Serpentine belt squeal

I drive a 2001 Toyota Tundra pickup.The truck runs great and hauls all my carpentry tools and me comfortably.

My only issue is ,that more often than not,my serpentine belt lets loose a primal high pitched squeal myself and pedestrians alike can’t help noticing. I have had my trusted mechanics inspect the belt and it is in fine order. They do not suggest replacing it. They informed me that the tensioner is “self adjusting” and cannot be tweaked. I notice this noise in winter and summer mostly on the a.m. commute. Usually after 20 or 30 mins. driving the noise subsides.

My options as I know them are to see if the tensioner spring can be replaced separately, and check the alignment of devises it runs through. The other is to use a belt dressing.This is a lubricant and I wonder if the use of this will cause any slippage or inefficiency of the belts performance?

I welcome any tips,hints or wisdom on this subject.

thanx ATOYOT

Just replace the tensioner. They are ‘self-adjusting’ and have no method to increase the tension, but they do weaken over time, and loose the ability to maintain proper tension. The cure is to simply replace it. The has the tensioner assembly for $68.00

I concur with the tensioner replacement.

Belt dressing is just that. It’s temporary.

You don’t say how much mileage is on the engine, but if it is around the 90k mile mark, you might want to change the serpentine belt (if original) as well.

When the belt is off (check the pulley alignments with a straight edge) check it for cracks. (both sides) Not just across the belt, but within the ribbing too.

Also, it may be a good idea to hand check all the component pulleys for bearing wear and glazing.

Depending how ambitious you are, you might want to use a flashlight and check for gasket and seal leaks at the front of the engine while the belt is off. It’s much easier to see then.

I had a 92 Dodge Grand Caravan & the serpentine belt squeaked/squealed during winter or cold weather. I sprayed WD-40 or other similar product & the noise stopped though temporarily. But the noise only happened in cold weather.

replace both items,belt has to be glazed due to slippage,belt dressing is a horrible product and causes more damage then good.but it slings a nice coating of goo all over the underhood that no slip feel when working there.

I usually change serpentine belts every 3 - 4 years when they start getting noisy. I’ve had good luck with Good Year Poly-V belts, they seem to be the quietest. I put a Dayco belt on my problem child, a 2000 Blazer, that was noisier than the 4 year old belt it replaced. The Good Year belt was much better on the Blazer.

Ed B.

I think before you change the tensioner, go ahead and change the belt just for fun. Even a belt that’s not showing any cracking can get noisy. Belt dressing might work just fine, but it’d just be covering up a belt that needs replacement anyways.

Incidentally, it is very rare that a mechanic will pass up an opportunity to sell you a belt-- sounds like you do have some honest people there.