Question about 2005 Mini Cooper

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Tensioner? I get a nasty squeeling sound when I first turn my air conditioner on and when I accelerate to pull out. This only happens if I turn the air conditioner on. The squeeling goes away after a few seconds but it's really loud and annoying. Do I need a new belt or something?

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If as in most cars the AC compressor is driven by a V-belt, there is probably a tension adjustment on one of the items the belt drives.

The most likely is the alternator that can be swing a bit once the securing bolts are loosened; two bolts on it, one of which is the pivot bolt, the second rides in a short slot that allows the alternator to 'swing' maybe 1" (25mm).
Both should be a little loosened so the alternator can just barely be moved, then both need to be firmly (not viciously!) tightened again.
* DON"T over-tighten the belt; check on its longest exposed length for a movement of ~1" by a finger applying moderate pressure.

It is not common to find it on the AC compressor itself because the hoses and lines attached to it are much less amenable to torsion than the cable attached to the alternator.
Unless your mini is high mileage, the belt is likely still serviceable, just loose.

Look for the adjustment soon since the slipping of the belt can lead to glazing of the surface from heat, which then will exaggerate the problem.

There is a product called 'belt dressing' that is normally in an aerosol spray can but that is a temporary solution that will wear off fairly soon.

Posted on Sep 03, 2008


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