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Rain kills my serpentine belt

Four times in 14 months, the serpentine belt on my 2000 Escort ZX2 has come off as I drove on wet roads during heavy rain. Mechanics at two different AAA shops have replaced the belt, checked tensioners and pulleys, installed a splashguard, but it keeps happening. They see no reason for the belt to come off. What’s the fix?

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I would replace the tensioner, instead of just inspecting it.
Also, have any other items ever been replaced, like the water pump, the alternator, or the power steering pump? Its possible that the replacement came with the wrong pulley, or its mounted wrong, which makes it easy for the belt to come off under the right conditions.


Call your Ford dealer see if there is a service bulletin on your car for this.

No TSB’son this, I also say replace tensioner and belt (perhaps different brand).

You may have a pulley alignment problem, too. Find a mechanic who has a laser alignment tool for pulleys…and if your mechanic gives you a blank look when you ask, that means he doesn’t have one…

Thanks. I’ve had the tensioner assembly replaced and a new belt put on (brand is haynes, I think). We’ll see how it goes, may take months to tell. Still can’t figure what the rain does.

" . . . installed a splashguard . . . "

A splashguard ? Was it THE spashguard(s) ? I’d revisit the splashguard issue. Find an 02 ZX2 or two and see what their splasguards look like. If it’s rain-related then to me it’s splashguard related. You want your’s to look like “factory issued”.

Check the fender liner, too.


in replacing tensioners, I have found most aftermarket ones to be junk. they do not provide enough tension on the belt. only oem will do.

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