'91 Civic hatchback, 5 speed
A couple of issues have cropped up recently, and I would like to hear your opinions on how best to resolve them. My main issue however is what I believe to be a squealing serpentine belt; but first, some background:
Other issues - related or not?
Main relay warm-start:
If the car is cold, or hot, it starts fine, but in warm weather, or if the engine has been running for just 5 minutes, then I turn it off, and then turn back on (ie. after a shopping trip), the engine will crank, but as long as it is warm (and the engine light stays on), the engine will not fire up. This is remedied by waiting for the car to cool down, or by hitting the main relay down by my fuse box with a stick until the engine light goes off and then the engine will fire up.
4th gear slipping:
Pretty self-explanatory. 4th gear has started to slip. I can either hold the gear lever in place in 4th, or just skip from 3rd to 5th gear.
Ok, now back to the belt issue. 80% of the time I fire up my engine, I get 2-3 seconds of squealing from the car. Occasionally a gear shift will also cause this, particularly if I shift too early and am running at a low RPM. The main issue however is the squealing caused by having my headlights on, and even sometimes just using my blinkers/brake lights. If I have my headlights on, I get squealing for 5-10 seconds, usually until I get into medium/high RPM in 2nd/3rd gear, then the squealing stops for a while, and then will usually restart when I am at a stop light or if I use my blinkers or brakes for more than a couple seconds.
I did get my timing belt and serpentine belt replaced about 6 months, or maybe 2-3,000 miles ago, although I think the mechanic who did the job was not terribly competent, as I had to take the car back after the work was done because my gas pedal was always on a little bit (he fixed that though). So here are my questions, in order of importance:
- Is the squealing caused by my serpentine belt?
- Is it still charging my alternator as it should?
- Can I just tighten, or grease up, the squealing belt, or should it be replaced? If replace: will labor be expensive, or is it easily accessible?
- How bad of an idea is it to not deal with this squealing belt issue, and just let it squeal at night? (I don’t often drive at night anyway).
- Is there any chance that this is in any way related to the main relay/4th gear slipping issues?
- Someone told me that once 4th gear goes, 5th gear will be next. Is my 5th gear likely to start slipping soon?
- Any thoughts on my main relay? Good/bad idea to get a used one? Can I replace it myself, or should I have a mechanic do it?
- Thank you for your help, and please forgive my lack of knowledge – this is my first car, and my understanding of how it works is quite rudimentary, so I am giving as much information as possible because I don’t know what might be relevant.