96 Caravan AC belt squeel



The AC belt on my 96 Caravan 3.0 keeps wanting to squeel, I tighten the tensioner, but a couple months later it starts squeeling again, mostly just on clutch engagement. It just recently shreded a belt and I thought the replacement would fix the problem but it hasn’t, now I am concerned that I’ll keep tightening this one till the tensioner has reached its max and then I’ll be installing a new belt. Is there a cause for this and is there something else I can be doing?


I had a problem with squealing recently. Only did it at certain times. Took it to the dealer, no problems…

Short version: It was the tensioner. It finally locked up and took out the belt and scared me half to death with the smell and smoke. Thought for sure that I had a car-b-que…

When the clutch is engaged, it’s possible that it’s causing more tension on the tensioner due to the added drag… Don’t rule out a tensioner causing the problem…

In the old days we used a bar of soap to silence squealing belts. Not recommended with todays serpentine belts…


Besides the tensioner, it could be the bearing on the A/C clutch. If it is tighten to much one can damage it.


At one time there was an alingment problem with the alt and belt was pushed to one side of grooves check on the webb for TSB tech service bulletins. this is not a recall. the dealers will fix this if you only call them out on this problem . . on recalls they must let you know about a problem. for safety problems. you would think chrysler vans would be the best since this van has been around for years but they get worse each year. mexico has a big part in chryler production now you know why these vans stink


We have a '97 Caravan with 160K; best vehicle ever built, nothing but normal service work to date. Some time ago we were getting a belt squeal in mornings during damp or wet weather. Not we get squeal more often. Neighbor owns and manages a 6 bay auto repair shop, listened to the squeal, guesses it is a minor alignment problem, and will take care of it next time routine maintenace is needed.


I don’t know if my van is odd, or perhaps most don’t have the 3.0 engine, but my AC runs on its own V-grove belt. The belt runs around the drive to the AC and then a tensioner that is adjusted by loosening the bolt through the middle of the pully and then adjusting it up or down with another bolt. So I am not having serpentine problems. It only squeels when the AC clutch engages at first but then progressively gets worse until the belt begins to slip every now and then during normal operation. I tighten up the pully and the problem goes away for a month and then progressively the squeel comes back.


You need to have the A/C compressor checked by an A/C shop. The A/C compressor is putting a high load on the drive belt. The compressor, not the belt, needs attention.