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For the past month or so my 2003 Honda Accord squeaks in the morning when I start driving to work. After a couple of minutes of driving the squeak stops. I'm pretty sure it's from the belt area. What can be causing this? How do I remedy it?

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Most likely cause for this is that you have some condensation built up overnight on either the belt or one of the pulley wheels, and until this has evaporated the belt will be able to slip a little, causing a squeak. Once the engine warms up, the condensation is gone.

With a new, well tensioned belt, this shouldn't matter, however belts age and stretch, which makes them more likely to slip.

The recommended fixes include:

  • increase the belt tension
  • replace the belt

or possibly just give the belt a good clean, but the first two are better solutions.

  • Here's an indirectly related question: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/543/… Same symptoms on a different vehicle: the belt was old. – Bob Cross Jun 7 '12 at 17:09
  • It's not just condensation that might cause this; if it's the alternator belt, increased mechanical force required to turn the alternator when the battery is at ~13v (after sitting overnight) rather than ~14v (after recently running) will affect slippage. Of course tensioning or replacing the belt should fix it anyway. – R.. Jun 17 '12 at 13:10
  • That and just overcoming the static friction of all the accessories upon initial startup, as well as the coefficient of friction of the belt itself will be lower when cold. – Nick Aug 1 '12 at 2:58
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I had a similar problem with a Hyundai. In my case the drive belt had stretched after 2 years of constant use. A simple fix was to tighten the belt to ensure enough tension on the belt. This solved the problem for me.. Hope it helps!

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First, check the belt tension, then check the tensioner for wear. If it is ok, then check the belt for any traps, wear, cracks - if found then replace.

If the noise persists, then check the alternator pulley and its distance from it's centre shaft as the change in angle of belt will create the noise and it will recreate if the belt is replaced.

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