My father in-law was replacing battery on van when I was at work one day. When I got home he said serpentine belt was not on(no one had driven it)Anyway he said he put it on but said it would need to be tightened. Today I noticed a grinding sound coming from the alternator, is this because of lack of tension, or something else? Do I need to replace alternator?Thanx
Remove the belt and spin the alternator by hand to see if it is smooth or rough. If the belt is loose, suspect a rusted tensioner. It is spring-loaded so no adjustment is needed. You should be able to tug on the belt a lot and watch the tensioner move freely, and it should take up the slack when you release the belt.
March, 20, 2011 AT 8:08 PM
Forgot to mention that you don't have to totally remove the belt to spin the alternator. Just use a 15 mm combination wrench with the box end on the tensioner pulley's bolt, and hook a 14 mm box wrench to a tooth of the first wrench for more leverage. Pull it forward, then there is a metal strap-type bracket holding the air conditioning hoses to the right strut tower. You can hook the second wrench on that strap. If it wants to slide off, carefully stick a screwdriver into the strap to hold the wrench. That will allow you to lift the belt easily off the alternator pulley and you won't have to worry about reinstalling it correctly.
March, 21, 2011 AT 1:52 AM
Thank you very much for your help.I am not the best when it comes to working on vehicles but have plenty experience. I have 5 kids work and go to school so money is usually tight. I have done all the repair work on all of my vehicles the past 7 years from fuel pump, rear axle, to brakes etc. Usually takes me awhile but I get her done. After just skimming over your instructions it seems you have given me great deatail on what to do though after just reading it once it I think I will take my time. I should be able to follow your instructions and accomplish some progress. I am going to try and get on it tonight after homework. If I have problems I will post but I dearly appreciate your help. If there is any computer help you need I am fairly good in that area and would offer any assistance you may need. Other minor electronics I can also assist in. Again thank you. I attaching an image of my Caravan just because there is the option. Took pic with my ipod touch.
March, 21, 2011 AT 2:25 AM
Dandy. I think you'll have to overlook my instructions about hooking the second wrench on that strap. I'm visualizing a '95 and older model. You have a lot more stuff packed in there to get in the way, but you still should be able to tug on the belt and watch the tensioner move back and forth. I was a tv repairman for 35 years while I was also a suspension and alignment specialist, so I don't need help with electronics, but I do have a computer question. I'm using an old 850 mhz Pentium that I built from scratch over ten years ago. I'm using it with Mozilla Firefox and high speed hookup. It sails right along very nicely for about eight hours, then suddenly starts to slow down very badly. At its worst, I can type for about 20 seconds before it all of a sudden shows up on the screen. It also takes that long to respond when I click on different tabs. Sometimes it says "not responding" on top. Eventually the Windows titles disappear from the task bar on the bottom but they will come back when I click on the different Windows. I DO have a lot tabs open at once in three windows but that doesn't make a problem for the first eight hours or so. When this gets bad enough, I do a Control / Alt / Delete, end Firefox, then restart it and it's fine again for another eight hours. I've run spyware and anti-virus programs and nothing shows up. I just restarted it a half hour ago and it's running fine. Deleting cookies and cache doesn't make any difference. I even had a friend who owns a computer repair business look at it. He is more into the hardware end of it and knows more about networking. He hasn't found a solution either. I can live with this if I have to but it makes it miserable when it can take five minutes just to proof read a simply short reply. I'll try any suggestions.