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Old 03-28-2016, 11:33 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Texas
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Belt squeal

I replaced the serpentine belt earlier in December. Some mornings, only when its colder outside, the belt squeals on startup 5-10 sec and then a bit while I'm driving until the vehicle warms up. Today it squealed for a more prolonged time (1 minute or so and even with my foot off the gas). When this happened, my voltage dropped to 9 and the check gauges light came on. I pulled over and turned off the jeep, then turned it back on. Everything was back to normal after that. No more squeal, no check gauges light, no dropped voltage. My battery terminals are clean and tight (I changed to military style connectors a couple of weeks ago). This is on a 98 4.0 auto. I need help trying to figure out what to do. Any suggestions?

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Old 03-28-2016, 11:37 AM
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Also my heater was turned on high the whole time. A couple of nights ago, the heater was turned on but nothing was blowing out. Then it started blowing again. This may be unrelated, just wanted to throw it out there.

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Old 03-28-2016, 11:46 AM   #3
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The belt could be possibly a little loose, try to tighten it a little and see if your problem goes away
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:33 PM   #4
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Yeah I agree with above. What you think to be tight enough probably isn't. Tighten it up a bit more, and check for squeal after
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:54 PM   #5
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Location: Baytown, TX
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Agree on belt tension... I replaced both idlers in February, but put the belt on too tight. Think I damaged one of them, so replaced them both again (yay lifetime warranty at AZ!) and it screeched because the belt was too loose. You could actually see that the water pump pulley wasn't turning very well because it uses the slick side of the belt instead of the ribbed side. Once I tightened it up, the screech went away. In your case, the voltage drop could be due to the alternator not turning fast enough to operate properly.

You just need to remember to loosen the 15mm bolt on the adjustable idler before you start trying to crank the tension up, otherwise it won't move. Re-secure it after the belt is tight. My test of belt tension is how much it deflects between the two upper-most pulleys (water pump and A/C)... if it moves more than 1/2" at the center point between the pulleys, that's too loose. It should take a bit of pressure to deflect, but you shouldn't have to lean on it.

If you are able to tighten the belt, don't over-do it... slightly more tension and less squeaky is better than doing damage. Good luck and let us know if you resolve the problem.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:54 PM   #6
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Be sure to check your coolant level. You have two signs of leaking coolant. A wet belt squeaks. No heat is another indication of not enough coolant.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:41 PM   #7
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And also could the a/c compressor going.
If it is not full with both oil, and freon, it will not turn easily, and could perhaps be sticking. I don't know, just guessing, as it happened when mine was about to seize.

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