What’s That Squealing Sound?

Old serpentine belt

If you hear a loud squealing of chirping noise emanating from under the hood of your car, it’s two things — alarming and probably caused by your engine’s belts. Keep reading to find out what squealing belts mean and what to do about it.

Why Is My Engine Belt Squealing?

A belt that is squealing sounds like a high-pitched shrieking noise. The volume of the sound might increase when you accelerate but the overall pitch will remain the same. Generally, a squealing belt is the result of low belt tension. That could mean that your drive belt, serpentine belt, or V-belt is stretched out and worn.  It could also be an indication that your manual belt tensioner isn’t adjusted properly. If you have the wrong belt installed or the belt was installed incorrectly, that can cause your belt to squeal as well

How Do I Check My Engine Belts?

When you’re checking your belts, follow these guidelines:

  1. Look for worn belt ribs.
  2. Make sure there are no rusted or broken tensioner springs
  3. Check for signs of overheating. Overheating will cause the idler and/or the smooth part of the belt to look shiny.
  4. Look for signs that oil or other fluids have spilled onto the belt.
  5. Check that your belt is the right length and properly installed.

Why Is My Engine Belt Chirping?

A chirping sound from your belts will sound like a series of mini-squeals or sharp, high-pitched pulsing sounds. The sound usually doesn’t come from the belt itself. Instead, it’s caused by misaligned pulleys. You can start with replacing the serpentine belt to see if the replacement will resolve the issue, but if it doesn’t check your engine’s pulley bearings. You’re likely to find that they are dirty, worn, or both.

How Do I Check My Engine Pulleys?

When you’re checking your pulleys, follow these guidelines:

  1. Use a laser alignment tool to make sure your pulley alignment is parallel.
  2. Make sure all of your mounting brackets, pulleys, tensioners, and idler wheels are secured tightly.
  3. Make sure none of your pulleys or idler wheels are wobbling. They should spin freely.
  4. Inspect the pulleys for contaminations.

You might also like: Prepare For Friendsgiving With These Recipes

Red McCombs Superior Hyundai

If you don’t feel comfortable checking your belts and pulleys on your own, make an appointment with Red McCombs Superior Hyundai. Our team of skilled technicians will inspect your engine and make the proper adjustments, replacements, or repairs.

Disclaimer: The stock image is being used for illustrative purposes only, and it is not a direct representation of the business, recipe, or activity listed. Any person depicted in the stock image is a model.