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Auxiliary drive belt adjustment


1973noom
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Hi, I'm getting a slight squeel on cold start up now the weather is getting colder.

Is tightening the auxiliary drive belt a DIY task? I.e. is it simply adjusting the alternator on its sliding mount? Or there more to it than that.

Mine's a 2012 Auris 1.6 petrol manual.

Many thanks

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Yes just tighten it up slightly but before yo do just twist it and take a note of how slack it is and can you see any cracks in the rubber.

If its shiny from slipping to often or cracked then you might aswell change it.

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I have a vague idea that your car has an automatic auxillary belt tensioner, the VVTi models that preceded it did.  Our much older, but still VVTi Corolla, definitely has.

If you have a look around the drive belt area, (with the engine off, obviously), see if you can spot something like this, which is an automatic, spring-loaded tensioner that might be the one fitted to your car, it'll be fitted fairly high up, at the windscreen side of the block/head:

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174692395435?fits=Car+Make%3AToyota&hash=item28ac7a69ab:g:vEYAAOSwTvZgVDNN

I don't remember hearing of a tensioner failing, fwiw, but then I'm not looking that hard.  There are some on eBay, so someone is replacing them...

But the squealing could be the alternator, water pump, air conditioning pump or guide pulley bearings getting stiff (i.e. failing), causing the belt to slip.

I've never looked at one of your engines, but if it follows 'Toyota VVTi form', the auxiliary belt is easy and quick to remove, so that the pulleys and belt can be checked for wear etc.

The hardest part of all this checking is replacing the belt into the correct pattern to refit it.  I'd take plenty of photos of where the belt goes before you start, maybe even draw a simple picture!

The belt tension is released by twisting (and then holding against its spring, whilst you remove the belt) the prominent aluminium hex head in the eBay pictures, the one with the hole up the middle of it.

Hopefully, it's just the belt itself that is worn.  I should think that around 10 years is the recommended change interval, but they can go on for much longer, depending on your mileage/usage, of course.

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2 hours ago, Gerg said:

I have a vague idea that your car has an automatic auxillary belt tensioner, the VVTi models that preceded it did.  Our much older, but still VVTi Corolla, definitely has.

If you have a look around the drive belt area, (with the engine off, obviously), see if you can spot something like this, which is an automatic, spring-loaded tensioner that might be the one fitted to your car, it'll be fitted fairly high up, at the windscreen side of the block/head:

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174692395435?fits=Car+Make%3AToyota&hash=item28ac7a69ab:g:vEYAAOSwTvZgVDNN

I don't remember hearing of a tensioner failing, fwiw, but then I'm not looking that hard.  There are some on eBay, so someone is replacing them...

But the squealing could be the alternator, water pump, air conditioning pump or guide pulley bearings getting stiff (i.e. failing), causing the belt to slip.

I've never looked at one of your engines, but if it follows 'Toyota VVTi form', the auxiliary belt is easy and quick to remove, so that the pulleys and belt can be checked for wear etc.

The hardest part of all this checking is replacing the belt into the correct pattern to refit it.  I'd take plenty of photos of where the belt goes before you start, maybe even draw a simple picture!

The belt tension is released by twisting (and then holding against its spring, whilst you remove the belt) the prominent aluminium hex head in the eBay pictures, the one with the hole up the middle of it.

Hopefully, it's just the belt itself that is worn.  I should think that around 10 years is the recommended change interval, but they can go on for much longer, depending on your mileage/usage, of course.

For some reason Toyota reverted back to manual belt tensioners with the Auris. My 2009 1.6 Valvematic had a manual tensioner and always seemed to need a quick adjustment once the weather cooled down each winter to avoid it squeaking. Its easy enough to do, just slacken the alternator off and wind the adjuster up a bit.

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29 minutes ago, yossarian247 said:

For some reason Toyota reverted back to manual belt tensioners with the Auris.

Ah, OK, thanks!  As an actual owner, you are the man!

Before this Toyota Corolla, I'd only seen manual adjusters.

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It seemed like a backward step really. Most manufacturers have been using auto tensioners for years now, and as Toyota had used them in the past I was quite surprised to find a manual adjuster on the Auris

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10 hours ago, Gerg said:

Hopefully, it's just the belt itself that is worn.  I should think that around 10 years is the recommended change interval, but they can go on for much longer, depending on your mileage/usage, of course.

The belt on our old 2003 Corolla was flagged as being deteriorated and cracking back around 2014 I would guess. I had it replaced this year as it was definitely looking tired and the cracks although small were covering all the belt. It would have been madness to have that fail. 19 years wasn't bad in the scheme of things. 

The belt on my Auris which is now on 91k and coming up to 13 years old looks perfect.  

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