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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The belt doesn't have any wear/cracks on it and when I pour some water on the belt, the screeching sound goes right away. Although the water technique doesn't solve the problem, it only fades the sound. Any ideas? Bad alternator maybe?

Heres a little demo of the sound.

http://youtu.be/3skFC9X2b5Y
 

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clean the belt and pulleys with degreaser and find if there is oil dripping on it.
also check pulleys.
 

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You haven't sad how many miles are on the car and on the belt(s), but here is what happens as belts age. The pulleys get a glazing on them and so does the actual running surface of the belt(s). THis glazing is harder than the rest of the belt and slips on the pulleys as it goes around, making the noise. Also, a belt that is too loose will also squeal. There are several fixes; first, make sure that the belt(s) are correctly adjusted. Secondly, take some degreaser and clean the sides and bottom of the belt(s) in question and also the pulleys, this will at least remove most of the glazing. You can even use some fine grit sand paper to go over the pulleys where the belt rides (most of the work is done by the sides of the pulleys). If you don't want to use degreaser and/or sand paper, you can spray the belt(s) with WD-40 with the engine running. WD-40 is both a lubricant and cleaner and if the glazing isn't too bad, it will clean both the belts and the pulleys up. This is much better than using a belt dressing like we used to use in the old days. In routine service, you can spray your belts with the WD-40 when you start the car up to check for oil leaks. Also make sure that there is no oil or coolant leaking onto the belts and pulleys, as this will also cause the belts to slip and squeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You haven't sad how many miles are on the car and on the belt(s), but here is what happens as belts age. The pulleys get a glazing on them and so does the actual running surface of the belt(s). THis glazing is harder than the rest of the belt and slips on the pulleys as it goes around, making the noise. Also, a belt that is too loose will also squeal. There are several fixes; first, make sure that the belt(s) are correctly adjusted. Secondly, take some degreaser and clean the sides and bottom of the belt(s) in question and also the pulleys, this will at least remove most of the glazing. You can even use some fine grit sand paper to go over the pulleys where the belt rides (most of the work is done by the sides of the pulleys). If you don't want to use degreaser and/or sand paper, you can spray the belt(s) with WD-40 with the engine running. WD-40 is both a lubricant and cleaner and if the glazing isn't too bad, it will clean both the belts and the pulleys up. This is much better than using a belt dressing like we used to use in the old days. In routine service, you can spray your belts with the WD-40 when you start the car up to check for oil leaks. Also make sure that there is no oil or coolant leaking onto the belts and pulleys, as this will also cause the belts to slip and squeal.
How is WD-40 used to check for oil leaks?

But anyways, I sprayed some WD-40 on the belt and the pulleys but it was still screeching. Then I sprayed the entire engine bay with water and the sound was completely gone. It has to be something else...
 

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How is WD-40 used to check for oil leaks?

But anyways, I sprayed some WD-40 on the belt and the pulleys but it was still screeching. Then I sprayed the entire engine bay with water and the sound was completely gone. It has to be something else...
no no no. you NEVER spray lubricant on pulleys that just hides problems.
take the belts off and spin pulleys by hand see if you hear any noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
no no no. you NEVER spray lubricant on pulleys that just hides problems.
take the belts off and spin pulleys by hand see if you hear any noise.
Well now I know. But it was probably all washed off when I sprayed it with water anyway.

And I forgot to mention the car has 73,XXX miles on it and I bought it when it had 69,XXX but the belt looks like it is in a new condition.
 

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WD-40 isn't used to check for leaks, it is used to soften the working sides of belts. Other things that can make the squealing noise are the power steering pump, the AC clutch pulley and the alternator bearings. Make sure belts are tighten correctly.
 

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Idler pully...
your idler pulley is gonna explode any minute now! That the same exact sound I heard the morning before my pulley exploded on me whiles going 80 MPH on the highway!


See my DIY Below and What happened as a result of not doing anything about that sound:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PROLOGUE:
If your Pulleys are squealing under the hood every time you start your car then DIY them out of there now or they will fail on you and leave you stranded road side!

Here is an older video from last November of what my pulleys sound like months before they inevitably and eventually failed. At the time I shot this video I didn't understand what these sounds were but now I do and I will never ever ever forget them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjiGl-dXX2E&feature=player_embedded


ABOUT THE DIY:

I did all my Pulleys in less than an hour. Parts all cost under $100 which was almost equal to what I paid just to tow my car off the highway when the pulleys finally gave way and excused themselves from my Belt Drive as I was cruising down the highway.

I also replaced my belts at the same time and now my engine bay is quiet, the car accelerates way better and my MPGs shot right back up to low 30s highway and mid 20s city.

Said and done the hardest part of the DIY was putting the fan back on the car.

The tools required are:

-Fan Clutch Tools if your car is an automatic/steptronic - costs about $30 and up on ebay
-Breaker bar/Ratchet Handle set about 8 inches and up (the bolts aren't super tight but the longer handle makes removal easier)
-5/8" or 13mm socket, 10mm socket and T50 Torx head-to de-tension the AC Belt Tension Pulley



Tools not required but you can use if you have them:


-Ratchet socket extension 3 or 5 inch to reach the Tension Pulley lower mount bolt in removal of the tensioner pulley

-Torque Wrench (I didn't use one, but you can if you want)


PART ONE: To remove the belts and fan clutch see my DIY here:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=696330&highlight=

PART TWO: For the Pulleys here are the Video DIY Guides:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzaRY4EqMvs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pG1LcFItd8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOzAmqstmy8

PART THREE: Here is a Pictorial Reference describing key points in the process:






























http://img31.imageshack.us/g/waterpumppulleydiy3.jpg/


PART FOUR: Here is the original thread of the incident and the reason I should have changed my pulleys FYI

So since I been back from vacation (my car was parked up in the sun for a week whiles I was away) my engine bay has been making the cold engine monkey screeching/bird chirping sounds with the cold engine acceleration whistle. It was getting louder and I've been just turning the radio up and ignoring it.

My car just hit 56,000 miles on the odometer and I've been scheduling myself for a full coolant over haul at the end of the summer and I figured the sounds meant I needed new pulleys eventually. I planned to replace them at that time.

Today I got out work early, got home early off the Metro North Train literally ran home to my car as I had my evening planned out for dinner, movies and drinks in the city.

It was 83 degrees when I set out from Westchester, hitting speeds of 80 and 90 mph down the Saw Mill Pkwy South and about 17 miles down the highway (I was now on the Thruway 87 South aka the Major Deegan) my red Check Battery light came on. I knew right away the battery and/or alternator needed replacing in a couple of hours so I didn't panic. I really shouldv'e just exited the Major Deegan Hwy then but I've dealt with the check battery light on my old BMW 318i a few summers back and figured I had a couple of hours to a day to get a new battery and the alternator checked out.

A few seconds later my Engine Temp Needle literally raced over to the RED!!! :yikes:

Knowing what I know about the e46 cooling system failure I pulled over immediately and realized my power steering was gone and my AC went hot.

As I got out and walked towards the front of the car I could only face palm myself as I expected to see coolant fluid all over the road, smoke and fire eating thru my nose panel grills and bits of plastic poking thru the metal hood.

I popped the hood and to my surprise everything looked calm until I noticed the fan belt was M.I.A.

I got my fan removal tool which luckily I've been forgetting to remove out my trunk and took the fan off to see this nonsense... :confused:

Idler Pulley M.I.A (as in exploded off the bolt and long gone) :tsk:



The Water Pump/Fan Pulley also cracked on me as I removed the fan... :facepalm:


My car insurance comes with unlimited free tow service. Sadly, the Major Deegan 87 has heavy Police Dept. tow restrictions so ONLY one Tow Company can tow your car off the highway where I broke down (even the exit ramp off the highway where I was is restricted)...

So I waited from 4:17pm to 6:23pm for just the Police to show up. Then I waited in the same spot from 6:30pm to around 8:00pm for their Tow service to show up...



And what sucks ass is these numnuts only Tow off the highway and they charge you for that! Guess what they charged to literally tow my car 20 feet or less off the exit ramp from where I broke down to the perpendicular street.



$70 plus tax! Worse the Police stay in the background observing you the entire time so you can't argue with their Tow Driver. You just gotta pay them and shut up.
:impulss:

Now I had to call back my Insurance Company for another Tow Truck and I literally waited until 10:00 pm for them to show up and they tow you to their shop. :facepalm:



What a Crazy A$$ Day!

I need a Beer! :dave:
 

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That's the same noise mine made right before my tensioner pulley siezed in a McDonalds drive through (thankfully not the freeway) and snapped my tensioner assy in half. Do yourself a favor: spend $30 on a new tensioner and idler pulley. It takes 15 minutes to install and will save you a ton of heartache. I'd get a new belt too, since you sprayed it with WD-40.. if your belt stops squealing because you sprayed it with WD-40 thats not a good thing. Not only can it degrade the rubber of your belt, but you want your belt to have high friction between it and the pulleys it drives; WD-40 will lessen the grip it has on pulleys. I would always avoid spraying anything on your belts; even belt conditioner.
 

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take of your belts and spin each pulley until you find the wrong one. i did that and found my ideler pulley was bad, so i ordered a newideler pulley and tensioner from ecs tuning just because i hated that noise my car made.
 
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