Belt is sticking - Engine does not respond

Tiny
RYANWW
  • MEMBER
  • DODGE CARAVAN
Hi, I have a 1999 Dodge Caravan 158k, V6 3.0L. For the past few months there has been a squealing sound coming from what appears to be a belt. This only happens when the heat or A/C is on, which I was told suspects the fan belt as being the culprit. When I turn on the heat or A/C and look at the alternator area when it's squealing, the belts appear to be sticking every so often, then it starts squealing for a little while. If the heat or A/C is off, this does not happen. Any ideas on how I can fix this problem (As you could probably tell I'm a rookie with mechanical repair)?
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Friday, June 1st, 2007 AT 7:04 AM

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Tiny
JUNKYMAGI
  • MEMBER
Sticking, meaning it stops moving while the engine continues to move?

If so, the belt is either loose or the compressor's pulley is too hard to pull.

Check the belt's tension by pressing on the belt halfway between two pulleys. You should only be able to deflect it from straight by an inch or less.

If it's tight, you'll need to take it to a garage and have them check the compressor, if it's loose, get someone to tighten it for you if you're not comfortable doing it yourself.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 AT 6:05 AM
Tiny
RYANWW
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Thank you for your reply. To answer your question, the belt sticks and everything stops turning for a second or two. It doesn't seem to be loose, it seems pretty tight. What's the compressor for? Is that anything I can do myself? The reason I ask is that I don't have a whole lot of money to spare right now and I'm going to be making a trip soon.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 AT 10:06 AM
Tiny
JUNKYMAGI
  • MEMBER
If the belt stops moving but the engine keeps running, something is locking up. It could be the air conditioning compressor. It could be something else the belt is running.

The air conditioner compressor is not something that can be fixed, except in a shop, there being federal laws about the handling of the refrigerant inside it and the pressure lines attached to it.

If you can take the belt off, see if anything else is hard to turn (besides the engine's crankshaft pully), if not, then the air conditioning compressor is going bad and will need to be replaced/rebuilt.

If you can't afford to replace it, you will need to disconnect the wire running to directly behind it's pulley to keep it from cycling and ruining the belt.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 AT 5:31 PM
Tiny
RYANWW
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Ok, thank you very much for your reply. It appears that the belt stops as well. It just sticks and everything stops turning for about 1/2 second. I have been putting some liquid wrench on the belts for the past few months. It stops the squealing for about 5 mins. I have noticed that when I apply liquid wrench it doesn't stick for 5 mins either.

However, what you are saying makes sense. The A/C in it does not work very well (though the A/C hasn't been serviced since we got it 1 1/2 years ago, might just have to be recharged).

I'll try what you suggested to get me through the trip I have to take. Thanks again.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 AT 8:01 PM

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