Serpentine belts ride on the various pulleys in the engine well to transfer energy from the engine crankshaft pulley to the engine accessory pulleys. If the belt has any foreign material on it between the belt surface and the pulleys, often a squeak will result. This can occur due to engine leaks, to driving through standing water or to heavy condensation from morning fog. If your belt squeaks, don’t ignore it, as it can ruin your belt and ultimately leave you stranded on the side of the road.
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Things you need
- Rubber conditioner
Open the bonnet with the engine running and shine the flashlight on the belt. Inspect the belt for any heavy glazing on the belt surface. If any glazing exists, you may need to replace the belt in the near future.
Spray a quick burst of WD-40 on the ribbed side of the belt. Wait three seconds and repeat until the squeak stops. Make sure to do this while facing the front of the engine, as the WD-40 will spray outward parallel to the belt travel, potentially getting into your eyes or all over your clothing.
Wait several minutes; then, if the sound does not return, spray three quick bursts of rubber conditioner on the belt in the same manner that you sprayed the WD-40. Close the bonnet when done.
Tips and warnings
- If the squeak does not go away or returns quickly, you may have a leak that is getting antifreeze, oil or some other automotive fluid on the belt. Have this issue addressed as soon as possible.
- Also, the serpentine belt is held at the proper tension by the belt tensioner. If the belt is loose, inspect and replace the belt tensioner if you deem it necessary.
- Do not use any other lubricant besides WD-40. The letters WD stand for water displacement. The lubricant was designed specifically to remove water or other liquids from a surface.
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