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Short Squealing Noise At Start - Belt? Alternator?


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#1
xpen

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Hi guys, I have searched the forum on this topic. I got some hints. My problem does sound minor but quite confusing.

Thanks to the kind advice from this board, I got my 2000 Mazda 626 ES (4 cylinder) serviced at 2 shops. Jiffy Lube did the tranny flush and radiator flush, they changed the air filter and fuel filter as well. Another indy shop did the timing belt job, and they changed v-belt and serp belt as well.

About a week after the service, I heard a short squealing noise (1-2 seconds) when I started up after leaving her off for 2 days. Then after that the short noise came almost every cold start, especially after a rainy night. It disappears though when the car is restarted when it is still warm.

I noticed that noise comes from one of the 2 belts on the left of the engine. I guess it is from the belt lower below (don't know if it is v or serp). They are all new belts, but the lower one looks already cut and a bit rugged at the edge. I pressed on the belts and they all feel quite tight.

I took it to the indy shop. They have already a nice reputation in the town though, and they have a 1-year warranty for the parts and job they do. They said they could change the belt free of charge, but they doubt that will solve the problem, for they had a similar case with Mazda 626 before, and the noise still came after 3 changes. On that car, they said it was solved after they changed the alternator. They said I can wait until that noise becomes really serious to make a decision. By the way, they gave me a quote for alternator change at $180 for part and $60 for labor.

Could it really be the alternator that is making trouble? Or should I just ask for a new belt? Is it a problem serious enough to have it worked and spent on?

Thanks so much for any info.

#2
vlad_vm

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Just tighten the alternator belt. Very easy.

#3
xpen

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Thanks for the quick response! I searched here again and I guess this is the tightening job that everybody talks about.

Posted Image

But...could anyone tell me where is this thing please? I can only see two belts by the engine. Which one is it?

Also I read from some posts that tightening alt belt too much might overdrive your alternator and fry things up. That picture seems to show the torque of bolts A and B only. Could you please suggest any easy way to tell how to tighten it just right?

Thanks so much. I guess the shop just thought an alt bet prob is an alt prob and want to have it replaced? The right theory is alt belt alone makes it squeal, but not alternator causes alt belt to squal, given pulleys and bearings are alright?

#4
NickR

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As a quick test (which sometimes works) to tell which belt is squealing: If the squealing gets worse when you turn the steering wheel, it's the power steering belt. If it gets worse when you turn on the rear defrost, headlights, etc., it's the alternator belt.

To find which belt is which, find the alternator. It has wires coming out of it, and you can see copper wiring inside it, through the vent slots. The power steering pump (and the AC compressor) each have two pipes coming out of them.

#5
LinuxPunk

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I have a 1993 626 My alt. is in the back right by the intake man. There is this long bolt that will look like its already tight. You just gotta keep tightning it untill there isent really any movment when you push on the belt with your finger. I had the same problem...However i wasnt sure what was going on and i brought it to the shop and they charged me to tighten it because the bolt was sooo rusty and wasnt going to move. Anyways its a really easy job To do your self!

matt

#6
Javi2

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i agree with tightening the alternator belt. (had a similar problem with my old car)

in Miami i've been getting that squeaking a little, but that was because a)i recently flushed my radiator and got the belts wet and b)it's been raining like a m'f'er for the past month.

#7
xpen

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Thanks guys for all the help.
Neither defroster nor A/C seemed to have made noise. Guess I am safe from major worries :P
Will find my alternator and tighten it.

#8
flaystus

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I have this also, but over time its gotten worse. At first it was 1 or 2 seconds, now its several and almost every cold start butnot always. Seemed worse whenI had the AC on (currently have no A/C as per other post)

Now even after I get moving I sometimes get it, usually as I apply gas. I'll see if I can find these bolts this weekend, but I really suck with cars. :ohmy: I just want my 626 all better.




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