Belt or pulley squeal on cold starts? - Nissan Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old Jan 24th, 2007, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Belt or pulley squeal on cold starts?

When I start my 03 Pathfinder on cold morning I hear a slight belt or pulley squeal. It lasts for about a mile or less and then itís all quiet. I just got this truck and the dealer told me the belts were replaced. They look new but Iím wondering if they may have over tightened them or if there is a problem with one of the pulleys?

Or it maybe normal for this to happen on cold mornings with temps in the 20F range?
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post #2 of 17 Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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The squeal you are hearing is the belt slipping in the pulley. On cold mornings, the belts are not as soft and "sticky" as the are when it is warmer. The belts will slip over the surface of the pulley causing a squeal. Once the belt warms up, it again engages the pulley and the squeal goes away.

The dealer may have installed new belts, but may not have adjusted them properly - - not tight enough. I would get them to check that.

Either way, belts should not squeal in the cold.

A second - less likely posibility - is that a pulley bearing is going - maybe an idler (or tensioner) pulley. But this is not as likely as the belt...

Let us know how it turns out.

Zilverado
1992 Pathfinder V6-SE 4wd
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post #3 of 17 Old Jan 24th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zilverado
The dealer may have installed new belts, but may not have adjusted them properly - - not tight enough. I would get them to check that.
+1 Sounds like the belt is not tight enough. Maybe a weak or broken belt tensioner.
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post #4 of 17 Old Jan 24th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Also, depending on how long it's been slipping, a simple tightening may not get rid of the squealing. It's possible that the belt has been "glazed" by all the slipping, and may not hook up again very well - may need to be replaced.

Certainly worth a try to tighten it first.

And yes - check the idlers.

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1992 Pathfinder V6-SE 4wd
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post #5 of 17 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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I brought it to the dealer this morning. It was warmed up by the time I got there but they said that the belts needed to be tightened. It had new belts put on just before I got it and they said sometimes they need to be adjusted when they break in? First time I heard of that.

I'll see how it sounds tonight when I leave work. It's really cold here today so, if they don't squeak tonight I should be fine.
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post #6 of 17 Old Jan 26th, 2007, 11:35 PM
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hey, my 01 pathfinder is having the same problem. on mine, that squeaking is from the airconditioning condensor. the a/c clutch is draging when it is cold, and when it warms up, the clutch spreads and no longer rubs, making the noise dissappear. im still looking for the cheapest way to repair the clutch so it doesnt make noise.

before i found this out, i changed both belts and the tensioner for the longer belt. none of that silenced the noise. I am from Manitoba Canada so it gets fairly cold. it has never made noise during the summer months
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post #7 of 17 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bullrid
hey, my 01 pathfinder is having the same problem. on mine, that squeaking is from the airconditioning condensor. the a/c clutch is draging when it is cold, and when it warms up, the clutch spreads and no longer rubs, making the noise dissappear. im still looking for the cheapest way to repair the clutch so it doesnt make noise.

before i found this out, i changed both belts and the tensioner for the longer belt. none of that silenced the noise. I am from Manitoba Canada so it gets fairly cold. it has never made noise during the summer months
Yeah, Tightening the belts did nothing. I think it's actually worst now. I'm going to bring it back and have them keep it over night. I'm sure it's one of the pulleys or maybe the same issue that you are having.
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post #8 of 17 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullrid
hey, my 01 pathfinder is having the same problem. on mine, that squeaking is from the airconditioning condensor. the a/c clutch is draging when it is cold, and when it warms up, the clutch spreads and no longer rubs, making the noise dissappear. im still looking for the cheapest way to repair the clutch so it doesnt make noise.

before i found this out, i changed both belts and the tensioner for the longer belt. none of that silenced the noise. I am from Manitoba Canada so it gets fairly cold. it has never made noise during the summer months

I checked it out this morning and it looks like it's coming from the power steering pump. It was 15 degrees here this morning but I don't think it should sound like that.

I shot a video to capture the sound. I plan on showing the dealer that so they can see what I'm talking about.

I wish there was a way to put it on here so you guys could here it. It's a 50 mpeg file. Can I upload it somewhere so people could hear it???
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post #9 of 17 Old Jan 27th, 2007, 11:35 PM
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try just taking the a/c belt off for one morning. that will tell you forsure what it is. i took it off and its quiet.
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post #10 of 17 Old Jan 29th, 2007, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullrid
try just taking the a/c belt off for one morning. that will tell you forsure what it is. i took it off and its quiet.
I could try that but I'm still covered by the 60 day warranty so I'm going to bring it back and have them look at it. It's too cold out to be working under the hood.

I'm pretty sure it's coming from the power steering pump, plus I checked the fluid this morning and saw that it was pretty low, so maybe there is some issue with the pump.
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post #11 of 17 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Car has been at the dealer for two days now. The found that the idler pulley was bad so they replaced that.
I go to pickup the car last night and it's still making the noise, so I left it for them to work on again today. I'm almost positive it's the power steering pump.

This must be a common problem as I know someone with and 01 and and someone with an 03 that has a similar noise. I also test drove another 03 that had a similar problem.
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post #12 of 17 Old Feb 4th, 2007, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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It's fixed!

The past two morning have been really cold put the noise is gone!

They replaced the "Fan motor Coupler" - Part # 21082-6P003. They said it was noisy and loose. They first replaced the idler pulley and said it was noisy and the bearing was failing but it was still squealing after that.

It's the part you see behind the fan clutch in the picture below. Anyone know what the purpose of this part is???

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post #13 of 17 Old Feb 4th, 2007, 11:47 PM
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Is the fan clutch new also? Generally I have seen the input coupler the fan clutch mounts to and the fan clutch come as a manufactured pair. Anyway that is the drive input with stationary blades. Depending on the temp of the viscous silicone fluid, it should turn freely when cold, and may not lock up completely, but becomes stiffer to turn as it heats up. If you ever have one off, test it cold then heat it with a hair dryer and it should become noticably harder to turn. These units are designed to provide good air flow at low/medium rpm, but slip a little at high rpm to keep from drawing as much power and making such a roar under the hood (at high rpm). Alternatives to the fan clutch are solid coupled flex fans (very sharp and likes to take off fingers, still quite noisy) and electric fans mounted on the radiator. Hope this helps... Best of Luck ...Littlefish
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post #14 of 17 Old Feb 5th, 2007, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pathfinder100
The past two morning have been really cold put the noise is gone!

They replaced the "Fan motor Coupler" - Part # 21082-6P003.
what was the bill price after replacing that part?
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post #15 of 17 Old Feb 5th, 2007, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlefish
Is the fan clutch new also? Generally I have seen the input coupler the fan clutch mounts to and the fan clutch come as a manufactured pair. Anyway that is the drive input with stationary blades. Depending on the temp of the viscous silicone fluid, it should turn freely when cold, and may not lock up completely, but becomes stiffer to turn as it heats up. If you ever have one off, test it cold then heat it with a hair dryer and it should become noticably harder to turn. These units are designed to provide good air flow at low/medium rpm, but slip a little at high rpm to keep from drawing as much power and making such a roar under the hood (at high rpm). Alternatives to the fan clutch are solid coupled flex fans (very sharp and likes to take off fingers, still quite noisy) and electric fans mounted on the radiator. Hope this helps... Best of Luck ...Littlefish
Yeah, I was also wondering if they replaced the fan clutch also. It does look new but I don't remember what it looked like before. They don't list that part on the slip but like you said maybe they are a pair.
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