Replace it before it breaks and causes you a problem, more then likely the
tensioner is worn out and slightly off angle. the belt could slip off in the
rain or the tensioner can break. If it is seized up now you may be
destroying your water pump
I have the 3.0 litter engine.
Note: I removed serpentine belt and the pulley itself (bearing wise) "feels"
fine; no noticeable friction (grinding) or axial play. I do not think it is
in immediate danger of seizing.
The squeek first started at engine idle speed. Now I hear it most of the
time except under acceleration engine loading.
If a bearing is squeaking it's junk. If you are sure it's the tensioner
be glad it gave you some warning. A lot of times bearings sound fine
until put under load. A cheap mechanic's stethoscope is the handiest
thing I have for locating a noisy bearing. I moved up from a long
screwdriver years ago.
Mine was noisy for a long time (92 Caravan 3.0 v6) and I wasn't sure what it
was. I was under it one day putting in a new o2 sensor hoping that might
improve gas mileage and noticed the serpentine belt had slipped a notch. I
took it to my mechanic and they replaced it, and the squeak went away! I
had a similar squeak that came and went also...turned out to be the
tensioner on the timing belt (that they found when they were in the process
of doing a bunch of work to replace a blown head gasket. Can't remember
which went first, but they weren't too far apart.
It just rolled over 190k this morning on the way to work...some days I
wonder how long it will hold up...but hey, if it keeps on rolling and
doesn't cost too much to repair...
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