Question about 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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My 97 miata has been having terrible squeaking noises coming from alternator belt area. put new belt on and still squealed then snapped off!!! Put another new one on less tight and the pulley for the alternator got really hot in seconds but other pulleys are cool to touch! The pulley spins but not quite as fast as the belt so it slips. alternator charges just fine! Help!

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  • bourneblonde Oct 07, 2009

    Hi, I am a girl as I am sure you figured out! Not completely incompetent and fairly mechanically inclined but no expert!So bear with what may seem to be stupid questions! The voltage regulator affects the pulley? What other issues could it be? The car has always run great with minor repairs only has 87,000 miles does not overheat, starts great, long battery life even when I left the lights on once for a few hours! Is it better to just replace the alternator all together? Can the pulley alone be replaced? Thanks

  • bourneblonde Oct 07, 2009

    Also did the belt break like mine? You said it acted up again after alternator wqas rebuilt, what were the actual symptoms?

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  • Master
  • 427 Answers

The alternator is loading up too much for some reason.
Had the same issue on my friend's 2001 Mazda Protege. Turned out the voltage regulator in the alternator was faulty. Had the alternator rebuilt. A week later, it acted up again! There is apparently another issue, but I have not been able to figure it out.
Unfortunately, I don't have a clear answer for you, but, one's thing's for sure. Mazda has to stop using crappy Ford electrics in their cars.

Posted on Oct 07, 2009

  • Steven A
    Steven A Oct 07, 2009

    The symptoms were just as you described, bourneblonde. Terrible belt squealing like you described. I suspected the alternator was faulty, had it tested, and sure enough, the alternator was overcharging (loading up too much), which makes the alternator too hard for the engine to turn, which is why the belt starts to slip no matter how tight it is. If yours caused the belt to break, that is an extreme case. Have the alternator tested by an independent auto electrical specialist....stay away from chain stores, they will run you around in circles.

    BTW, the pulley has nothing to do with it, it is just trying to do its job, and of course it will get hot if the alternator is too hard to turn. As I said before, there is another issue with the electrics in these cars, causing the voltage regulators to fail. (or so it seems, the alternator on my friend's car has been replaced more than once) Just haven't come to a resolution as of yet. I do suspect there is a bad ground for the alternator control circuit, which is possibly located under the dash. If I ever come to a resolution, I will let you know. Good luck to you!

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