2 Possible Reasons Why Your Car's Belt Is Squealing

Lately, it may seem that every time you drive your car you hear a high-pitched squealing noise, leading you to suspect that the sound is coming from one of the serpentine belts. Whether the belt works with the alternator, motor fan, or air conditioner, there are a couple of possible reasons why it is making that noise, depending on when and how often you hear it.

1.  Belt Has Not Had Time to Warm Up Yet

The next few times that you drive your car, take note of when you hear the squealing noise. Do you hear it only in the first few minutes of driving, after which it stops?

If this is the case, the sound you are hearing is most likely the result of a belt that has not had time to warm up. Especially when the temperatures outside are frigid, the rubber from which the belt is made stiffens up and is less pliable.

When it first has to work while in this condition, it may slip a little as it runs over the pulleys. However, as the engine warms up, the noise usually dissipates, and you no longer hear it.

2.  Belt Is Worn, Torn, and/or Loose

Another possible reason why your car's belt is making squealing noises could be that it has become worn, torn, and/or loose. This is usually the case if you continue to hear the sound even after driving it for more than a few minutes.

As a belt ages, it can begin to stretch, becoming loose and unable to fully grab onto the pulleys. As the belt slips, the intermittent friction will produce this sound. Eventually, the belt may slip off altogether, leaving you stranded on the side of the road.

If the belt is torn, the same problem can happen but with other issues arising by not having it replaced. Even if the torn section does not snap on its own, it could catch on one of the pulleys. If you suspect that there is a problem with the belt, you should have a mechanic replace it as soon as possible to avoid any of these scenarios.

While the squealing noises are most likely coming from a belt that is either still stiff or is damaged in some way, there is always the possibility that the sound is being made by something else, such as a bad water pump or failing alternator. Take your vehicle to car repair services like Huntington Beach Transmissions so that they can fix the actual cause whether it is a belt that needs replacing or more extensive repairs.