Van screeching then stopped working

my van had been making a screeching sound especially when it was cold. i would turn the car on to warm up and it would screech for any where from few seconds to about 1 min. when i got hotter it would only do it for a couple of seconds. the gas was low so i went ot put gas in the car and after i was driving it on the highway and it cut off on me. first the tow guy said it was the fuel pump or filter or strainer but it was one of thoses. i had it towed to my house and a mechanic friend said it was the t-belt not the fuel pump. i just want to know what could it be . i have a 1998 mercury villager with about 170,000 miles

The screeching was always the belt…why did you do nothing about that ?

Several reasons could be for that . From the simple worn out old belt , and a new one fixes everything…to a belt driven component going bad, causing rotational drag, causing the squeel.

a badly slipping belt might not be turning the alternator correctly which would lead to incorrect battery charging and insufficient electrical power to the van, which might…
explain why it died.

Other components can go bad and hang up the attempt to rotate like power steeering, A/C water pump, idler/tensioner pulleys, and the alternator itself.

If the timing belt did fail, according to the Gates website that engine is an interference type engine. So there’s probably some valve damage.


Screeching sounds – esp if the sound goes away after a while or when the temp is warmer – these are usually caused by a slipping or faulty belt of some kind or another. there’s other causes of course, but the condition and tension of the belts are what a mechanic would likely check first. It’s important not to ignore this. Belts are relatively inexpensive to replace, but a belt failure can result in expensive repairs.