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Belt Squeal

Q: When I accelerate I hear a high-pitched squeal coming from the engine. What could be the problem?

A: Your vehicle may have a loose or glazed drive belt. Drive belts turn the water pump, air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, and alternator. When you accelerate you are putting more stress on the engine. As the belt is forced to rotate faster it may be slipping. The slipping can cause a squealing noise. Some belts can be tightened manually, while others have a tensioner that keeps them tight. Look for cracks, pieces missing, or fraying. Older Neoprene belts crack and lose rib pieces when worn. Newer belts are made of EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber. EPDM wears similar to a tire, losing rubber, but not necessarily cracking. An EPDM belt that isn’t cracked or visibly damaged, could still be worn out and need replacing. A new belt will cost between $10.00 and $75.00.