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Old 01-04-2020, 03:53 PM #1
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Donít forget your Serpentine Belt - an expensive lesson

My truck has been sounding funny lately and I thought maybe it was just the cold. Well, the noise kept getting worse, and right before I left on a 700mi drive on New Year’s Day, my stupid self looked under the hood and I noticed the serpentine belt was missing a strand about an 1/8th of inch wide. It was easy to tell the width differential as it was turning. I opted to travel anyway and about 150mi later pulled over at an open autozone, picked up a belt and was able to replace it with the help of this forum and luckily with some basic tools I carry I on my truck. Took about 30mins total.

My wife fires if back up, and I was checking everything over to make sure I hadn’t messed anything up with the install. There was still an odd ticking noise that didn’t sound quite right. And then I noticed it, it looked like an out of place wire on the side of the engine. I pulled it out, and realized it was about a 2’ section of serpentine belt, the chunk that was missing. And then, I noticed a puddle of power steering fluid under the reservoir. The fluid looked really frothy in the resevoir. I was checking for signs of leaks, and followed the line to the pump, where I noticed another inch or so of serpentine belt fragment wrapped around the pump shaft. That was the ticking noise.

Well, the rest of the drive went fine, but at low speeds the steering would be inconsistent and the pump was making sounds like it was eating itself, forcing fluid out of the resevoir, and leaking. Took it to Toyota the next morning, and sure enough the strand of serpentine belt that wrapped around the power steering pump wheel shaft had degraded the O-ring to the point it was letting air get sucked in. The bill is about 700 after all said an done, when it could have just been 40 bucks if I had checked on my serpentine belt like I used to be good about checking.

TLDR:Serpentine Belt fraggedmy power steering pump and it was totally preventable costing big money and a crappy start to 2020. Don’t make my mistake friends.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:08 PM #2
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That Sucks.
Was it the original fan belt?
Was thinkinking about a 3rd new one for me at 17 years... maybe not a bad idea.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:18 PM #3
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Been there, man. Had the same thing happen and it took out a couple of coolant hoses. Glad you got it fixed.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:24 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackOff View Post
That Sucks.
Was it the original fan belt?
Was thinkinking about a 3rd new one for me at 17 years... maybe not a bad idea.
No idea, I picked this truck up 1yr ago. Itís an 08, but I just checked the carfax I got with it, which actually has pretty extensive maintenance records. It had pretty big maintenance cycles at 110k right before I got it, but the last time it mentions drive belt was at 60k and that was just Ďcheckedí. It has 135k now and could very well be the original, I felt really dumb when noticed the condition of the belt for the first time. It was rough.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:15 AM #5
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Sorry that happened, especially on a road trip. Anxiety isn’t a pleasant traveling companion.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:47 PM #6
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Good to know. I am now at 70000 miles on my serpentine belt thinking I could still extend it. I am noticing some wear since it is somehow soaked with oil.

With your story, I am now deciding to replace it with my spare. I guess, you just answered me contemplating on changing it. Thank you!
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