A familiar problem that car owners have to face is a squeaky belt. But don’t worry, there is an easy fix for this. Bar soap can be rubbed on the belt to solve the squeaking problem. Keep reading this article of BestLifeTips to find out how to fix a squeaky belt with soap.
What does the fan belt do?
A fan belt is a flexible rubber belt that puts together certain engine components. It connects the crankshaft pulley and the alternator to the engine cooling fan. It is one of the car parts that needs regular maintenance.
Belts are also essential in other power components, such as the air conditioner compressor, the water pump, and the power steering pump.
If you bought an older used car, you may discover that it has several belts operating various parts of the engine. If you purchased a newer model car, its engine components use a single belt, called a serpentine belt.
Without a fan belt, the car will not be able to go on. But its service life is relatively short. Because the fan belt is in an open position and is connected to the engine pulley.
The belt often exposes to various disturbances, such as exposure to rainwater or passing through puddles. Especially when the car runs on flooded road conditions, since soil, mud, and even sand can damage the belt.
What makes a fan belt squeak?
The sound of a squeaky belt in your vehicle’s engine is usually because the rubber belt is slipping on the metal pulley. This slip causes a dreadful noise.
This sound is caused by many factors, including:
- Misaligned tensioner or pulley
If we don’t align everything correctly within the belt system, it will cause a slip and begin to make noise.
- Bad or worn tensioner
If you have a bad or worn-out tensioner, it will affect the tension of your belt on the pulleys of the system. The belt will become loose, resulting in strange noises when you speed up.
If your engine belt seems loose, squeaks, or wobbles, or flaps while your engine is running, it’s possible the tensioner either has a worn out bearing or the spring has lost its ability to create the proper tension.
- Improper installation
The belt must be tensioned appropriately when installed and then re-tensioned again after a few minutes of running the engine. If not, it will eventually squeal and need to be replaced again if not remedied quickly.
- Weather conditions
Extreme weather conditions affect the belt’s stiffness and bring out a squeal. Damage to the belts can also occur from engine heat, improper tension, dirt, and general wear.
Water or leaking fluids from another part of the engine may have splashed on the belt and create the squeak. Damage to the belts can also occur from engine heat, improper tension, dirt, and general wear.
- Basic wear and tear
Belts don’t last forever, eventually they will lose their stiffness or the surface may become glazed, cracked or brittle, which can all cause noise.
How to fix a squeaky belt with soap?
How to fix a squeaky belt with soap is not that complicated. This is not a severe problem, but it takes knowledge to fix it.
The first and easiest way to deal with squeaky belts is to use a soap bar on a noisy belt.
Turning off your engine is the very first step. Do not let the engine sit and run while you apply soap to your car. Take your bar of soap, use a few rubs over areas of the belt. Get the main areas of the belt, where you can see and reach easily.
You can use soap on a belt that squeaks, but it is not recommended to do this method all the time. Using soap on the belt can temporarily dampen the annoying squeak sounds that suddenly appear while driving.
However, this method is less effective. The reason is that it won’t last long since gradually, the squeaking sound from the fan belt will appear again.
Other ways to fix a squeaky belt
Aside from fixing a squeaky belt with soap, there are other methods to fix it.
- Use oil
You can apply engine oil or lubricant to the belt. But do not use too much. If the oil is excessive, it can cause the belt to slip and make loud noises again.
You can also use wax sticks for squeaking belts.
- Use grease
How to use grease on a squeaky belt is similar to how to apply oil. You just need to apply enough on the belt until the squeak is gone. It would be best if you were careful when applying for it.
- Use special fluids for the belt
You can also deal with squeaking belts with special fluid for the belt. It is also known as a belt dressing or belt conditioner. It can be purchased at any auto shop. You can use it on the serpentine belt.
Silicone fluid is the most suitable to use because the belt is made of rubber material. You only need to start the engine and then spray the liquid on the outside and inside the belt, and the squeaking sound will disappear.
- Reset the fan belt
If above methods cannot fix the squeaky belt, the problem is most likely in the loose fan belt position. Therefore, you can reset the belt tension.
However, you should let your trusted workshop do this. Because the belt adjustment position under the hood can vary greatly depending on the engine model.
- Replace with a new belt
If all above methods cannot solve the squeaky belt problem, then the last step is to replace it with a new one. You should notice the type of fan belt used so that you won’t choose the wrong one.
How to fix a squeaky belt with soap is not a complicated thing to do. There are other ways to fix a squeaky belt too. The most important thing is that you need to notice your belt and maintain it regularly. That is the best way to keep it from squeaking.
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