serpentine belt failing me again after 20k??

fadyasha

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
Hello peeps! Merry Christmas and Happy New year :biggrin:
Well those who know my problem from the old OS my serpentine belt failed me the first time after only 30k, so I replaced it and now surprisingly after only 20k it's failing me again. Heres a picture to get a better idea of what's happening

photo1-1.jpg


There are a few things you'll need to take into consideration though:

1. I've run about 50k since Nov 2010 (I travel alot)
2. Heat here in Saudi Arabia is crucial
3. My mechanic once told me that my alternator is a bit stiff and hard to rotate. (could this be causing extra load?)

I use AcDelco replacement parts, don't have the number now but it's second to original after GM.. Help :confused:
 

fadyasha

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
barron03 said:
I would check all your pulleys .

Done that and all run smooth except for the alternator which I expect to be a bit stiff by nature.:redface:
 

barron03

Member
Nov 20, 2011
960
It looks like the belt was cut by something sharp.
 

fadyasha

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
barron03 said:
It looks like the belt was cut by something sharp.

one member suggested that it may have been from Old stock in a warehouse and dried out? with heat reaching up to 50 degrees here that could have just killed it's chances on lasting ?

but both times this happened makes it a bit suspecious. I'll take another round and look at the pulleys before installing the new one
 

AbsoluteZero

Member
Nov 21, 2011
211
Our max temperatures in central Arizona where I live aren't as high as yours. More like 45°C. As a routine precaution I usually replace an original belt sometime before 100,000 miles and keep the original as a spare somewhere in the vehicle. The looks of any of my OE belts never approached looking like yours. I'm assuming 20-30,000 mile belt life isn't typical for your region or you wouldn't be asking.
Do you or your mechanic have access to an infrared non-contacting surface temperature thermometer? After some typical driving sequence you could measure the surface temperature of the belt and compare to another vehicle's belt temperature. If higher as least you'd know to pursue what's causing it such as the alternator.
You could compare your alternator with another alternator to see if there's a detectable difference in the rotational friction. I don't think there's anything special about our alternator that would make it "a bit stiffer".
When you install the new belt you could check the tensioner to make sure the belt is having the correct tension so it doesn't slip. If you look thru the passenger wheelwell you can see the end of the tensioner and some alignment marks that give a range if properly tensioned. You might check at some interval to see if it changes with time. Maybe it's slipping which could cause heat buildup.
If available you might try a different brand of belt. Goodyear makes one called Gatorback that supposedly "runs cooler".
Anyway just some ideas..... Merry Christmas to you and may 2012 bring you longer belt life!
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
Having recently played with my alternator while replacing the thermostat I won't say its stiff. It does feel like you're rotating a lot of mass inside of it but otherwise turned smoothly. If your mechanic thinks it feels stiff he probably has a good frame of reference from working with many. Your simplest route may be to replace the alternator.
 

fadyasha

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
AbsoluteZero said:
Our max temperatures in central Arizona where I live aren't as high as yours. More like 45°C. As a routine precaution I usually replace an original belt sometime before 100,000 miles and keep the original as a spare somewhere in the vehicle. The looks of any of my OE belts never approached looking like yours. I'm assuming 20-30,000 mile belt life isn't typical for your region or you wouldn't be asking.
Do you or your mechanic have access to an infrared non-contacting surface temperature thermometer? After some typical driving sequence you could measure the surface temperature of the belt and compare to another vehicle's belt temperature. If higher as least you'd know to pursue what's causing it such as the alternator.
You could compare your alternator with another alternator to see if there's a detectable difference in the rotational friction. I don't think there's anything special about our alternator that would make it "a bit stiffer".
When you install the new belt you could check the tensioner to make sure the belt is having the correct tension so it doesn't slip. If you look thru the passenger wheelwell you can see the end of the tensioner and some alignment marks that give a range if properly tensioned. You might check at some interval to see if it changes with time. Maybe it's slipping which could cause heat buildup.
If available you might try a different brand of belt. Goodyear makes one called Gatorback that supposedly "runs cooler".
Anyway just some ideas..... Merry Christmas to you and may 2012 bring you longer belt life!

Thanks for the response no access to an infrared thermometer unfortunately but it does make a lot of sense that my Tb is passing more heat than normal. I'm gonna be replacing the belt next week and see what I can come up with.

Mark20 said:
Having recently played with my alternator while replacing the thermostat I won't say its stiff. It does feel like you're rotating a lot of mass inside of it but otherwise turned smoothly. If your mechanic thinks it feels stiff he probably has a good frame of reference from working with many. Your simplest route may be to replace the alternator.

I think you're right. Once I do the change i'm gonna go through all my pulleys again and try to see where the problem is, and BTW I still do have the whining noise when accelerating which I never solved. I had a thread on the OS, I changed about everything except for the power steering pump and alternator. So maybe it's down to that lol!:crazy:
 

barron03

Member
Nov 20, 2011
960
Have you checked the ac compressor clutch bearing ?
 

fadyasha

Original poster
Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
barron03 said:
Have you checked the ac compressor clutch bearing ?

Yeh, you can hear a small whistle sound maybe or a like a woosh sound when in neutral. It's probably the problem but never really got around to fix it lol! The process was too advanced for me to do myself and the mechanic asked for what's gonna cost me for a new compressor with the full gear.

I think i'm gonna do this by summer time. You think this is what's killing my belts? :eek:
 

barron03

Member
Nov 20, 2011
960
Try bypassing the A/C compressor with a smaller belt and see if the noise goes away.
 

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