I own a 2006 Subaru Outback. It is winter currently in the northeast and usually it does make some squeaks during this time. However, there have been some warmer days and this issue is still happening.

I will start the car, starts right up. About 3-4 seconds after starting whether the blower fan/ ac/ defrost is on a loud squeal will start and slowly get louder. It defintitley is coming from something belt driven. After about 30 seconds of agonizing noise, it cuts out. The headlights get brighter and the fan if it’s on blows harder.

After warming up, I then proceed to back out. Once I start to turn that wheel back comes the squealing AND it’s like there is no power steering. Once I begin to pull forward, swuaeaking stops until I take my next slow speed left and right to get out of my complex. This continues every time I turn while at a speed less than 5mph. The steering becomes easy and normal after about 10 min into my drive also. The power steering resivoir is within operating range.

Does anyone have any idea as to what this may be? Thanks!

2 Answers 2


Your car uses one accessory serpentine belt to power all of the engine accessories (see picture below). If the belt is loose or overly worn, it will begin slipping on one or multiple pulleys. The slipping will cause the squealing sound you heard, and will prevent the alternator/generator (which provides power), power steering, and/or AC (self explanatory) from working. Once the belt catches again, the squealing stops, and function is resumed to the accessory. There are short term fixes such as belt conditioner or tightening the belt, but ultimately I would recommend replacing the belt as it is a fairly cheap repair, and it's a huge inconvenience when one breaks.

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Tighten the belt(s). If a serpentine belt , check/ replace the tensioner.

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