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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Serpentine belt centering issue W/PIC

Put a brand new Gates belt on to alleviate an old squeaking belt. The squeaking disappeared, but today I noticed that the belt seems centered on every pulley except the power steering pulley. Was centered when first installed. I am not sure if it will do any good relieving tension and centering it up again.

Any ideas?

Thanks
Steve

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First I would try to re-align the belt. Release the tension on the belt and line it up correctly on the power steering pulley. Make sure it looks right everywhere. Then release it, start the car, and see if it stays correct or moves. If it again becomes off-centered, I'd say there's a problem. It could be that the power steering pump has come loose, or the bearings in it are gone. Or it could conceivably be an issue with the tensioner pulley or any of the other pulleys, especially the one just prior to it in terms of rotational direction. Let us know how it is going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Had my Wife center the belt from above while I got to the tensioner from below. The first time I started the vehicle, the belt slid over again like the pic. Tried it a second time and centered the belt on the PS pulley and pushed it over on the tensioner. Took a 10 mile test drive and it stayed centered. You would think that if it is centered on all those pulleys, it would auto adjust on the tensioner.

If I need to replace the tensioner, it sure is a tight squeeze in there. Any tips?

Thanks again
 

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This issue is kind of a head-scratcher. If you still have the old belt, have you looked at the underside of it to see it there is uneven wear showing to indicate it was going on with the old belt? If there is, then that is a possible indication that one of those pulleys is out of plane with the others for some reason. Keep an eye on it, and if it goes out of line again, I'd Get some bright light in there and look to see if the belt is tracking incorrectly on any of the other pulleys. If so, re-string the whole thing and try again. If not, pull the belt back off. Then check all the pulleys and their components for shaft play/looseness, bearing sounds, loose mounts, etc. If the old belt shows no obvious previous issues and the new belt goes out of line again, it could be a defective belt - rare but possible. If all else fails, it could possibly be the tensioner, in which case I'd replace the whole thing. Worst case after that is you have a brand new tensioner and you know that isn't the problem, which means it has to be one of the belt-driven components. Then it will really get fun, trying to figure out which one. My first suspect, after the power steering pump, would be the one the belt goes over just before it gets to the power steering pulley. That's all I got right now.
 

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The position on the tensioner pulley means nothing. It's a smooth idler pulley so belt is not guided buy it. But make sure it is perfectly installed on all other pulleys. Almost seems like it is not on the crank pulley correctly.



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Yup. The main way a worn out and weak tensioner spring would affect it would be that once it weakens beyond a certain point the belt tension is reduced, maybe enough to allow it to jump around on the pulleys when slack is induced. Or if the tensioner pulley bearings are gone the pulley slop could cause problems. Nut that should be noisy and obvious. Otherwise, I would suspect one of the other pulleys having the belt not perfectly aligned on it. I'd first check the pulley ahead of the power steering pulley in rotation, but then inspect all of them, especially the crank pulley, as Tigris says. The problem is likely a simple one and should become obvious after repeated examination. Hopefully.
 

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I second replacement of the tensioner and do it anytime the belt needs replacement.
 

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No need to replace the tensioner or even it's pulley but when it finally fails. Waste of money. If pulley is loose due to bad bearings then replace them. Should go through at least 4-5 belts before they fail.

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The bearing in my tensioner pulley was getting noisy last summer on my '09. Same thing happened on my '97, except it happened around the 8 year point. This replacement at least has a good NTN bearing in it, so once the weather breaks here, I can start working on everything. I will replace the belt at the same time, since I'll be in there already.
 

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I started searching this forum for advice after having repeated belt problems. We have an 08 CRV. Original belt broke. We replaced it. Replacement belt broke within a week, it walked off the pulley. We took it to a shop and replaced the power steering pump/pulley. New belt. This belt lasted about 6 months before walking itself off the power steering pulley. Before the “death walk” it goes to squeaking quite loud, especially on high humidity days. Anyone else struggling with this problem and find a solution?
 

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Maybe your belt tensioner is weak and the play it now has is allowing the belt to jump off the other pullies. That would also explain the squeaky belt, weak tensioner.
 

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After replacing my belt tensioner my belt started squealing so I went and got a new belt, but after I put the new belt on it would ride the side of the power steering pulley and only that one, it's a remanufactured pump put on not too long before I got the car, 2004 CR-V fwd
 
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