My car is a 1999 Nissan Sentra, GA16DE engine.
In 2006 I started to hear some belt noise from A/C-alternator v-belt, which can be silenced by a spray of belt conditioner sold in Wal-mart. But the noise came back sooner and sooner, from monthly to weekly. I then tried to tighten up the idle pulley in 2007. But I made a mistake. I did not loosen the lock nut on the idle pulley before turning the adjusting bolt. After a week or so, the noise is very loud. So I took it to a garage and had the belt changed. It was very quiet. But last month, less than 1yr from changing the belt, I heard noise again. It is getting louder and louder.
I suspect the idle pulley need to be replaced. The noise is like 'sho----- sho-----sho' at idling. When I give gas, it becomes 'sho-sho-sho'. Also, the back of the belt and pulley surface are shiny, suggesting they are polishing each other. The only pulley touches the back of the belt is the idling pulley. A/C on or not doesn't change the sound.
Here are my questions:
I would like to do it myself this time. I have the FSM as pdf from this forum, but it doesn't have much detail on changing idling pulley. Does anyone know how difficult it is? I have done changing engine oil and brake pads. This space there looks very limited. Any special tools?
I thought I damaged the idling pulley adjusting bolt by not loosening lock nut. But after changing the belt, it was fine. Then why it comes back after less than 1 yr? Maybe this time it is caused by bearing damage?
Can anyone confirm this is the right replacement for the idler pulley? the part # is W0133-1612180
1999 Nissan Sentra Accessory Belt Idler Pulley - Cooling System - OES Genuine - PartsGeek
Rockauto gives a different one: Gates #36087 without image. My guess is the OES one is better because it has the thread for the adjusting bolt.
If you're spraying it and it goes away, you need a new belt. Get a gatorback belt from autozone for $12. It has extra ribs in it to help and prevent the noise. Cheap belts on this car, simply don't work.