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Hey everyone,
In this cold New England weather there are obvious signs that my car hates the cold. One of them being the awful belt noise that erupts during cold starts. I realize that this usually means a replaced belt. I want to know how to go along diagnosing which belt and then how to replace it.

Here's the symptoms:
1. Awful belt screech when turned on, goes away within 20 seconds
2. Belt noise comes back when turning the wheel to back out of a right driveway
3. The STEERING WHEEL feels like it has no power steering WHILE the screeching is happening.
4. The headlights (when on) dim for about 3 seconds
5. All these symptoms happen when the temperature is below freezing and it's a cold start.

How is the belt screeching connected to the steering wheel bein tough I turn?

Thanks guys!
 

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sounds like you need a new power steering belt or adjustment of the existing belt. i usually go with gates brand belt from carquest part #9260.
 

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If the PS belt is tight it is probably the other belt that drives the alternator and the PS slave pulley. At least that is what it was on my '08 Accent.

I would first try to tighten the PS belt. Then if that does not work go on to the other belt.

On my '08 the PS belt is a v belt, the other is a flat belt.

The flat belt should be changed only if the ribs have chunks missing, cracked are OK. A way to test the tension on a flat belt is to try and twist it in the middle of the longest strech. You should not be able to do more than a 1/4 twist.

The v belt should be changed if it has cracks going through it.
 

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I recently had the same symptoms with my 03, and when I got the belt Advance Auto Parts listed for the car (Dayco 17265), it wouldn't get tight with the power steering pump adjusted to its max, so I took it back and switched it for a Dayco 17260.
 

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keep in mind that the alternator belt is responsible for driving the power steering belt. both need to be in good condition and tight to work properly.

your symptoms you describe are definitely a belt.
 

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I am having the same problems as the OP. Only I am starting to hear the screeching all the time.

I had my girlfriend jump in the car, put it in neutral, and rev the engine as I looked in the engine bay at the belts and power steering pump. I was able to see that the power steering pulley was actually moving much slower than the belt when she revved. The belt is sliding over the pulley because of it which I believe is the only thing causing the belt noise.

Tension on the belt seems to be fine but I'll have to double check the tension on the alternator belt but could this just be the power steering pump itself?
 

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The belt is slipping if it is moving faster than the pulley. Either not enough tension or not enough grip due to wear.
 

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The belt is slipping if it is moving faster than the pulley. Either not enough tension or not enough grip due to wear.
Sounds like this would apply to many makes and models. (my 2001 1.6L?)

Thank you for the info. I was just about to purchase a new power steering pump. I will further diagnose and see if that fixes my problem.
 

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PS pumps are pretty simple inside. What usually goes bad is the bearings and then it would wobble or knock.
 
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