Power steering belt squealing

Posted by dsm1103, Apr 15, 2012
Maintenance & Repairs - Oil choices, timing belt, setting timing, CV boot replacement, alternator servicing, fuse/relay checks, and other basic maintenance, repair and diagnosis discussions.

  1. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    medina, Ohio
    Here's the story sorry if it's not the shortest version but I want to get in all the details that way you guys can help me better. My power steering belt was starting to get worn so I figured I would replace it. There was no noise whatsoever before I took off the belt. I went and bought a cheap belt from Autozone thinking a belt is a belt. Slapped the new one on. Tightened it up good, started it up and it's squealing like a pig constantly. No matter how long I drive it the noise is always there and it's not the quietest thing in he world. I noticed that the higher the Rpms the louder it gets and when I push in the clutch at a stop light or stop sign it quiets down a tad, but still very annoying. I know the belt is tight. I just don't understand why it wasn't making noise with the old belt but once I put the new one on its making noise. I know the pump is good. Anyone have any suggestion or ideas. Thanks
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  2. NEMESIS_RYDER

    NEMESIS_RYDER Probationary Member

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    Are you letting the car warm up when it's been sitting for a while? Also more then likely your going to have to pull the belt back off, use your hand and check the wheel it should turn freely if it doesn't then your going to need a new pump also check the tensioner also while your taking the belt off.
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  3. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    medina, Ohio
    No matter whether the car is cold or at operating temp it still squeals the same. Alright I'll take it back off and see. Is there something I could clean the belt with just in case something got on the belt?
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  4. 007jimmy

    007jimmy Proven Member

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    Did you clean the pulley off before the install? A wire brush does wonders. Also make sure you didn't get any type of fluids/grime on the belt itself.
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  5. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    No I did not clean anything I was spraying some pb blaster on the tensioner bolt and some possibly might have got on it. Would that make it squeal and how do I clean it?
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  6. Demon33

    Demon33 Proven Member

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    +1 on the wire brush. It might just be coincidental, but check the alternator belt too. They have been historically known to squeal. I went through this last year too. I thought it was my power steering belt that was making all the noise, but it turned out to be the alternator belt instead. Long story short, installing a new alternator belt didn't solve the problem. Cleaning the alternator pulley off and sanding the grooves to roughen them up a bit solved the problem and it's never squeaked since. Of course, proper tension on the belts is critical too. Good luck.
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  7. 007jimmy

    007jimmy Proven Member

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    This is probably why your belt squeals. The pulleys should wipe clean with some cleaner rather easily then take a small wire brush and go to town on the dirt/corrosion that's on it. Now if the belt is contaminated too much you might need a new one. But try cleaning the pulleys first to see if thats the problem. Make sure you have proper tension as a belt that is too tight will wear down the bearings in the pulleys and create more problems later.:thumb:
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  8. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    medina, Ohio
    Ok thanks I'm going to go out now and play around with it. I've heard that these cars have a sweet spot for the right tension is that true. How do I know what's too lose and what's too tight?
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  9. 007jimmy

    007jimmy Proven Member

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    Levittown, Pennsylvania
    Should be around 1/4inch deflection.
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  10. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    Ok do I just use brake cleaner to clean everything off then use the wire brush?

    Ok so I just took the belt off and all the pullys spin freely. I'm going to clean them up. Can I clean the belt with something to make sure I don't have any fluids on it?
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  11. 007jimmy

    007jimmy Proven Member

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    Levittown, Pennsylvania
    Best you could do is wipe the belt down with a rag. There isn't much else you could do to clean it. Solvents/cleaners tend to break the rubber down.
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  12. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    Ok cleaned everything and put it back on started it up and no noise. I let it run a few minutes and there it was ... The squealing is back ???????????
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  13. necrotopsy

    necrotopsy Proven Member

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    in my experience... you have to put a new belt on as tight as you can get it. run it for awhile, and when it starts squealing, tighten it again, but this time just tight enough so there isn't any "looseness" to it.

    a new belt will stretch a bit, and with a manule tensioner like ours, you have to re-adjust it after the stretch.
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  14. ampsyco

    ampsyco Probationary Member

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    are you sure the belts not wider than the old one ??? where it sits in the pulley ?? check it against the old one. maybe they gave you the wrong belt.
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  15. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    Nampa, Idaho
    NOW, what doesn't that surprise me coming from Autozone??

    Goto NAPA auto and give them your information and they'll get you a nice GATES belt that is designed for the DSM setup-what I have in mine is Gates for ALT and PS. I set the quarter inch deflection and never experienced squeals..

    My DSM doesn't see AZ, period.
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  16. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    No it's the exact same belt because I double checked. I got it now to he point where it doesn't make noise at idle but will start making noise as soon as i hit the gas. Higher the Rpms the louder it seems. Also seems to get louder when it gets hot

    Could it be the belt is slipping somewhere? How do I check for that?
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  17. ampsyco

    ampsyco Probationary Member

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    if you have the right belt and its adjusted right then you need to check your pulley alignment. male sure its straight and even with the other pulleys.

    you may have an issue with your power steering pump. maybe its making too much pressure and the belts slipping . you could check that with a hydraulic pressure gauge.
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  18. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    So since I messed with the belt almost all day I tried everything and checked everything. One thing I didn't try was to loosen up the belt. I loosened the bolts and started the car and played with the tension. Once I loosened it up some it seemed to stop squeaking. Now every so often I hear a chirp when the rpms are higher then idle. I might try and buy a new belt again because maybe it got contaminated when I was spraying pb blaster on the tensioner bolt. Is it likely that could have happened and that's what the small chirp is?
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  19. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    Nampa, Idaho
    ...could be the ALT belt chirping .. did you check this as well?

    Remember, when the system is under power, the ALT is working to keep the battery charged since it's the battery running the system, not the ALT.
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  20. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    The noise is most definitely coming from power steering belt. Im going to say its all tension, I just haven't found the "sweet" spot... Or... The pb blaster contaminated the belt. Everything else checks out fine
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  21. meliketoball

    meliketoball Proven Member

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    Show us a pic and also, check the tension of the belt. A loose belt will squeak like a mofo!
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  22. dsm1103

    dsm1103 Proven Member

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    Well I took the belt back just so I know it's not contaminated. I got the next grade up which was a dayco and slapped it on. I noticed some surface rust on the idler pully so i just took some sand paper to it and it came clean. The i Started the car and while it was running adjusted the tension. I think I was putting it on too tight cause the more I loosened it the quieter it got. It's not making noise anymore and hopefully it stays that way.
    #22
  23. Davids97Eclipse

    Davids97Eclipse Proven Member

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    My belt was squeaking due to a bent power steering bracket it was rubbing on the side of pulley.
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  24. dalesmitsu

    dalesmitsu Proven Member

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    Mine squeels, everytime when turning the steering wheel. If you spray wd40 on pulley it will stop, for awhile but will come back eventually. Tensioner or pully(pump) would need replaced.
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  25. Coldsou

    Coldsou Proven Member

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    I've been having the same problem described by OP. I gave this a shot and the problem is now gone! It seems like common sense but I really didn't think about cleaning the pulleys. Thanks!
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