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Accessory belt issue

 
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Old 09 Mar 2013, 04:46 pm
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Default Accessory belt issue

For the past 2 years, ever since I had the timing belt job done, I've had issues with the accessory belt. It started with a faint chirping then got a lot worse; the mechanic who handled the timing belt job insisted the accessory belt tensioner had to be changed; a few months later, same issue, and on and on. The mechanic keeps putting a new belt, or so he says, but something's up and he's not telling me. Now I notice the belt is off (see pic below), it could pop out completely anytime it seems, which leads me to suspect one of the pulleys was not installed correctly and is out of alignment, causing the noise and the belt skipping teeth.

My questions are: am I on the right track? If so, which pulleys can be adjusted relative to the others? When the weather gets a little warmer, I will pull the passenger wheel and plastic cover to get access to the side of the engine and try to figure out which pully is off, but any preliminary info by you experts could help greatly. I consulted with 2 other mechanics, one was clearly not interested in working on this car, the other jumped a bit quickly to the conclusion that the tensioner had to be changed (it's been changed twice in the past 2 years).

Thanks!
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Last edited by PT123; 09 Mar 2013 at 04:49 pm.
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Old 09 Mar 2013, 06:11 pm
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT123 View Post
For the past 2 years, ever since I had the timing belt job done, I've had issues with the accessory belt. It started with a faint chirping then got a lot worse; the mechanic who handled the timing belt job insisted the accessory belt tensioner had to be changed; a few months later, same issue, and on and on. The mechanic keeps putting a new belt, or so he says, but something's up and he's not telling me. Now I notice the belt is off (see pic below), it could pop out completely anytime it seems, which leads me to suspect one of the pulleys was not installed correctly and is out of alignment, causing the noise and the belt skipping teeth.

My questions are: am I on the right track? If so, which pulleys can be adjusted relative to the others? When the weather gets a little warmer, I will pull the passenger wheel and plastic cover to get access to the side of the engine and try to figure out which pully is off, but any preliminary info by you experts could help greatly. I consulted with 2 other mechanics, one was clearly not interested in working on this car, the other jumped a bit quickly to the conclusion that the tensioner had to be changed (it's been changed twice in the past 2 years).

Thanks!
Your problem is you haven't found a mechanic yet. Sorry that is so though. We just might have to train you. This is a definite alignment issue. Pulleys are not adjustable. So something is not mounted correctly a straight edge laid across the crank pulley should point out witch one is out of line. Then you can check the service manual for correct installation of this item.
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Old 10 Mar 2013, 03:34 am
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

I would immediately fix that. It's ugly on the side of the highway.
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Old 10 Mar 2013, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

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I would immediately fix that. It's ugly on the side of the highway.
Yeah, he has a good point. Not to mention the price of belts and tensioner they keep selling you!
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Old 10 Mar 2013, 02:04 pm
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

If it is not the tensioner, check the harmonic balancer pulley. The concentric pieces must be in perfect alignment. When the rubber between them starts to deteriorate, they will shift out of alignment. A chirping sound is the first indication of a failing harmonic balancer (aka vibration damper, crankshaft damper).
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Old 12 Mar 2013, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

Thanks everyone for the useful input. As soon as the weather gets warmer I will have a closer look behind the passenger front wheel, using a straight edge to figure out which pulley is out of alignment relative to the others. In the meantime, I can only hope the belt won't jump off, if it happens I'll drop the car at the nearest garage and hope to find someone more competent than the mechanics who most likely caused this long standing issue when doing the TB service.

I looked online and there is a trick tool needed to pull the harmonic balancer out, maybe the mechanic damaged the pulley trying to wrestle it out without the correct Chrysler tool.

What's the belt code for the accessory belt? I will get my own belt from the auto parts store to make sure it's the correct length and design, I've completely run out of trust for the guys who worked on this car!
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Old 13 Mar 2013, 12:51 am
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

I just tell the counter person what I want and make, model, and year. Also turbo or not and they hand it to me. But I'm sure someone here will have the number for you.
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Old 15 Mar 2013, 07:07 pm
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

Looking at the service manual, am I seeing right: the alterrnator is driven by its own belt? If this is the case, losing the accessory belt will only result in losing power steering (AC isn't functional anyway), which won't leave me stranded on the side of the highway?

Still a few weeks to go before its warm enough to look in there.
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Old 15 Mar 2013, 07:33 pm
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

Yes, the alternator has it's own belt. The serpentine belt runs around the air pump, tensioner and A/C unit.

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Old 15 Mar 2013, 07:34 pm
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Default Re: Accessory belt issue

yep, you're reading it right. serpentine belt does just that, pw and ac.
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