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Old 01-12-2022, 11:55 AM #1
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Loose belt, or something more?

I am well experienced in diagnosing problems on cars (I have 2 20+ year old BM(trouble)Ws that constantly have things needing attention), but on my 97 5 speed the belts are new and are not loose but seem to slip for no reason.

When I go to start up the car it starts fine but when backing out/pulling out of a space the belts squeak and the steering goes very heavy (leading me to think the power steering pump is going out, it has plenty of fluid), this only happens with the steering when the car is just started up. This squeaking also happens during the summer when I am running AC, and the AC temp drops off (I do not run AC normally because I have had a car throw a belt and rip off the water pump before, so I like to keep it safe albeit sometimes uncomfortably hot).

Is this a result of a loose belt or is there a power steering pump/AC compressor that is going out on me? Again the belts are new, but the car does have 275k miles on it. I have not checked the tensioner recently, but that seemed to be great when I changed the belts last year. Again, any help is appreciated
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Old 01-12-2022, 12:18 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mateo8 View Post
I am well experienced in diagnosing problems on cars (I have 2 20+ year old BM(trouble)Ws that constantly have things needing attention), but on my 97 5 speed the belts are new and are not loose but seem to slip for no reason.

When I go to start up the car it starts fine but when backing out/pulling out of a space the belts squeak and the steering goes very heavy (leading me to think the power steering pump is going out, it has plenty of fluid), this only happens with the steering when the car is just started up. This squeaking also happens during the summer when I am running AC, and the AC temp drops off (I do not run AC normally because I have had a car throw a belt and rip off the water pump before, so I like to keep it safe albeit sometimes uncomfortably hot).

Is this a result of a loose belt or is there a power steering pump/AC compressor that is going out on me? Again the belts are new, but the car does have 275k miles on it. I have not checked the tensioner recently, but that seemed to be great when I changed the belts last year. Again, any help is appreciated
New belts sometimes have to be retightened because they are not at correct tension initially. Take the belt off and and check the steering pump pulley and ac pulley for play and binding.

Edit. Taking the pump off and cleaning the screen might help.

Last edited by spartacus; 01-12-2022 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-13-2022, 01:27 AM #3
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Grab each belt midway between two pulleys and push and pull on it. A properly tightened belt should have around 1/2 - 3/4" deflection. If it moves more than that, the belt is too loose.
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