Squealing Belt

My brand new 1995 Saturn has a squealing serpentine belt. The people I bought it from had it replaced twice. The records state that it is squealing at the power steering location, but I think it’s at the air conditioner. The people also said that it only squeals for a minute when it starts, but it has squealed intermittently while I am driving. I am sure that it squealed this winter when the AC was not in use, but since it’s a serpentine belt, doesn’t it contact all of the various pulleys?

There’s no such thing as a “brand new 1995 Saturn.”

If there’s only one belt, then it contacts all of the pulleys. You should be able to verify that by looking under the hood.

Replace and properly tension the belt. If the belt is loose it will squeal. After a while all the squealing damages the belt and you can’t tighten it enough to make it stop squealing. That’s when you need a new belt.

If it was the AC compressor, it would only squeal when you activated the AC or the defroster. If it squeals when neither of these things is on it’s probably something else.

Alternator? PS pump? Idler pulley?

Why do you think it’s the AC compressor?

The “Brand New” comment is a joke about me buying an old car, so it is new to me.

I thought it was the AC because it squealed more when I turned on the AC.

In that case there could be something seriously wrong with you A/C compressor. After tightening the belt correctly, if the squeal persists when you turn on the A/C or defroster, you need totake the car to a good A/C shop.

In the meantime, when the belt is loose, try to turn the A/C cpmressor over by hand. If it’s very dificult, you likely have a seized or nearly seized compressor. The A/C shop can evaluate it and tell you what a fix would cost.

Do not take it to the dealer if you can help it; the charge will be very high. A good independent A/C shop specializes in this type of fix.

This happened on one of my cars some time ago. It was so bad that the engione would not idle and just stalled. The pump had nearly siezed up and was junk. Repalceemnt (using a rebuilt pump) typically costs $600-$900 depending what other work is required.