1990 Mitsubishi Lancer Belt screech/engine surge

  • 1.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 170 MILES
Mitsubishi dealer changed 3 belts to rectify screeching noise from engine, but the problem persists. Have sprayed belts which temporarily reduces the noise, however only for a short time. Engine also surges when car is warming up and intermittently when being driven.

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Saturday, November 30th, 2013 AT 10:55 PM

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If those are the flat, multi-ribbed serpentine belts, they must never, ever have any type of belt dressing applied. That material will become embedded with road dirt and debris leading to more squealing. Assuming the belts are tight, the squealing comes from one of them sliding sideways across a pulley as it goes around it. That's due to a pulley that's turned or tipped, typically due to a worn bearing. Dressings make the belts sticky. That impedes their sliding, setting up more squealing. Dressings don't fix the underlying problem, and if there's no other problem, there won't be any squealing.

The first thing now is to replace the belts again after scrubbing the pulleys with an engine degreaser. Save the recently-installed belts for an emergency on the side of the road, but there's a 95 percent chance they'll continue to squeal.

Look down the pulleys to see if the belt is peeking out as little as 1/16" out-of-line with the others. That pulley, or the one right before it, is the one that's tipped. You can also remove one belt at a time to identify the noisy one but that is pretty time-consuming. Another test is to dribble a little water on the smooth backside of each belt, one at a time, to see on which one the noise changes. That will reduce the number of pulleys you need to look at.
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Saturday, November 30th, 2013 AT 11:29 PM

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