I own a Toyota Corolla 2003 CE. The engine hosts only one serpentine belt for the crankshaft pulley, the alternator pulley, the water pump pulley, the automatic tensioner pulley and the power steering pulley. I recently installed a new Gates serpentine belt because the old belt started squealing. I thought that after installing the new serpentine belt my troubles would be over, but my engine still squeals. The only time it squeals is when I start the engine; I can accelerate, turn on/off the A/C and it still squeals. It doesn't squeal forever though. The sound lasts for about 15 minutes. I can't hear the sound when I'm cruising on the highway and after I have been using the car for a while the sound seems to have disappeared.

Does anyone have any insight or explanation as to why this may be? I am at a lost in my diagnostics...

1 Answer 1


Did you check all the pulleys before installing the new belt, to check that one of them isn't close to seizing? (water pump, especially). If everything turns freely, I'd suspect that the belt wasn't tensioned correctly; you don't want it too tight or too loose.

  • Thank you for your response. I had not checked all of the pullies before installing the new serpentine belt. I removed the new serpentine belt to check the pullies and the only pulley that did not spin freely like the other was the water pump pulley. Is this a common issue with Toyota Corrolla's?
    – 200817189a
    Jun 14, 2017 at 16:20
  • Water pumps lead a hard life. There will be some resistance, because it has water to move on the other side - but it it's too stiff, replace it. They're pretty cheap - and a lot cheaper than fixing an overheated engine.
    – PeteCon
    Jun 14, 2017 at 16:58
  • 1
    After a month, I have finally installed my new water pump on my 1ZZ-FE engine, there is no squeal anymore! It was really the water pump pulley that was squealing. I think it was near the end of its life...I think my Corrolla (bought it used in 2013) never had a coolant fluid renewal from its previous owner. So, after 10 years of having the same coolant, I assume that the anti-corrosion chemicals in the engine coolant were mostly gone and that is the cause of the corrosion of the water pump pulley mechanism; thus, the squealing sound.
    – 200817189a
    Jul 17, 2017 at 16:12

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