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98 rav4. I have a bad squeal, however I tried a new alternator and it did not go away. The charging voltage does not go above 12.3 and when I unplug the plug on the back of the alternator the squealing stops but I lose voltage. Revving the vehicle does nothing but make the squeal louder. I have checked all connections and I have tested the batteries. I have checked the wires. What am I missing> Please help me....

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 26 at 20:10
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    Unplugging kills the electrical load on the alternator. As the answer from @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 says, a slipping belt is the typical cause of a squeal. Less electrical load on the alternator means less mechanical load on the belt and so less slippage. If the squeal began when the new belt was fitted, get the tension checked. Even with no tensioner there should be an adjustment. – Weather Vane May 26 at 21:23
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That year of RAV 4 uses the alternator to tighten the belt. It may not be adjusted properly and the belt is slipping.

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  • Omg thank you... apparently the guy who had this before failed to put that bracket on and broke the bolt off... gonna get a new bracket,drill that bolt out and rethread! Thanks again! Ps... i never worked on a toyota aha – Lane May 27 at 17:51
  • You are welcome. Its easy to over tighten the belt with this type of tensioner, so go easy on it. – Moab May 27 at 22:30
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More than likely the problem is either your serpentine belt is worn out, or the tensioner pulley isn't providing enough tension to keep the belt in place. Belt slippage accounts for the low amount of voltage output. Because it's the easier of the two, I'd suggest replacing the belt first. I'm not sure on your RAV4 whether there is an indicator on your tensioner to tell you whether it is providing tension in the "good range", but you might check for it. When you put a new belt on, there may be enough grip with it to prevent the squealing, however, this doesn't preclude there may not be an issue still with the tensioner. Really, replacing both would be the right way to go at this point.

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  • Unfortunatly there is no tensioner on this which is strange to me but the belt is new – Lane May 26 at 20:14
  • @Lane - All vehicles with a serpentine belt have some sort of tensioner, whether spring loaded or if you have to tighten an accessory more. One thing or the other. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 26 at 21:54
  • Some manufacturers use stretch to fit serpentine belts now, special tools to remove and reinstall. Did not have this in 1998 though. – Moab May 26 at 23:08

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