Question about 1996 GMC Suburban

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Serpentine belt squealing

Have a 1996 gmc suburban k1500 1/2 ton 4w auto, the belt started squealing a week ago and have noticed the dash indicator needle dropping to about 10 on the amp gauge at idle speed at times. when on the road the needle is on the center of the gauge(14) also notice that the head lights are dim while idling or coming to a stop. also have hesitation at night during acceleration when the engine is cold. while driving during the day everything seems fine. just replaced the alternator but still have the same.the battery is 2 years old checked the cables. replaced the belt last spring the same time i put on a A/C comp by-pass pully (a/c compressor pully stated making noise and never worked) i believe i replaced the tensioner 2 or 3 years ago.truck starts fine what else should i check.

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  • 2 more comments 
  • tim boyd Dec 12, 2012

    thanks will replace the belt and see what that will do. i did spray some belt dressing on it last week

  • tim boyd Dec 13, 2012

    put a new belt and tensioner on and still have the squealing and low amps

  • Anonymous Dec 14, 2012

    You spray stuff on a belt you ruin it Belt dressings are for roof top HVAC A/C System Air handlers not cars

  • tim boyd Dec 15, 2012

    ok have some more info. everything that was recommend checked out fine, but today i turned off the heater fan for the back of the suburban and the amps went back up and the squealing stopped, if i trun on a lot of accessories the squealing comes back and the amps drop-down. odviously have a draw on the electical system with all the accessories on , could the battery be the problem (it,s 3 years old) put it on the charger last night or is it some thing elseor some thing

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  • GMC Master
  • 21,873 Answers

Either the belt has stretched, or the tensioner is not keeping it tight.
Or it has oil on it.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012

  • 4 more comments 
  •  Stephen
    Stephen Dec 13, 2012

    You might want to take the belt back off and make sure all of the pulleys are free-spinning and don't have anything on the surfaces.

  • tim boyd Dec 14, 2012

    checked all the pulleys and all spin freely aslo checked all the grooves for sand etc. still squealing and still have low amps. even put a straight edge on to make sure that all the pulleys are aligned

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Dec 14, 2012

    Well I guess I would use a section of rubber hose and listen to see where the noise is coming from. There's a chance a component is dragging under load, or something going on with the length of the belts you are buying.

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Dec 15, 2012

    The squeal is still the belt, but its possible the alternator bearing is going when the alternator is under heavy load. But you say the alternator has been replaced. I'm going to stick to the belt being the problem, and it could be that bypass pulley you installed. It could be a different diameter than the old pulley.

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Dec 15, 2012

    The belt is under extreme pressure when the engine is at idle and all the accessories are pulling on the belt. It can get hot and then stretch which would make it slip. If the replacement pulley is smaller than the original the belt could be too long for the tensioner to keep it tight.

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Dec 15, 2012

    Under normal conditions, the tensioner should be about half way or less in travel.

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