Belt dressing helps squeaking belts?

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2,131
Location
Maryland
I believe I have a serpentine belt that squeaks when it's raining outside, a bit cold or high humidity after rain. When it is warm and sunny the belt does not squeak. The belt is old and is probably the reason the noise is there. There are no obvious cracks in the belt so for now, I will leave it alone. Does belt dressing help eliminate these squeaks? Is it possible the bearing is squeaking and not the belt?
 
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35,001
Location
NY
I never had much luck with belt dressing. Usually the tensioner causes the belt to slip just enough to make noise under the conditions you mentioned. How old it the tensioner? If you do change it out, do the belt and the tensioner at the same time.
 
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14,430
Location
The Old North State
In my experience serpentine belts that squeak are not improved by using belt dressing. In fact when I tried it, it made the problem worse. Could be the bearing, or a weak tensioner. LOL! Just saw demar's post, FWIW I agree with his thinking.
 

Spartuss

Thread starter
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2,131
Location
Maryland
The tensioner is original, the belts were replaced 70k miles ago. This only happens when it's colder, raining or humid outside. The weather today was warm and sunny and not a pep.
 
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Messages
14,430
Location
The Old North State
Hey, a can belt dressing doesn't cost much, so you could try it. Mine was a spray, so I don't think it could hurt. That said, I'd bet on the tensioner and a new quality belt would fix the issue.
 
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19,479
Location
Chicago Area
My lifelong experience with belt dressings is that they work for a short time [sometimes VERY short] and then the noise is back, and sometimes worse. I think belt dressings were useful when drive belts were made of leather.
 
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Messages
740
Location
md
remove belts{ at 70K they need changing anyway} and hand rotate each pully feeling for roughness and play- replace any that fail this test{bearings wear and squeak intermittantly as early warning...eventually they lock up and snap the belt if you ignore them long enough} On my q45, one pully began to make noise randomly at 200,000 miles- I replaced all 3 idler pullys at once to avoid future headaches and duplicate labor.
 
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8,373
Location
Texas
Belt dressing is best left for the used car lot. It will actually harm the belt over time and make a mess of things. Simply change the belt and tensioner if required and move on.
 

Kestas

Staff member
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13,830
Location
The Motor City
The belt dressing I have says NOT to use it on serpentine belts, only v-belts. I recently cured a squeaky belt by simply tightening it. I've also seen some tensioner applications that develop corrosion from lack of movement and freeze in one position. When the belt stretches (or relaxes), the tensioner doesn't take up the slack and the belts squeaks.
 
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10,874
Location
Phoenix
Another reason to avoid belt dressing is that it will attract a ton of dirt to the belts and pulleys causing even more problems.
 
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21,668
Location
Apple Valley, California
 Originally Posted By: Spartuss
The tensioner is original, the belts were replaced 70k miles ago.
70K on a belt is quite a lot. It's due to be replaced and it's gotta be glazed. Belt dressing should never be used on a serpentine belt.
 
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35,001
Location
NY
If it were my car I would replace the belt and the tensioner and call it a day. 70,000 miles on the belt is a long time, and if the tensioner is the original (miles not mentioned) I would replace it.
 

Spartuss

Thread starter
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2,131
Location
Maryland
I will probably go ahead and change out the two belts; power steering belt and serpentine belt since it has been 70k miles since the last time they were replaced. Should I go with a dealer OEM or are there better aftermarket belts. The tensioner is probably pricey. Does it really need to be replaced with the belts if there isn't a problem with it. I've also read on another forum that the idler pulley should be replaced as these break upon belt removal. Is this true? Should I go with OEM or an aftermarket one?
 
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Messages
2,698
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: Spartuss
I've also read on another forum that the idler pulley should be replaced as these break upon belt removal.
That's what you get for straying...
 
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