How to stop a fan belt from squeaking

Written by william zane
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The fan belt on an engine is the simple device driven by the crankshaft which turns the fan as well other components such as the water pump and alternator. As a fan belt ages, it may need to be adjusted periodically to eliminate a loud squealing noise when the car accelerates. Sometimes a simple adjustment will eliminate the squeak, but sometimes the belt needs to be replaced entirely.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Length of pipe or long wrench
  • Silicone spray

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet and locate the fan and fan belt. The fan belt will be located at the front of the car.

  2. 2

    Press the fan belt to with your fingers to see if it is loose. The fan belt should feel firm when you press, though it should deflect about at 1/2-inch.

  3. 3

    Tighten the fan belt if it is loose. Loosen the bolt on the alternator that holds the belt tight. Use a length of bar or a long wrench to leverage the alternator away from the belt so that the pulley draws the belt tight. Tighten the bolt when the belt is tight.

  4. 4

    Start the engine to see if the fan belt is squeaking or not. If the belt it still squeaking, spray a small amount of silicone spray on the belt while it is running to lubricate it. If it still squeaks after it has been tightened and lubricated, you may need to install a new belt.

Tips and warnings

  • When spraying lubricant on the belt when it is moving, where eye protection. Never touch the belt when the motor is running and never adjust the belt when the motor is running.

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