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Accessory belt squeal fix

Several things can make the accessory belt squeal on the Focus. Here are some things you can do to find out what's wrong.

Time Required:
5 minutes to 1 hour

Tools Needed:

  • CRC Belt Dressing
  • 15mm wrench
  • 10mm wrench
  • Possibly others


    The most common causes of a squealing accessory belt are either a worn belt or the belt tensioner isn't engaging fully. Either way, when load is applied to the accessory belt (during turning, when the A/C is running or when revving), the belt slips and creates quite a noise.

    First, check the belt for signs of wear. This includes frayed spots on the flat side as well as cracks, missing chunks or slick shiny parts on the grooved side. Any of these are signs that the belt should be replaced. Replace the accessory drive belt if needed.

    The belt tensioner can also be at fault. grasp it and try to retract it as covered in the Accessory Belt Replacement article. If it seems to retract very easily or it's just plain loose, you must replace the tensioner assembly. I do not have instructions online for that yet.

    If the belt looks fine and the tensioner is reasonably tight, you may try spraying some CRC Belt Dressing onto the belt itself. This is an aerosol spray that's slightly sticky. It restores the friction surfaces of the belt and will actually help the belt last longer by keeping the rubber supple and flexible.

    If the squealing persists, you likely have a problem with the power steering pump, water pump or air conditioner compressor. After all, sometimes things just break.

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