Squealing Belt on '94 SL1

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by Justin, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Justin

    Justin Guest

    ok, so i took my car in to fix a squealing belt (sounds similar to a
    banshee being tortured). it's usually when i turn my car on and put it
    into drive that it squeals. sometimes if i have the steering wheel
    turned all the way to one side it'll squeal too. also when i turn on
    my a/c that seems to trigger it more and when it's humid or raining.
    the mechanic looked at the belt and tensioner, and he said both were
    working just fine. he proposed it may be a problem with the clutch in
    the a/c compressor. spraying the belt dressing only solves the problem
    for a couple days and i'd like to resolve the issue for longer if
    possible without spending a whole lot. i've read some posts from other
    saturn owners with a similar problem but none of them mentioned the
    a/c triggering the squeal so i wasn't sure if it was something else.
    thanks for your help...
    Justin, Aug 7, 2003
  2. Replace the belt. Classic sign of a shot belt. If not, the tensioner's
    wasted too.

    Pull the belt off, spin the a/c pulley. If it turns free and easy, then
    it's not the clutch.

    How old is the belt? Is it origional?
    Philip Nasadowski, Aug 8, 2003
  3. I'd say it's fairly likely that the tensioner is bad, the spring can weaken
    with age. You'd have to take it off and compare the spring torque to a new
    one to know for sure, but if it has high miles you might as well just change
    it out..
    Robert Hancock, Aug 8, 2003
  4. Or... if you wana try to save some money, try a cheap fix first. Replace the
    bearings in the tensioner pulley and the idler pulley.. they probably have worn
    out by now. They should set you back about $2 a piece and could very well be
    the problem. This was so on my 92 SL2. When the bearings fail they cause
    resistance. Even if the tensioner spring is a bit weak, installing new bearings
    could make all the difference. Installing a new tensioner might work as it
    gives you more tension and might over power any bad bearings.. not the way to
    go? Whats the tensioner going for? Saturn wont sell you the bearings
    seperatly. They wouldnt even sell me just the tensioner pulley... they wanted
    to sell me the whole tensioner, pulley and all for way to much money. Talk
    about a ripoff scam! Its a bit akward to get at them but I did so with just a
    normal wrench. Then you take a socket that is the same size as the bearing, and
    knock it out of the pulley, and then bang in the replacement. Go to a bearing
    shop to get the bearings... its a standard (the size is marked on the bearing
    itself) NTN bearing.
    Wesley Thiessen, Aug 8, 2003
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