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Hi,

I had a slight squeal that began as only a chirp in cold weather that went away as the car was driven. Lately, it's gotten worse. I put on some belt conditioner and the sound went from a chirp to a nasty squeal. I replaced the serpentine belt, but in the process realized the sound was coming from somewhere in the A/C belt. Spraying it with WD-40 silences it for about five minutes. It gets worse as the car speeds up, and seems to be coming from a pulley on the passenger side of the car off that belt. I'm not sure which pulley that is, and it's probably beyond my skill to replace (though if it's easy and doesn't require jacks I can try it). What pulley is that, or is the A/C compressor going? Can I just pull that belt off the system entirely until I can get it fixed?

Thanks,

The Midnight
 

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First take a look to see if the harmonic dampener (Crank pulley) appears to be wobbling while the engine is running.
If so, that is the root cause of the problem. Expensive to replace, but should be done if it's bad.

Your problem is most likely the AC tensioner/pulley assembly.

It's not too difficult to replace other than the tight quarters down there.

I just replaced mine and the part comes as an assembly of the tensioner and pulley.
After removing the belts, unbolt your old one and replace it with the new.

This is the one I bought:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/we...yco_20130264-P_819_R|GRPBELTAMS_542611502___#
 

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On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest, replacing the tensioner or idler on the AC or serpentine belt is about a 3. The hardest part of the job is finagling your hand up in there to get the darn thing back on the car (taking them off is easy). If you have access to a lift, that makes the job much easier. What you have to do is verify which one is causing the problem. The best way to do this is to pick up a new one and give it "the spin test".

Spin a new idler or tensioner. You'll notice that it doesn't really spin at all. Then, remove your belt and spin your idler and tensioner. If they freely spin and don't stop like the new one did, the bearings are shot. You need to replace that tensioner or idler. While you're at it, check all 4 (2 on each belt). May as well replace them while you're working on the car.

I was not able to find one of the idlers that I needed so I purchased the bearings instead for $5. I then pressed the old bearings out and pressed the new bearings in. That saved me a ton of money but you have to have a press to do this. I got the bearings at NAPA.
 

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In my case, I already replaced all the idler pulleys.
The problem was the bushing inside the AC tensioner was bad.
This causes the tensioner to move out of alignment.

The tensioner, I bought looks to be designed better than the one I took off.
The one Autozone sells looks just like the one I took off, so I went with the Advance Auto part.
 

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I had the same problem on my AC system. I replace the tensioner and idler pulley. Not sure which one fixed it, but the parts were priced right so I did them both. Autozone has them. Same quality as OEM. :thumbsup:


My tensioner was really worn :down:
 

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I replaced my tensioners with billet models (given the failure rate of oem pieces) several years ago. more expensive up front, but with the failure rate of oem pieces i feel it will pay off in the long run
 

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I think that where you get your OEM parts from would have a lot of play in how good they are. Auto Zone, probably not so good. NAPA or Bumper to Bumper, probably much better.
 

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but even the GM ones are prone to failure
 

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I agree. But hey, we both know that GM cut some corners to get this car priced where it is. If they used all top quality parts in this thing, it would just be another overpriced exotic.
 
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