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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I keep getting a rattling noise coming from the area of my serpentine belt tensioner when it is moving back and forth under the hood when the engine is running. Does this mean that the tensioner is about to fail? How hard/expensive is that to replace? Could it also be the water pump causing it? The belt was replaced 2/2009 and is still in good shape. I am not losing antifreeze and the car doesn't get near the notch before 210. Thanks.
 

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i saw what you did there!
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probably weak tensioner spring but coul dbe something else, try a wooden handle of some kind and listen with an ear on different parts
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It was the tensioner and idler pulley. The bearings in both pulleys were worn out and the spring lost it's tension over time leading to the belt vibrating and the noise. I think that is also responsible for the voltage drops when I turn everything on, but I have yet to completely verify that. I replaced both of them tonight and it seemed to solve the noise and belt vibration problem. I didn't want the belt flying off, so I took care of it now. I also checked the water pump by grabbing the fan and trying to rock it up and down and found a minuscule amount of play. Parts store guy said it was the fan clutch play and it was normal. I verified that and it was the fan clutch, so it is fine. Also the tensioner was $39 and the idler pulley was $20 at Advance Auto Parts. The hardware for the idler pulley was the hardest part because you have to transplant the old hardware over. There was this locking nut on it that kept it all together, so I had to almost destroy it by hitting the end of the bolt with a tent stake rubber mallet. I had to rebend the teeth back out before I reinstalled the idler pulley to make sure there was no problems. It all worked and the engine runs fine. I managed to do all this under the moonlight with a flashlight and headlamp without calling a mechanic. For me, fixing the problem and not having to call a mechanic or pay for marked up parts is all that counts.
 

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I used a piece of pipe to locate my last bad idler pulley on a 2000 Chrysler T&C Van..... Made a chirping noise on cold startup.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I used a piece of pipe to locate my last bad idler pulley on a 2000 Chrysler T&C Van..... Made a chirping noise on cold startup.....
It seemed obvious that it was coming from there. I put my ear as close as I can and I could tell that it was to the left of the water pump and right of the A/C can and I could see it shaking back and forth so I assumed it was that. The spring was really worn out. I could grab it and rotate it with my hand after I removed it (not easy, but I could still do it). The new one: I literally pulled a muscle trying to use a breaker bar to rotate the tensioner to put the belt back on. It was SO strong. This one has no vibration and no noise that I can notice.
 

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Good info, glad to hear that it works now...... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good info, glad to hear that it works now...... :)
Thanks. When it seemed that something there was wrong, I replaced it because I realized how serious it is if the belt comes off for whatever reason. The cost of any damage that would happen (head gasket when the water pump stops working or even an accident because of the power steering loss because I literally CANNOT steer this thing without it (I am a computer nerd with no muscle).) would be alot more than preventing it with new pulleys and a tensioner.
 

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I used to have an 87 s10 2.5l only option was AC, had no P/S or power anything, always have been a computer nerd myself, but in the past 10 years or so I have changed alot.......
 

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I have the same problem with the noise at the start up and think its my clutch fan. I had replaced my alternator because i was getting bad voltage drops and for no reasons and fixed that. Then my idler pulley the bearing was so bad it would barely spin, Then along with my tensioner was extremely weak also so replaced that and now im thinking its the fluid in my clutch fan thats causing my squeak on the start up. My belts pretty farely new
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Today, I started it up and it was a bit squeaky (probably just wet), but I had to open the hood to hear it. I did tighten all the bolts as hard as my nerd muscle can, so I don't know how that can be the case. It did quiet down later in the day. I also sprayed the belt with belt dressing to protect it just in case. I don't know if I damaged the belt last night because I accidentally put the belt on with it only halfway on the power steering pulley. Thankfully, I noticed it and put it back on properly before I started the engine. Otherwise, it seems to be running fine and even a little quieter. I am pleased with it. I just hope I didn't make a hidden mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE: The belt is making alot of noise. It is pretty quiet at idle, but when I bring it up to 2200rpm in Park, it gets loud. I tried reseating the belt and it seemed to solve it for a minute and then it returned when I revved it. I really cannot find a problem with this belt or how it is on the pulleys. I cannot tell if the new tensioner is making the noise, but that seems to be a possibility. It is very tight. I did use alot of belt dressing spray to try to quiet it down, but if anything it seems to have only made it worse. I sprayed the tensioner pulley because it seemed to be the easiest to get to. Does anyone have any advice on something I may have missed?
 

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It may be your cluth for the clutch fan honestly. I was reading in my haynes manual that is says there is fluid in the clutch and sometimes they start to make noise etc. It sounded like it was coming from my idler pully so i had replaced that and needed it anyway but it sounds like its coming from right below that so im not fully sure. Im in the same boat honestly and its so annoying trust me
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is this type of squealing mean that the belt could fly off at any time? The fan clutch is quiet. It is not coming from there. It does seem to be coming from the belt itself. I don't know if I used too much belt dressing spray or if the replacement tensioner is bad. Both parts I bought are Dayco parts.
 

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Belt dressing is worthless!! It only makes the squeeling worse. You will have to replace the belt to stop the squeeling. I had the same problem, tried the belt dressing and it would stop for a while then start squeeling again. I replaced it with a Goodyear Gator-Back belt and no more squeeling. It has been on for 2 years now.
 

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Is this type of squealing mean that the belt could fly off at any time? The fan clutch is quiet. It is not coming from there. It does seem to be coming from the belt itself. I don't know if I used too much belt dressing spray or if the replacement tensioner is bad. Both parts I bought are Dayco parts.
How did you test out your fan clutch? Im trying wondering so i can eliminate if thats where my problem is or not
 

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Fan clutch is stiff to turn when it is cold, It will loosen up a little when it is warm. If it is loose when it is cold most likely your clutch is bad. I replaced mine it was wobbeling and real loose when it was cold.
 

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Now when you say loose when cold do you mean it should be able to almost spin freely? I remember turning mine some but im pretty sure I had started the truck and heard the noise and turned it off after about 10 seconds so im not sure if that would count, But ill have to double check mine now. I would now but i just got back from driving so its all warmed up
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I replaced the belt today. The old one was almost 2 years old and appeared to be stretched. I put the new belt on and the tensioner arm was not as far out as it was with the old belt on. No noise at all. It runs silent. It's just a basic belt from Advance Auto. One step below the Dayco W belt. What I meant with the fan clutch: When I had the belt off the pulleys to replace the tensioner and the idler pulley, I grabbed the top fan blades and felt a minuscule amount of play in the fan clutch when I wiggled it up and down. I thought it was the water pump until I asked the parts guy and he said that it is the fan clutch and it is normal. I checked it again and I found out that he was right and the play was not in the water pump.
 
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