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J

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Last night I went through some relatively deep water on the side of the road and it got the belt wet and it started squealing. This isn't the first time this has happened and it usually stops squealing within a couple minutes of driving. This time it didn't stop. I drove it for about 10 minutes and got home and put some belt dressing on it and it still does it. I left home after doing that and was on the highway for at least 10 minutes and then in about 15 or so mintues of city driving and it is still doing it! <_< This morning when I left for work, still doing it. Could something else be wrong? Should I be concerned or will it just go away?

Thanks.
 

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Should you be concerned? Yes.

Belt dressing is a bandaid fix much like putting WD-40 or a grease in the door latches. It's a decent bandaid, but you really want to get to the problem that is causing the squealing. It could be as simple as a bad serpentine belt, but you really need to pull that belt off and spin all the pulleys and see if the bearings have failed in one of them...most specifically the water pump!

Cars can't fix themselves, so don't ignore a problem.
 

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Belt dressing? :uhoh2:

I would highly reccommend against using belt dressing on a taurus.

Example:

I was hanging out at Discount Auto because my friend works there. Anyway, this lady walks in with her son about 30min before closing time because she was having trouble with her belt. I went out there because she drove a taurus and my friend volunteered me because of my taurus "expertise". She had recently went to goodyear for a new belt and belt tensioner for her gen 3 vulcan, but the belt still squealed. So she sprayed some belt dressing on there, and still squealed. And when she popped the hood the whole belt had slipped off and was tangle up beside the pulleys. I have no idea how she got it to discount with no belt, but because of the stupid dressing the whole belt slipped off. Of course, I put it back on for her, and gave her a little lecture about belt dressing.

Whatever you do, stay away from belt dressing.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #4
My car only has 33.7k miles - a serpentine belt shouldn't go bad in that amount of time should it? How do I get the belt off to check pulleys? Could it still be wet, would that be why it is still squealing?

*edit* - Forgot to mention, when I put the belt dressing on it stopped squealing briefly but then started back up...

Thanks guys.
 

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Originally posted by jason8225@Dec 11 2003, 02:27 PM
My car only has 33.7k miles - a serpentine belt shouldn't go bad in that amount of time should it? How do I get the belt off to check pulleys? Could it still be wet, would that be why it is still squealing?

*edit* - Forgot to mention, when I put the belt dressing on it stopped squealing briefly but then started back up...

Thanks guys.
Belt dressing has worked on my Vulcan for the past 5K miles or so. If the belt slipped off, there is something VERY wrong, and the belt dressing isn't the likely cause. Sounds like whomever put that tensioner on is a moron.

Removing the belt is very easy. You just a breaker bar, or some other wrench to the belt tensioner and turn it one way (I don't remember which way) and it will loosten the slack, and you just pull the belt off. Make sure when putting it back on, that you route it over each pulley. There will be a sign under the hood telling you how to hook the belt back up. Check the ribs on the belt for wear, and spin each pulley. Tensioner going back sounds like crickets chirping...
 
J

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Discussion Starter #7
I leave work in about an hour or two so I'll check it out...

any other ideas or anything else to look for while I'm in there?

Thanks.
 

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Originally posted by mikehawk@Dec 11 2003, 03:05 PM
The tensioner was fine, she just saturated the belt with dressing.
Well heh, I guess that could happen. I sprayed a very small amount on the belt, just right at the tensioner area. It would spread all over the belt anyway. Mine squealed whenever it was humid outside. It's time to get a new Goodyear belt before I take the road trip. Going to New Orleans.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #9
How much does a new belt cost? Would autozone have them in stock? Maybe I'll just put a new one on for the heck of it if they aren't too much.
 

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Ok

I went through this before


DO NOT USE BELT DRESSING, its not for serpitine belts, its for flat belts...the types that they used in old farm equip..

i cant stress it enough.. it makes it worse...i tried it and it amplified the noise by 10 fold... i had to take off my belt and wash the s*** off...

.......


The reason there is noise is because the belt is glazed and the only fix is to get a new belt...
hope this helps!
 

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Also, something to worry about is that since you have driven through water it sounds like a few times...in humid climates, rust can form pretty quickly. The water pump can rust up very quickly. Make SURE you check the water pump pulley when the belt is off, and make sure it is spinning freely without grinding.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, when I go to look at it, I will try to clean the belt off as well as spin the pulleys to check for squeaking, etc... anything else? Just don't want to have to do it twice, lol.


Thanks again guys.

oh - and no more belt dressing
 
B

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Discussion Starter #13
Never, ever use belt dressing on a serpentine belt. It'll make it worse. No, I don't have an explanation why, it's something I've experienced, and common knowledge amongst mechanics. This I do know: belt dressing should never be used on a serp or v-belt. It was not made for that, but for flat belts that are used in industrial applications.

My suggestion: Get a new serp belt, and clean the pullies off with some lacquer thinner , Berryman's carb cleaner or brake cleaner. Get them as clean as possible, and install the new belt. As far as belts, stick with the Motorcraft or Goodyear Gatorback.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #14
Sounds like a plan Bob
The squealing has gotten a lot better. I have been on the go since I left work and have not had a chance to do anything with the belt yet. But it is getting better, but tomorrow I will leave work early and get a new belt and clean the pullies. Thanks for the help guys...
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I stopped at my friend's house tonight who builds jeeps (lifts, engine performance, etc.) and he thinks it's my idler pulley... because the squealing is now down to a minimum and he thinks that's where it's coming from. We examined the belt (with the car off) and said it seems clean (no belt dressing left).

Should I bother with the belt removal/replacement and puelley cleaning or should I just go to the stealership tomorrow and let them deal with it? My PremiumCare warranty (from Ford) is in full swing, so it "can't" cost me more than the $100 deductible (per visit).
 
B

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Discussion Starter #16
Tough to say. A belt is much less than $100, and only takes a few minutes to put on. If they see any dressing at all, they'll most likely blame the problem on that, and charge you anyway. Honestly, it may cost less than your deductible to have them do all the work.
As far as the idler pulley, if you take off the belt, you should be able to tell if the bearing is bad or not. If it is, that'll definitely cost you over $100, and is worth using the warranty for.

I'd say it's really up to you at this point, and how much you want to tackle yourself.
 
J

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Bob and everyone else for all the suggestions - the squealing pretty much stopped by this morning. I called the dealership and they "fudged" my factory warranty for me so I could pay them a free visit today and they checked it out and everything was fine. Must've just taken a while for all the belt dressing to wear off


I did pay them to balance my tires while I was there though... they needed it. <_<
 

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Idle pulley sounds more like crickets chirping. Trust me, you will know that sound when you hear it. Serious squealing will almost always be bad bearings in one of the pulleys. Either way though, the belt needs to come off and the pulleys all checked. Pay close attention to the water pump.
 
J

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I'll remember that in case this happens again.


The stealership did spend some time on it (I think they must be able to bill Ford for warranty work by the hour
) - so I think they did a thorough check, all noises have stopped and according to the dealer everything is fine. Everything runs fine, too - so I am satisfied.
 

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Originally posted by jason8225@Dec 13 2003, 12:54 AM
I'll remember that in case this happens again.


The stealership did spend some time on it (I think they must be able to bill Ford for warranty work by the hour
) - so I think they did a thorough check, all noises have stopped and according to the dealer everything is fine. Everything runs fine, too - so I am satisfied.
What did they do? I never trust dealerships to do anywork. If they do...I want to know exactly what they did.
 
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