New Serpentine Belt Squeal: What To Do

Noise coming from cars we drive can be annoying or disturbing. Aside from that, they can also mean something is wrong with the vehicle you drive every day. Such noise can be a concern for most people, too. Maybe the alternator belt squeal after the replacement is just as concerning.

Read until the end of this article. Here, we will answer why your alternator belt squeals after a replacement. We will also look into whether it is normal that the alternator belt squeals after being replaced with a new one or not. You will also find some tips here on what to do to stop your alternator belt from squeaking or squealing.

5 Reasons the Alternator Serpentine Belt Squeals After It is Replaced

When you check the front of your car, you will find some pulleys. Wrapped around them is the serpentine belt. All of these make the alternator belt. A mechanical force power the pulleys when you drive your car. The serpentine belt powers these pulleys. You have a functioning, well-running alternator belt when both the belt and the pulleys work well together.

The belt must be in the correct place. This must be double-checked when one places the alternator belt and its parts with new ones. If the belt and its parts are not in their correct places, it could result in a faulty one. You will know that your alternator belt is faulty when you hear squeaking or squealing sounds from it whenever you drive your car.

In this section, let us look at some reasons why your car’s alternator belt squeals after it is changed with a new one.

1.   Belt Tensioner is Damaged

One reason why your car’s belt squeals is because your car’s belt tensioner of the hydraulic kind is damaged.

Car belt tensioner.

This belt tensioner is found in some cars. Some vehicles, however, do not have this. This works similar to a spring-loaded tensioner when used. The shock absorber controls the belt. If your car squeals when you make turns, there could be something wrong with the hydraulic belt tensioner.

You should check your car’s tensioner if you want the squealing to go away. Ensure that it is tight with just enough room to move when you drive your car. Tighten or loosen the tensioner accordingly if you want the car to be quieter when you drive it. You can do this alone or you can get this belt fixed in a car repair shop.

2.   Tensioner bearing may not be functioning correctly

Some rollers get messed up when the fan belt is taken away from some cars. This roller is what we call the tensioner bearing. It is also known as the idler pulley. These rollers are in cars with huge belts.

When you hear a squealing or squeaking sound from the front of your vehicle, this could be due to a faulty or failing tensioner bearing. It’s hard to locate where this sound comes from. You have to check all parts of the alternator belt to ensure everything is working well.

New set of timing belt and idler pulleys.

If you have a faulty idler pulley, you’ll need to remove the belt. Then you’ll have to change the idler pulley to a fresh one. Lastly, you can return the belt after the faulty tensioner bearing has been replaced.

3.   Tensioner of the spring-loaded kind is faulty

A powerful spring is needed for the tensioner to work well. When your vehicle is moving, this tensioner is responsible for adjusting the alternator belt accordingly. You will be able to hear a screeching noise if your car’s tensioner is faulty.

Faulty spring-loaded tensioners are not very common. Its failure, however, can cause damage to the belt. You should check if this is in place. You can also check if new ones are installed when you find something is wrong with your vehicle’s tensioner.

4.   Car’s alternator belt’s serpentine belt and pulleys are misaligned

Drive belts hold vehicles’ pulleys in place. The reason your vehicle moves smoothly when you drive it is the belts and by extension, the pulleys. If the serpentine belt is ill-placed, your vehicle could squeak or squeal at the front.

You can fix this on your own. First, check to see if everything, from the serpentine belt to the pulleys is in place. If some parts are not, you have to fix the alternator belt or swap the old one with a newer one.

When you fix belts and pulleys, you have to study the hood of your car closely. Look for the parts where the belt or pulleys are misaligned. Once you’ve found where they are, you can tighten or loosen the bet accordingly. You can adjust the belt’s placement by turning the pulley inwards or outwards. Once you have loosened or tightened the belt accordingly, you can tighten the adjustment bolt.

5.   Faulty belt

It is easy for pulleys to get jammed or belts to loosen or tighten up when you’ve replaced the old ones with subpar parts. Do not replace old belts and pulleys with low-quality parts. You can eliminate the noise from your vehicle when you replace worn-out belts, pulleys, and more with good-quality parts.

Alternator belts are needed for cars to run smoothly. If they are faulty or worn out, they will let you know they should be replaced by producing squealing or squeaking sounds. There are also others attached to the alternator belt. You have to make sure those are in good condition, too.

An old and new serpentine belt.

How Do I Stop My Alternator Belt from Squeaking?

We have identified five reasons why alternator belts squeak and squeal when the car is running. This time, let’s look into how we can stop it from squealing and squeaking.

There are many ways you can fix faulty alternator belts. We have mentioned some of the above.

  • One, you should replace worn-out parts of the alternator belt to stop the squeaking and squealing of the belt. Make sure that the belt and the pulleys are in place. If this is hard for you to do on your own, you should take your car to the repair shop. Repairmen there will know what to do with faulty alternator belts like your own.
  • You should also check if some parts of your belt and the others connected to it are still in good condition. You may need to replace some parts to eliminate the squeaking and squealing sounds coming from the alternator belt. This may cost you some money but with this, you can get new parts for your car’s belt that can help it run safely and smoothly when you drive it.

You can do all of these alone if you know your way with cars, especially the one you currently own. But if you find it difficult to do one or all of these, however, you can always consult with a mechanic.

Tip: You can also bring your car for checking in the auto repair shops. Experts there will be able to figure out the problem with your car and why its alternator belt is squealing or squeaking and fix it accordingly.

Does A New Alternator Belt Make Noise?

The only way your alternator belt squeal after the replacement is when it’s too loose or too tight. You can adjust the looseness or the tightness of the belt if your belt still squeals or squeaks after it’s been replaced with a new one. You can be rid of the annoying squealing or squeaking from the new belt this way.

Avatar photo
About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

Leave a Comment