When you have a serpentine belt, it drives most things including the power steering pump. Proper alignment is critical for them. 1/16" out-of-alignment will cause a squeal. If you can hear the noise while standing in front with the hood open, dribble a little water onto the smooth back side of the belt while the engine is running. If the noise changes, it's the belt or pulley alignment.
It is normal for serpentine belts to develop cracks in the ribbed side. Generally, if they are fewer than one every inch, they can be ignored as normal. Don't use any type of belt dressing on those belts. Dirt and road debris will stick to it and cause even more noise.
Monday, June 13th, 2011 AT 8:07 PM