maybe the belt has stretched beyond repair.
P.S. IF YOU HEAR CHIRPING WHILE APPLYING THE BRAKE THEN IT IS PROBABLY RELATED TO A FAULTY BRAKE SYSTEM RATHER THAN SERPENTINE BELT NOISE.
How To Get Rid Of Serpentine Belt Noise?
Since I have already mentioned a long list of root causes in detail so by repairing the above malfunctions you can easily get rid of this problem. Get a searchlight and search for the potential spots of the problem caused. Check the belt all over thoroughly for any damage or wearing.
It will be best if you can spot the problem but in case you are unable to find any fault take professional help. Get your car to a mechanic and repair the faulty parts. The high possibility zones are namely:
- Between the belt’s tension marks
- Around the belt
- glazing on belt
- Along the ribs
- Missing chunks on the
- Coolant storage area(for leaks)
- Pulley grooves
Cost Of Repair
Serpentine Belt Noise is a comparatively low-cost repair as the belts are accessible everywhere at quite an affordable cost. So here is an estimate data for your convenience:
1. Self Repair
In case you are planning to get your hands dirty to rescue your pocket then it will cost you anywhere between $40-$70. In case you go for the quality belts then the cost may increase significantly.
2. Professional Help
If you go for professional help, including labor charges and taxes it can range from $150-$300. It will vary from place to place and model to model.
Is It Safe To Drive With Squealing Serpentine Belt Noise?
Well in general conditions, it is almost impossible to deal with that uncanny shriek every day while driving. Moreover, t is extremely unsafe to do so and is highly objectionable. It can not only risk your car’s life but put your and your loved one’s life at risk too. Your vehicle can start malfunctioning and can become inoperable in the middle of nowhere.
Also as mentioned above, stiff steering is a potential hazard too. although you can take your own sweet time to repair it, it should not exceed more than a week due to safety risks. It can trigger further damage to other parts too.
Frequently Asked Questions-
So, here are some of the frequently asked questions about how do I know if my serpentine belt is bad, what to do if your belt is making noise, etc?-
How Do I Know If My Serpentine Belt Is Bad?
Get a flashlight and open the hood. You’ll check the belt all the way around, including the underside and every pulley it runs on. If nothing turns out during your preliminary check, inspect the belt and pulleys closely by removing the belt.
What To Do If Your Belt Is Making Noise?
If you have a hard-to-isolate accessory drive belt noise, try removing the belt and running the engine. If the noise is still present after the belt is removed, it might be an issue with the motor mounts or the timing chain/belt.
How Do You Fix A Squeaky Belt On A Lawn Tractor?
Fix a Squeaky Belt With Bar Soap A squeaky belt may be a loose belt, or there may be dirt, oil, or grease on a pulley causing the belt to slip. Bar soap applied to the ribbed side of the belt may quiet the noise in the short-haul, or make it louder.
When Does A Serpentine Belt Need To Be Replaced?
Eventually, your car’s serpentine belt will wear down from continuous exposure to heat and friction and will need to be replaced
Where Do I Find The Serpentine Belt Routing Diagram?
Many cars come with a sticker in the engine bay that shows exactly how the serpentine belt is supposed to be routed through the various pulleys on the engine. If your vehicle does not have a sticker, you will need to find another way to remember how the belt should be run.
I have provided information regarding serpentine belt noise to the best of my knowledge. So I hope you like it. For more interesting facts and knowledge stay tuned to our blogs. Let me know below if you like today’s post or not.