Squealing Startup Part 2

Yesterday I asked you guys about what’s causing my car to squeal loudly when I start it. You said it was probably something to do with the serpentine belt (the belt, the tensioner and/or battery).

That made sense. Today I took a look at it. The belt looks pretty good–like new. When I started it, no squeal at all. The weather is about 10 degrees warmer than the past couple days (when the problem began).

Do I still need to get this checked? Is it just a cold weather squeal? I had a Saturn whose serpentine belt did that in cold weather no matter what we did to fix it. This car has never done it, however.

Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it!!

99 Subaru Legacy, 140K miles

(new timing belt at about 90K mi)

The belt can “look new” and still squeal if the tension is incorrect. I’m going to assume the accessory drive belts were replaced along with the timing belt at 90K miles. If that’s true they now have 50K miles on them, so regardless of how they look, they are not new.

I believe your Subaru has two accessory drive belts, one for the AC compressor and one for the alternator and power steering pump. It’s the latter that usually squeals at start-up. I just went through this after installing new belts on my Subaru.

Tires, hoses and belts can look new and be rotten. Its a matter of age as well as use. Over time the engine heat cooks the belt material harder and they squeak, crack and start wearing faster. Adding tension just adds to the wear and cracking rate, and will bring it to the break point - which you don’t want. Doubt it has anything to do with you timing belt. If you have never changed these belts, then 140k is way past due. This is not a biggy (unless it breaks). Have a shop check it out. They will check condition and tension. If they say new belt, then case closed.

I changed the timing belt at about 90K.

I had a shop look at it today. They said the belt looks fine–just a very small amount of rust on the whatever-you-call-it that the belt wraps around :slight_smile: They said it’s just fine. Anything I should do about the rust?

No, don’t worry about the rust. Now the belts have been checked and you are set to go. Also, your experience at the shop tells me you are dealing with good people. And good for you Christie. You saw a problem that could have been serious and took action.

Thanks! I really appreciate everyone’s help!