My serpentine belt wont quit squealing. Should I replace the truck with an older one ?
I have a '99 extended cab 4x4 (LS) with the 4.3. I bought the truck about 1 1/2 yrs ago and ever since summer my belt has been squealing...My dad has been an aircraft mechanic/technical diagnostics his entire life and between him and I we still have not fixed this damn belt.
1. Bought a new Duralast belt from Autozone (cheap belt)--> still squealing
2. replaced: tensioner pulley, idler pulley, alternator (was bad anyway)--> still squealing...
3. replaced: water pump, harmonic balancer, another new belt (Duralast)-->still @#?!*%# squealing!! (at this point we thought a pulley was out of alignment but apparently was not)
4. Replaced: fan clutch, bought a Gates belt this time (~$45)--> STILL SQUEALING!!!!
5. The only thing left to replace is the power-steering or A/C compressor and I'm thinking it is the power-steering pump. Because when the vehicle is stopped, the squealing lightens up a little but when I turn the wheel it screams like a bat out of hell.
I have seriously never ever heard of someone having this much trouble with a stupid squealing serpentine belt. I think my truck is cursed but if not, I am just another example that the 4.3 has a tendency for squealing.
After talking with a master-mechanic and a couple other people about the issue, we found out that the 4.3 in this year range have a tremendous load being run on the belt in general, and especially if your A/C is turned on. Sometimes if you just upgrade to a better belt like a Goodyear Gatorback or something like this, it might stop the problem. Some other common problems that we found out about
-Low power-steering fluid (puts more of a load on the belt if low)
-A/C clutch pulley bearings commonly go out on the S-10s
-Tensioner pulley is a common problem and about a 5 minute fix...
-fan clutch could be worn out which increases the load on the belt
--A manager at our local parts store told us that he had a van with the 4.3 and the pulleys were out of alignment. (A good way to tell if your pulleys are out of alignment: inspect each pulley for build-up of rubber shavings, if you notice anything, remove the belt and check each side for wear which very well could indicate that misalignment is the problem.
-If you are still having problems finding out exactly where the squealing is coming from, you can buy a cheap mechanic's stethoscope and while the engine is running (carefully) try to get somewhat close to each pulley to see if the sound gets any louder (watch out for the fan, it'll get ya). If you, (like me) still cannot find the problem, I recommend that you either buy earplugs, blast the radio while driving, go completely insane, or, most importantly, talk dirty to the belt because this will make you feel a little better.