Really Bad Squeeling Belt

How do I stop my serpentine belt from squeeling? (Belt dressing only helps temporarily).


Step one, a new belt.

Step two , check its tensioner. does it have proper belt tension ?
Step three, check every pulley and item the belt runs to see that perhaps one of them is not spinning as it should when the belt asks it to.


Install a new belt and tension it correctly. No more squeal.

Thanks for the info, I’ll start with the new belt and go from there.

Well I am suprised at the Car Talk community. 4 responses and noone has suggested the most important first step:

We will need to hear the squeal ourselves to properly diagnose. Please record it to an mp3 file and post on the discussion. It could be a variety of causes: squirrels, incorrect belt (no you can’t substitute a John Deer PTO belt), or maybe the squeal is actually coming from the back seat (was your 13yr-old daughter talking to her friend on her cell phone when you heard the squeal?).

Um…he’s already done the preliminary diagnosis. Listening for the origin and trying belt dressing are pretty conclusive. From there, Ken made sure to suggest checking the tensioner and the other operating pulleys.

That’s the reason we simply concurred. Between the OP and Ken, all the bases were touched.

Two suggestions:

  1. Clean off as much of the belt dressing as possible before installing the new belt.

  2. I’ve had good luck with Goodyear Poly-V belts. They are the quietest belts I’ve ever used.

Good luck,

Ed B.

the belt operates more than the tensioners, and if one of the pummps or the alternator pullys are binding, the belt will squeel too wont it?

Yup. That’s why Ken suggested checking all the pulleys while the belt is being changed.

Whenever doing any maintenance, whether preventative or repair, it’s always prudent to check out everything related and everything readily accessible while you’re there.

What Model-Year Is This Tracker ?

Belt dressing is for V-belts. It shouldn’t be used on serpentine belts.

Does it have manual belt tensioning or an automatic tensioner ? Some with manual tensioners need to be adjusted.

Sometimes it’s necessary to use a straight-edge across the pulley faces to check alignment of the pulleys. A bad bracket or tensioner could cause misalignment.

An inexpensive automotive stethoscope could help isolate a component operated by the belt that is causing the belt to squeal.

Give the model-year and I’ll see if I can find anything specific to that model and model-year that can help you.


2000 Chevy Tracker 2.0 liter, 4 wheel drive, automatic, with a/c