Serpentine Belt Eater

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Thread: Serpentine Belt Eater

  1. #1
    Saab Nut
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sunbury on Thames
    Posts
    267

    Serpentine Belt Eater

    I see other threads on this - non specific to a 9000. Not sure I know what the problem is

    Just want some wisdom from a serious SAAB mechanic. My 9000 has done 110,000 and has started eating serpentine belts. The second just failed after a few 1,000 miles. I had had no problems with the first one, just renewed it. All the idlers and the driven pulleys appeared free spinning and also non wobbly. But that didn't a save the new belt.

    The tensioner was also tensioning, needed serious force from the compressor to loosen it. etc.

    Is their something dark and lurking to check? Do the actual tensioners fail/get weak? My last 9000 did 200K on the same pulleys and tensioner.

    Off to remove the wheel arch cover and dig out the remains of the last belt from around the crankshaft and alternator, as this one failed in a bad place and really got devoured, I couldn't free the remains and neither could the RAC... had to get trucked home.... hope the pulleys don't have to come off.....

    I have to buy a new idler wheel as the old one is coated with remains, the RAC guy said. But it spins freely...... that's about it. What to do - buy a new tensioner unit anyway? etc. Never had a problem like this with such belts before on any of the family cars.... thanks for any insight.

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  3. #2
    Saab Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    Posts
    13

    Re: Serpentine Belt Eater

    I'm definitely not a SAAB mechanic, nor any mechanic, just a self-proclaimed DIY Tinkerer.
    I did work at an Auto Electrician for many moons (but not on the hands-on side), and the biggest causes of (newish) belt failure were;
    #1, cheap belts. Buy recognised good quality!!
    #2 Something is out of alignment. Putting something (pump/tensioner/whatever) back on, even slightly skewed, WILL destroy a belt. Leaving off that little spacer, that little bushing, putting a little bracket back on the inside instead of the outside of a mount, has an effect.
    #3 Bearings might "feel" good, but can still be bad, especially when doing a gazillion revs.
    Last edited by Tones9-3; 07-25-2019 at 12:51 AM. Reason: Clarity

  4. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Kippen, Stirling
    Posts
    2,681

    Re: Serpentine Belt Eater

    Briancatt,

    Did you find a way to check the air con bushes without the belt on ! The clutch would have been disengaged. When at rest the outer part of the pulley spins but when you turn on the air con, a magnetic clutch engages drive to the compressor. Could be that the compressor is goosed and the stress of it staring is enough for the belt to jump.

    Also, for all they cost, worth replacing the idler pulleys anyway.

    Paul @ Kippen

  5. #4
    Saab Junior
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    NC, USA
    Posts
    29

    Re: Serpentine Belt Eater

    Shredded V-groove serp belts are usually due to mis-alignments in the pulley path. The ribs shift over and back across the Vs like a cheese grater. If it was a friction issue it would burn the belt up and you'd have a lot of squealing. It only takes a tiny amount of play in a pulley to have it run off 1 groove. Check all of the grooved pulleys for well defined and undamaged V grooves, perfect alignment across all of the pulleys.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by briancatt View Post
    I see other threads on this - non specific to a 9000. Not sure I know what the problem is

    Just want some wisdom from a serious SAAB mechanic. My 9000 has done 110,000 and has started eating serpentine belts. The second just failed after a few 1,000 miles. I had had no problems with the first one, just renewed it. All the idlers and the driven pulleys appeared free spinning and also non wobbly. But that didn't a save the new belt.

    The tensioner was also tensioning, needed serious force from the compressor to loosen it. etc.

    Is their something dark and lurking to check? Do the actual tensioners fail/get weak? My last 9000 did 200K on the same pulleys and tensioner.

    Off to remove the wheel arch cover and dig out the remains of the last belt from around the crankshaft and alternator, as this one failed in a bad place and really got devoured, I couldn't free the remains and neither could the RAC... had to get trucked home.... hope the pulleys don't have to come off.....

    I have to buy a new idler wheel as the old one is coated with remains, the RAC guy said. But it spins freely...... that's about it. What to do - buy a new tensioner unit anyway? etc. Never had a problem like this with such belts before on any of the family cars.... thanks for any insight.
    I had the same problem with my car. The culprit was the belt tensioner was deformed and the belt was off one groove in the air on the tensioner pulley.
    Was difficult to find but after installing a new tensioner the problem is gone.

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