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Chrysler Town & Country Serpentine Belt

glynchglynch Member Posts: 3
Last year we had the ac compressor replaced and since then it has been back to the shop 8 times with a squealing belt. It usually comes back within a couple of weeks. Does anyone have any ideas? The tensioner has been replaced as well as one of the pullies.


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    nokidsnokids Member Posts: 2
    How old is the belt? Did they replace the belt when you had the A/C repaired? Squeeling belts are usually loose belts. If you pull-up on the belt between the A/C pulley and the alternator pulley with your thumb and index finger you shouldn't be able to twist it without a lot of effort.
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    glynchglynch Member Posts: 3
    The dealer replaced the belt once again about a month ago. They did replace the belt when they replaced the AC. I will check the tension, but the dealer checked it last time and told me the tensioner was fine.
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    mrbizness1mrbizness1 Member Posts: 93
    If the tensioner is ok I recommend you replace the Mopar belt with a Dayco or other brand name. I always had the dealer replace the belt and never had any problems for 96k until the last change. Then it came off in an inch of rain and squealed for no reason. I had a tsb done for $250.00 which did nothing. After the last tow to the dealer I had them install a standard Dayco belt that I had purchased and it hasn't come off since.
    Good luck
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    glynchglynch Member Posts: 3
    I just don't understand why this is such a problem now. There must be something causing it.
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    mrbizness1mrbizness1 Member Posts: 93
    I read somewhere that the newer Mopar belts have deeper grooves which can hold water, and make the belt squirm. They also could be a bit longer, so they don't have enough tension. Looking at my dealer invoices from a few years back I noticed that the belt part number is different. The dealer said they newer belts are updated, but they don't know what the difference is. It's been almost a year and the Dayco belt hasn't come off once.
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    willemwillem Member Posts: 16
    You should buy some spray can with 'belt dressing' It will cost you between $5.00 and $10.00 at an automotive parts store, and I find that it helps usually for many months. WD-40 is ok but doesn't last as long.

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    done37done37 Member Posts: 64
    I wouldn't recommend belt dressings or lubricants, especially on a serpentine belt system. The dressing attracts dust and debris. It also serves to brake down the rubber in the belt. Short term fix, very short.

    Its possible that the squeal is not related to the A/C compressor, just coincidental. Have them check the P/S pump or water pump as well as the alternator. Good luck!

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    pdeddishpdeddish Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how to take the tension off the serpentine belt of a 2002 voyager, 3.3L flex fuel V6? I can easily access the tensioner from below and it seems like you need to insert a 1/2 inch socket square drive into a square hole at the pulley end of the tensioner to lever it down. However there is not enough space between the tensioner bracket and a frame member to get the square drive into the hole. Am I wrong about doing it this way? How should it be done?
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    leeuwenhoekleeuwenhoek Member Posts: 2
    The Gates company has a fix kit for the belt problem on Chrysler 3.3L & 3.8L engines. Cost is about $140. I had the fix kit installed on my 1998 Chrysler Town and Country and I've had no problems yet. Prior to this fix, any puddle I drove through would cause the belt to slip off.
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    leeuwenhoekleeuwenhoek Member Posts: 2
    The battery on my 1998 Chrysler Town and Country ran down (due to my own stupidity) and I jump started the car. After jump starting the car, the indicator lights for the air conditioner, recirculation, rear window wiper and rear window wiper washer all are blinking. They stop blinking if I drive the car about 15 minutes, but when I start the car again, the blinking begins again. Any ideas?
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    massashaftmassashaft Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone please tell me how to replace my belt tensioner? I have looked in my repair manual to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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    theqsmomtheqsmom Member Posts: 1
    NO DON'T USE BELT DRESSING!!! My 97 Town and Country had a small squeaking noise and my dad gave me some belt dressing and my husband put it on and the noise GOT LOUDER!!! Now I don't know what to do the belt itself looks new no cracks or anything, HELP WHAT DO I DO!!!!!!
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    fconversefconverse Member Posts: 2
    leeuwenhoek: Did you ever find a solution to this problem? I also have a 98 T&C and am having the identical symptoms (same indicators, which stop blinking after about 15 minutes). It starts all over again when I restart the car. My local mechanic advised taking it to a dealer. Would MUCH rather not! Thanks, Fred
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    jpfjpf Member Posts: 496
    The belt is probably glazed and should be replaced. Good luck.
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    beltmanbeltman Member Posts: 1
    The main cause of belt noise is misalignment or tension. The majority of the time it's a misaligned power steering pulley on this application. This pulley is pressed on and becomes out of align. Otherwise Dayco has a new designed tensioner (89251). Good luck
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    jwgk1jwgk1 Member Posts: 1
    Following the replacement of the serpentine belt, idler pulley, and tensioner assembly on my 1996 T&C with a Gates Belt Mod Kit, the car developed an irritating metallic chirping noise. Spot lubrication of either the idler pulley and/or the tensioner puller eliminates the noise for up to 10 minutes, then it returns. The noise is nearly constant, but seems to diminish as the engine warms up, but it does not go away entirely. I would appreciate any pointers.
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    gamia7152gamia7152 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 1998 town and country and need to replace the tensioner pulley. it is out of alignment and my serpentine belt keeps coming off. any help on how to replacement the tension pulley would be greatly appreciated.
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    moakk2moakk2 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same exact problem. did you find any solution. please help, thanks
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    srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    What engine?

    I just replaced the belt, tensioner pulley, and idler pulley on our 2008 DGC, 3.8L engine.
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    mrbiosmrbios Member Posts: 2
    edited November 2010
    I just changed the following yesterday on a 1998 Chrysler Town and Country Mini van with 187,000 miles on it:

    1. Serpentine Belt
    2. Idler Pulley
    3. Belt Tensioner Assembly (Tensioner, Pulley, etc)

    I will post the pictures when I get a chance:
    Chrysler Belt Tensioner Replacement

    Search for "Chrysler" or Tensioner.

    It took me about 5 hours. I did not have a repair manual handy but do have air tools. This was the first time ever working on this vehicle.

    I started by going to a self car wash and thoroughly cleaning the engine top to bottom especially the belt area.

    The basic steps are:

    Remove 4 10mm bolts that hold coil pack on and push out of the way (you can keep the spark plug wires connected but disconnect the plug that brings power to the coil packs.

    Next jack up vehicle. Place jack on the square sub frame not the outer edge behind the tire - this vehicle is very heavy (~ 4 to 5000 lbs). place jack stands on the frame. Jack as high as it is safe so you have more room to get under vehicle.

    Remove the plastic cover near the pass side front tire wheel well by prying the plastic fasteners with a flat screw driver and pulling with a pliers. This will help you remove and install belt, pulleys, tensioner, etc.

    Place 14mm or 15mm open end wrench on the belt tensioner pulley nut then place a pipe over the wrench for mower power and move clockwise to take tension off. Shove a block of wood between pipe and car to keep tension off. Remove belt ( you will need to access the bottom wheel well to slip the belt off the crank pulley / power steering pulley.

    Next remove alternator bracket and alternator push alternator out of the way (the lower alternator bolt has s 15mm nut on the back side that must be held - a vice grips is great for this. You access it from the top by reaching where the bracket was and hold the nut from spinning. It is very cramped. You can spin the bolt from the front then stick you finger until you feel the nut turning then grab it with a pliers of vice grips.

    Tensioner is held on by only one nut ( it contains a single bolt in the center which is permanently attached. Go under the vehicle and slide almost to the drivers side, shine you spot light / flash light and you will be able to see the 15mm nut on the tensioner - loosen it by attaching a 15mm socket to an ~ 8" extension, then a universal (tape it in the center with electrical tape to control its movement and keep it from flopping all over the place). Then attach a short or long extension. Then the ratchet or impact gun (you don't need to hold the bolt as it is welded to the tensioner assembly). Once nut is off you can remove the tensioner and install the new one.

    Reinstall all parts. The bottom alternator bolt is very very difficult to align - try putting similar sized bolt in the other end to hold it in place so the holes align then put the bolt in and start the nut with you fingers and attach a vice grip to hold while you tighten from the front. Attach the alternator bracket then finish tighten the lower alt bolt - don't apply oil to threads.

    Install the idler pulley then install the belt - diagram is on a sticker near radiator. install coil packs and plug in power cord to coils. Start and test BEFORE lowering vehicle.

    WARNING: there are a number of places where the open end wrench can slip and you will smash you knuckles. be sure wrench has a tight fit at all times and use either the pipe or a hammer to break stuck bolts free! Remove grease or oil from all bolts with brake cleaner.

    Normal 8 inch 3/8" extension, a 4" extension, one universal swivel socket adapter.
    two or three foot Pipe wide enough to slip over your ratchet AND open end wrenches for more power - a number of bolts are very tight and you can't access them with power / air tools. You can hammer the end of a 1.5" ID pipe to widen the end to fit over open end wrenches you can also use the handle of a floor jack if you have that type that separates in the middle.

    Vice grips with wide (not the small pliers style jaws that slip).
    Safety glasses or goggles - it is easy to dislodge dirt when under the car into your eye.

    pack of blue nitrile gloves - even after the power wash the vehicle was filthy from oil leaks over time and the grime it attracts.

    Air ratchet helps but is not necessary.
    Jack and jack stands
    Offset ratcheting box wrenches would be very helpful for removing one of the pulley bolts but is not necessary.

    Block of wood to hold the tensioner down so you can remove / reinstall the belt.

    Open end wrenches: 15mm, 14mm?
    Deep sockets: 10mm, 15mm
    Lug nuts: 19mm
    Lights: two one 18" long traditional florescent (with outlet), One short yellow halogen light with movable head. You will need lights on top and on the bottom.

    Parts (NAPA):

    Tensioner assembly (comes with pulley) $40 (they sell a cheaper one but I don't recommend it because of the labor involved if it fails).
    Belt ~ $30 Gates brand.
    Idler Pulley: ~$30
    All three parts cost $120 with tax.

    Be aware there is a different type of tensioner that some of these vehicles use which costs $95.

    Notes: the tension seemed ok on the tensioner but it appeared bent slightly so that belt was at a slight angle which I believe is what caused it to slip off.
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    mrbiosmrbios Member Posts: 2
    Parts (NAPA) Gates Brand:

    Tensioner assembly (comes with pulley): 38113

    Serpentine Belt: 060966 (normal single sided ribbed)

    Idler Pulley: 38042
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    santelmisantelmi Member Posts: 1
    good luck .. you need a thin wrench get the nut off from under the van. get the idler
    pully eith groves
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    davejyddavejyd Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a used 1998 Chrysler Town 7 Country, and right after I bought it I discovered that there were numerous electrical problems, the worst was having a hard start/no start issue. I started checking the electrical system, and found that some of the fuses in the fuse box under the hood were not making proper contact, due to corrosion/dirt. I pulled all of the fuses & relays out, cleaned the fuse box with a good spray electrical contact cleaner, and then replaced all the fuses & relays with new - but first, I applied a dab of dielectric grease to each contact slot before installing the fuses & relays back in. This cured almost all of my problems, except with the issue of my instrument cluster going blank occasionally - however when it does this, a quick rap on the dash just above the cluster brings it back. Sometimes when the cluster is "blank", the van won't start, so I am sure that somehow it ties into the anti-theft system as well. I am betting on a loose connection, or possibly a bad/loose ground point somewhere under the dash. Planning on tearing in to this soonest.
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    joepeterson56joepeterson56 Member Posts: 95
    It is more than likely bad solder terminal connections on the circuit board of your instrument panel. These are notorious for all kinds of electrical problems. If you carefully remove it you can re-heat the solder on the back of the board where the wires plug in and fix most if not all of your issues.
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