After serp belt replaced, many issues


Asked by Jan 05, 2016 at 08:52 AM about the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Serp belt and pulley broke, had both replaced. Got
home, no power steering. Now, few weeks later,
there's a rubbing sound. Not a a squeal. But a
rubbing. The thermostat goes almost to the middle
if I let it warm up. As soon as I drive, the temp goes
down, all the way. All this didn't start until the
replacement. I've checked ps fluid. Guy who fixed it
said there's a hole in reservoir (great, what else) so
I have zero power steering. But, I'm more
concerned about this noise and the temp. It always
ran right in middle. It literally goes all the way down
when I drive. I'm paying 400 a month for this p.o.s
and can't afford to lose it.

11 Answers


It sounds like the serpentine belt is running out of alignment. What caused the other one to break? All the pulleys for the belt must spin free with no noise or play in them. Another cause for a misaligned belt would be the belt tensioner may be worn, even tho the belt is tight. Should take it off and look to see if there are any gaps between the two half's. They should be parallel and pretty tight together. The heat thing, check coolant of course, but it may be just the thermostat. Make sure the fans run at the radiator.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

OK, it was whining for a while. Different people said alternator, power steering. Well, driving one day the belt came off and pulley broke. Had it put on and new pulley. But now a few weeks later the noise is like a rubbing sound not the normal squeal and I don't know enough to fix this myself. What should I check first, tightness?


Okay. It's super tight. But, there seems to be a stickiness to the belt. When I rub the belt with my finger, it had a black sticky substance on it. Not like oil but like old melted belt. But the belt itself looks good, could it be residue from the other belt? Or could he have done something wrong when putting it on?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If your power steering pump has no fluid in it, it's going to wine. I just got done chasing down this same noise. Spray some water on the belt with a spray bottle, preferably on the underside of the belt or on the grooves of a pulley while engine is running. If the noise goes away, then it is a belt alignment issue. If the noise gets louder, then the belt is slipping. If all the pulleys are good, I would look at the belt tensioner.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

OK will try. Thank you.


Lots of good advice above. With the engine off, get some light in there and attempt to follow the belt all the way around to see if it is touching anything. It should not be touching anything, even a little bit. other than the pulleys. Get a used power steering pump from the auto wreckers and have it put on. They rarely fail so you should be safe with a used one. Price out a new one first at an auto parts store (not the dealership) so you don't pay too much for a used one. A used one shouldn't be more than half the price of a new one.


I am not going to be able to replace the ps pump for a week because my car, the grand Am is one town over with, I believe, a broken starter. I'm telling you, when it rains it pours. We have four jobs between my husband and I, and down to one car, that is now breaking piece by piece. I think the guy who fixed pulley and serp belt probably broke ps pump because there's a hole in the reservoir so it wasn't there before. Is it possible that the noise is the pulley itself. Immediately after he fixed the belt and pulley, the engine light came on, and the temp guage falls below freezing when driving. It heats to proper temp if I idle a while but when I drive it goes way down. Could it be that the belt is on wrong or the pulley is bad. It was brand new, I bought it and the old one was completely broken.


Ok, sound like you need someone else to work on your car, Sounds to me the guy used the wrong tool to get the power steering pulley off, if it is broken. So while he was pulling the old one off, the tool he was using punched a hole in the reservoir. I believe you main problem is with the belt tensioner. Now on the heat thing, DO NOT over heat that thing as it is all aluminum and warps easily, causing more grief to the point you would be pulling your hair out! Check the coolant level first make sure it is full. Sounds like the thermostat would need replacing. When doing so it is VERY important to purge all the air out of the cooling system.


Yes, I know about overheating lol. But it doesn't get hot, just cold. There's coolant in it. And yes, I agree about a different person to fix it. I was in a desperate situation. What can I look for on the pulley to see if it's that. The belt is very tight. And it seemed fine until two days ago the noise started. There's a black rubber residue on the belt but it seems fine not loose or touching anything. The noise is not the ps pump I don't think it is faster when I am in Park and if I hit gas it increases in speed but not when turning wheel. I'm afraid that the pulley will break when driving because that's what it did before. I thought maybe he put the belt on wrong or something. I know nothing about serp belts.


Be sure he has routed the belt correctly. There is a chart under the hood that shows how it should be running. I'm not sure if its possible to get it on wrong, but if he did that would cause it to rub or possibly turn the water pump backwards. You need to get that remedied as soon as possible so you don't do further damage. ... Running too cold sounds like a cooling system that's not full. ... Depending on where he punched the hole in the power steering pump, you may be able to repair it using a product called Seal-All. You will still have to have the pump taken off the car to do it, but it might save the price of a different pump. Driving it without power steering is going to be difficult and dangerous. The sticky residue on the belt sounds like it is rubbing somewhere and melting either the belt or whatever its rubbing against. ... And if the guy who's working on it now won't warranty his work and get things going properly you need to find someone else.


I am trying to get someone else to fix it. I've had to drive without ps for two weeks I know. It's very hard. But, when you have absolutely no, I will look over the belt and pulley today. It's actually not freezing out today so I can. Thanks for answering.

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