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Serpentine Belt Noise / Chirp?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Z71bill, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    2007 Tahoe 5.3L V8 - ~~ 25K miles

    I only drive it a few times a month - mostly used for vacation trips --

    I started it up the other day using the remote start - it was COLD and raining :upeyes:- and heard a slight chirp - sounded like a squeaky belt. :dunno:

    I say "slight" because if I am in the drivers seat I can not hear it -- after the engine runs for a while / drive a few miles it is quiet - no chirp even when I standing in front of the truck with the hood open.

    I started the engine a few times now - hear the chirp - if I put a single drop of water on the serpentine belt (inside groves) the noise disappears instantly -

    Should I replace the belt? It looks like new - no wear - no cracks.

    Use "belt dressing" (I hate this ****)

    Don't worry about it because it is normal?
  2. JDennis


    Aug 9, 2012
    Des Moines
    Heck no. The chirp can be caused by moisture and/or surface rust gathering on the pullies from sitting without running. Belt dressing is not needed. Also the tensioner could be sticking from sitting. Not a big deal. Just drive it more:supergrin:
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013

  3. GunHo198


    Oct 7, 2004
    I had a problem last year, and replaced the belt. and still got the chirp. Tried everything, yet it kept coming back. After searching the internet, it turns out that when I replaced the pulley on my power steering pump, I didn't tighten it down enough to get it in alignment. So that was what was causing it to chirp. Tightened it down and all is fine.:dunno:
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  4. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    But one drop of water on the grooved part of the belt eliminates the chirp.

    After I noticed the chip -- I have been driving it more often -

    Still the same ..
  5. JDennis


    Aug 9, 2012
    Des Moines
    Have you checked the belt all around the ribs? Sometimes when the serpentine belts sit, rust can inbed on the belt surfaces where they contact the pulley. As the belt goes around, the inbedded rust on the belt will chirp where it contacts the pulley. Will make sense of the drop of water quieting it from lubrication.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  6. GenX


    Aug 8, 2009
    Belt dressing will make it worse, plus it's primarily used on vbelts. Replace it with a Goodyear Gatorback and be done with it.
  7. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

    Mar 17, 1999
    Western WA
    The belt chirps because it's slipping a bit. Probably glazed. Run it till the chirp annoys you. Then replace it. It's not going to harm anything, just get progressively worse as the glazed section spreads.
  8. el_jewapo


    Feb 1, 2005
    I heard somewhere to rub a squeaky belt with a bar of soap. I tried it one time, I think it worked. I'm not sure if that could cause any problems or not and I don't feel like researching it right now, I'll leave that up to you.
  9. 427


    Nov 23, 2009
    I'd be willing to bet that the idler pulley is going bad. Take off the belt and spin the pulleys that you can and you might narrow it down.
  10. TransAm-98


    Jan 3, 2009
    Moisture on the pulleys can cause a chirp. But most of the time on LSx engines it's because of a tired idler pulley or tensioner.
  11. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

    Feb 28, 2001
    Never use belt dressing.
  12. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    Long time ASE mechanic here. On many chevy trucks I have seen people chase that problem replacing everything. In many cases a GM belt fixes it. They are made different, the grooves are deeper and the felt side surface is better. I have seen people replace every pulley/accessory, and the belt with a part store belt, and the only thing that would fix it was a GM belt. Bout 50 bucks.
  13. I had a chirpey belt on a ford van,,,I just gave the inside ribs a shot of wd40 once in a while,,,,no chirp no slip and long service, in fact I sold the van with that belt on it.
  14. etc1006


    Dec 16, 2012
    My neighbor has been through several belts on his Ram in the past year. We even replaced idlers and tensioners that were practically new, he put a new engine in during winter of 10 and did all that stuff new. Tried gator back twice, regular ones, and still does it on occasion. No rhyme or reason. Drives him nuts! Sometimes you have a chirper...
  15. When my 5.3 Tahoe isn't driven for some time, it either slips or something else happens. It sorta "crunches" at startup. It's weird, but if its driven regularly, it never happens.

    My truck is all GM under the hood too. Belts, hoses, water pump, etc.

    Other than that, I love my old Hoe'.
  16. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    In my case putting a single drop of water on the grooved side of the belt eliminates the noise.

    I tried putting a drop of water on each pulley - and on top of the belt - still have the chirp. but as soon as the water hits the grooves - no more chirp.

  17. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    Change the belt...........once they start, they keep getting worse.
  18. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    I agree -

    I had a can of it that I used on an old Pontiac power steering belt always squealed - what a mess.

    Never again.
  19. The Fed

    The Fed

    Dec 23, 2012
    Central Florida
    In your case it's the belt. In other cases it's the bearing in the tensioner. I've even seen squeaking from the PAINT on the outside of the belt make a squeak as it goes over the tensioner. In that case, since you usually replace the belt along with the tensioner many people think it was the tensioner when it was actually the belt. So with an ACCESSORY belt, if you don't see the tensioner jumping around (from a weak spring) try just replacing the belt first. You would never do just the belt on a camshaft timing belt job, because it's so much labor to get at it you always replace the tensioner. AND the water pump, if it's run off the timing belt.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  20. Z71bill


    Feb 19, 2007
    I was planning a "major" service - transmission & transfer case fluid change, radiator flush, thermostat, belts & hoses - whatever else - and keeping it for 5+ more years. This will most likely be our last full size SUV - so want it to last & be reliable.

    With such low miles for a 2007 - 25,000 mostly highway - I was hoping to wait a while longer.

    I almost never use the remote start - and unless am standing in front of the truck I can't hear the chirp - it could have been doing this at start up for a few years. :dunno: