1997 Chevrolet Venture - Belt Squel

I seem to have occasional issues with the belt squealing on my 1997 Venture with the 3.5L engine. It seemed to occur when the vehicle would be first
started and the A/C engaged, when turned to speed 2 to 5. Once the vehicle is warmed up, seems to work fine with the A/C fan turned to any speed. Brief history, replaced belt and tensioner, alternator too. Also checked and cleaned battery connections, as well as ground connections at starter motor and adjacent to battery. Squealing seems to go away after the car is warmed up. Could I have a bad battery (dead or dying cell) that clears up, once the car is started? Any help or suggestions is appreciated. Thank you, Joe Guarino
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Not a bad battery. Batteries are about voltage, and squeals are about slippage. If you replaced the belt, I'm surprised the squeal continues. The belts will harden, stretch and will glaze over time and squealing is common, but generally a new belt cures that. Did you buy a cheap belt, or a good one? Not all belts are created equal and it's possible the one you put on is not so good. Just a guess.
BTW - you don't have a 3.5L engine in a '97. 3.3 or 3.4 maybe, but the 3.5 is a new motor. Are you certain you bought the right belt for your engine?
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You need to get your head under the hood and verify where the noise is coming from. From the statements about the fan you probably gave a bad blower motor and not a belt squeal at all.....

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I am certain that the squeal is coming from the belt and that it is slipping on occasion, due to the alternator. The alternator has been replaced and when right after I first installed it, I noticed the noise, though it didn't occur all the time like it did with the bad alternator. Maybe my new alternator is suspect. I've measured the voltage and noticed that it drops below 12 volts when the squeal occurs, though I am not sure why it drops below 12 V. Thanks for your help. Joe

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It drops below 12 volts because the alternator is slipping . If it ain't turning it ain't charging . Have you tried a spraycan belt dressing on it ? The belt may be glazed from the slippage ...
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"Joe Guarino" wrote: ( 1997 Chev Venture - Belt Squeal)
I noticed the noise right after I replaced the alternator. The voltage drops below 12 volts when the squeal occurs, though I am not sure why.
Squealing seems to go away after the car is warmed up. Could I have a bad battery (dead or dying cell) that clears up, once the car is started? ________________________________________________
Yes, it could be a bad battery.
If the battery voltage drops below 12 volts it is because of a temporary high current drain or a bad battery cell.
In either case, the alternator becomes heavily loaded as it tries to put out sufficient current to overcome the power demand. A slipping belt may result.
Good luck.
Rodan.
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Thanks for your post. I plan to take the battery out and have it load tested. It is a pain to get to, though I think that it is important to see if it is near end of life. I don't want the battery to take out the alternator. I report the findings after the test is performed. Thanks, Joe

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Wear plenty of protection while removing the battery. If you ever saw one blow it's top you will understand why. If it does have an intermittent internal short It could generate a spark and acid will fly everywhere. I had this happen once and thankful I was not close enough to get splashed......

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You are correct........I have the 3.4L motor.....I recall purchasing the correct belt for the vehicle......it is a Goodyear Gatorback belt. The belt slips when the alternator has trouble keeping the output voltage above it's rated output voltage. It seems as though when the rpm goes up or after the vehicle warms up, the slippage ceases. It doesn't happen al the time, though it happens and is annoying. You know when another driver has an alternator problem......the lights dim and you hear the belt slipping by the sound of the squeal. Thank you, Joe Guarino

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