Why does my alternator belt squeal so much on initial start up?

Posted by njdaewoo, May 14, 2010
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. njdaewoo

    njdaewoo Proven Member

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    Piscataway, New_Jersey
    Hello all,
    My question is, whenever my car sits overnight. The initial cranking in the morning causes the alternator belt to really squeal. I replaced the belt and adjusted the new belt's tension several times but it has no effect on the morning squeal! After about 30 second or so the squeal stops and its good for the rest of the day. Is this a sign the alternator is on its way out? Thanx for any replies...
     
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  2. XtsiXguyX

    XtsiXguyX Probationary Member

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    I have the same problem and would like to know the answer as well...
     
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  3. FLASH1970

    FLASH1970 Proven Member

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    How much belt deflection is there when you tighten it?
     
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  4. jnbracing

    jnbracing Proven Member

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    If the belt is good and adjusted properly, what condition are the pulleys in? Any rust on them?
     
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  5. Aceman

    Aceman Proven Member

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    It might be your harmonic dampener(aka harmonic balancer, crank pulley damper, crankshaft damper, torsional damper, vibration damper). If that thing goes it can cause some major problems. Check this thread out:

    I changed my harmonic dampener just in time *Pics & Video*
     
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  6. marcmsj

    marcmsj Proven Member

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    Laurel, Maryland
    Have you tried another brand belt? Another old trick would be to lightly sand the pulley and rough them up a bit, this will give more grip between the pulley and belt.
     
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  7. xspsi4

    xspsi4 Proven Member

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    Yup this is a very common problem, It is not the belt.
     
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  8. stevestevesteve

    stevestevesteve Proven Member

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    Cheap Aftermarket Belts, or a failing alternator were my cause of it.
     
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  9. black_gst

    black_gst Freelancer

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    IE, California
    because its a dsm and thats just something you have to live with :)
     
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  10. awdtalon21

    awdtalon21 Proven Member

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    Lol, my wife's galant does the same thing every morning.
     
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  11. rEclipserGST

    rEclipserGST Proven Member

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    Nice, agreed. My belt makes a lot less noise AFTER my water pump was replaced. But it only squeals for 15 secs or so whenever it is fully cold. But after that, its good to go all day.

    BUT before the water pump replacement, I can honestly say it was embarrassing when my baby would howl for a good 2 minutes.
     
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  12. mistagst

    mistagst Proven Member

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    i have been having the same problem as well i replaced my alternator and it squeaks at every startup unless warm. at night it is the worst i turn it on sqeaks for 15sec very loud then when i turn on my headlights the sqeak does not go away till i turn them off then on again i dont know what could be the problem with mine
     
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  13. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    Nampa, Idaho
    Tighten the belt up since the ALT is under load when motor has just started. Belts do stretch after time.
     
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  14. dannyd97gst

    dannyd97gst Proven Member

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    Same thing happened to mine, even after a harmonic balancer install. In my case the alternator itself was loose causing the belt to ride slightly out of alignment. Tightened the alternator and tightened the belt banjo string tight, no more noises.
     
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  15. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    Nampa, Idaho
    ..but, not too "banjo string" tight, for that'll raise havoc with the ALT and WP bearings.

    All you need is a 1/4" deflection when you push down on the belt itself with your finger inbetween two pulleys. Or, if you can twist the belt more than a quarter turn between two pulleys, it's too loose.

    Good luck-DSM
     
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  16. michaelsdsm

    michaelsdsm Probationary Member

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    yea mine squeaks when i start it up most of the time, also squeaks sometimes when i shift gears?

    94 eclipse
     
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  17. bluehaze420a

    bluehaze420a Probationary Member

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    I have this problem too only with a cold start also. I have an unorthodox pulley and high compression motor. When i shift into second on a hard pull it squeals and i haven't been able to figure it out.
     
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  18. Gsxhero

    Gsxhero Proven Member

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    well i used the bar of soap trick on 2 cars(touch a bar of soap to where it rubs for a second or two). first car it made the belt quiet for as long as we owned the car. second car it made it quiet for about an hour then it started sqeeking again. Its kinda ghetto but sometimes it helps. I wonder if they have anything in the auto parts store that would work better then soap. maybe belt conditioner...

    heres a youtube vid [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDzVDNdcQiM[/ame] but since the belts i did it to where easy to get to i did it with the car running... just a touch
     
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  19. kayosfrawg

    kayosfrawg Proven Member

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    Mine started the squeaking on cold start due to oil getting on the pulley/belt when my dipstick shot out. Might want to clan the pulley and change the belt. Worked on my first DSM :)
     
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  20. Dsmkauai

    Dsmkauai Proven Member

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    My 95 had a this problem for the longest time also. What I discovered atleast on my engine was. The bracket that holds the lower main bolt for the alternator got really egged out. To the point the alternator moved back and forth with the bolt in place. Even tight I can imagine this would cause stress and possibly throw the belt alignment off abit. Anyway what I did since this was my problem. I drilled out the hole for a bigger bolt, got a new oem belt and the squeak went away. Just another possibility it could be a number of issues and is a early warning sing for something else failing.
     
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  21. 1990AWD

    1990AWD Supporting VIP

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    The reason a belt squeals is because its too loose. Obviously if you're belt is worn out, your pulleys are misaligned, or a bearing is seized that will cause it to squeal, but 95% of the time, it just needs tightening. End of story.

    p.s. NEVER use belt dressing, it doesn't work!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
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  22. DSM4me44

    DSM4me44 Proven Member

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    Stow, Ohio
    This is spot on. Exactly the problem in a lot of DSMs.
     
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  23. bkiel

    bkiel Proven Member

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    Same here, the colder it gets the longer it squeals. Sometimes through third gear
     
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  24. Turbosnatch

    Turbosnatch Proven Member

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    Mine just does it intially on start up for about 5 seconds max, unless i turn the heating on then it squeals a little longer
     
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  25. Pale Horse

    Pale Horse Proven Member

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    Mine used to squeal quite a lot too. I just kept tightening the belt until it finally went away. Strange though there was VERY little belt deflection to begin with. I worry now they are too tight, but it's better than the squealing and carrying on. That sh** is embarassing.
     
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