I have 2013 dodge grand caravan with a 3.6 engine. I notice on cold start that I hear a squealing noise from the engine which only lasts for a few seconds.

This only happens when the temp is very cold and does not happen when starting later in the day.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! More than likely your serpentine belt is squealing at the alternator. Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 22:48

2 Answers 2


It is most likely because of a cold belt. Easy to test. Take belt off and start the car. If theres no squeal its the belt. If there is still squealing, you have bigger problems.


In cases like that,and i see it day in ,day out, in the shop,most most likely it's the ALTERNATOR belt that needs tightening;

The reason it quiets down afterwards,is because the alternator already replenished the battery charge that was spent by the starter,and also,it's warming up,getting a better grip; stil..it NEEDS tightening,(renew it,if it is very old!)it will only get worse;

There is an easier way to test ,to make sure: get a garden hose,(or just a pitch with water)and totally wet the belt and its pulleys as it is turning(engine idling): the water will act as a lubricant,and the slipping belt(if it's the case) will completely stop squealing; the water dries in seconds and all goes back to what it was like before again,but you got your answer.

  • Bar soap in not as messy as water. Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 14:57
  • No can do! First,you'd lose fingers bringing the soap to the running belt; Second,you DO NOT want soap,or any other slippery stuff on your belt!!!!Ever!!! Water,and water only; that WILL do the job; sorry,but others also need to know the proper way.
    – V8sUndead
    Commented Aug 6, 2019 at 22:33
  • Did it many times in "V" belt days Also with my solid chunk of belt rosin which was was smaller than bar soap. GM V-8 s usually ran 3 V belts so you had to be careful. Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 14:11
  • Rosin YES!!! that's the BEST stuff,not soap.
    – V8sUndead
    Commented Aug 9, 2019 at 15:57

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