Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Serpenine belt squeak? 2006 Toyoral Corolla


I have a 2006 Toyota Corolla with about 50,000 miles. When I start my car up after it has been sitting for a while there is a high pitched squeaking. I opened up the hood, and it seems to be coming from what I think is the serpentine belt on the left side of the engine. When the car is not running, the belt itself seems to be in very good shape.

Is this something I should address immediately? Are those belt dressings a waste of time? Any advice would be much appreciated! Many thanks!


No belt dressing.
Old belt material, although not in damaged condition, can get harder and glazed thereby resulting in slippage. Try a new belt and as you do, check all of the pulleys it goes around. An old pulley can give some resistance at start-up until it gets going and freed up. An old pulley bearing is not long for this world and should be replaced soon.

You have to determine first if the belt is sqeaking or some other part, like the belt tensioner. If it is the belt, I would replace it at that mileage although it may have some life left in it. Belt dressing may work for a short time, but the sqeak will ususally come back.

It might just need to be adjusted or replaced. The other possibility is a failing idler pulley, but that’s a lot more bother than the belt. If you squirt it with belt dressing it will quiet down if the problem is the belt itself, but the noise will return. However, if the dressing works, even briefly, then the problem is the belt, not the pulley.

Don’t forget your car has a 5 year, 60,000 drivetrain warranty. That won’t cover a belt, but might cover an idler pulley.