Question about 1997 Dodge Caravan
My car sat unused for 1wk, now it has a squeaking sound coming from the engine which lessens on deceleration (sounds like a belt) - can someone kindly tell me the most obvious place to start before going to the mechanics. I don't have the manual, so I don't have diagrams either - any help is appreciated!
Start it up and pour a little bit of water on the belt. If the noise goes away, that's what's wrong, but you'll need to check one more thing. Get a 15mm wrench and try to rotate the pulley just below and slightly forward of the alternator clockwise. Is it stuck? That's the tensioner and they frequently jam up. Sometimes you can work them back and forth a bit a free them up. If it keeps sticking, you'll need to replace it. It's held on by one 15mm bolt from the backside. You'll have to get under the van to get to it and it's hard to distinguish it from other nuts in the area. I don't know anyway to tell you which is which. You'll just have to feel around for it. If you decide to tackle this yourself, do yourself a favor and draw a picture of all your pulleys and how the belt goes around them. I don't know what you'd pay in dollars for this job at a shop, but I'd expect 1.5 hrs labor plus parts. Also the tensioner should be replaced if either edge of the belt surface has rust on it. This indicates a tensioner that is cocked and in danger of coming apart. At the very least, it will spit the belt off the first time you go through a deep puddle.
Posted on Apr 18, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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