97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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Old 08-14-2016, 03:35 AM
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97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

When I first start my 1997 Grand Cherokee with the A/C off everything is fine. When I turn on the Air Conditioner the belt pulley screeches. I have to turn the A/C off and drive it a few blocks before I can switch on the A/C and everything runs fine. It only happens when I engage the Air Conditioner and nothing else that the Serpentine belt is wrapped around. My Grand Cherokee is a 4.0L 6-cylinder 4x4. I ordered a new compressor from Autozone and my mechanic installed it. I replaced the Serpentine belt at the same time and the engine has a self-tensioning belt installation. If I've been driving the jeep (which I bought new almost 18 years ago) I have no problem if making short stops as long as the engine is still warm when I go from place to place. If I let the engine cool down and start a new commute the belt will screech again and I need to turn the A/C unit off and drive about a block before I can restart the air conditioner without it screeching.

In other cars I had used a belt dressing to provide enough friction so the belt doesn't slip. However, I live in the Southern California Coachella Valley (Palms Springs area) and the average temperature here in the desert when starting the jeep is above 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have a two year warranty on the Compressor from Autozone and it is not yet one year old. The belt is a four or five V grooved belt intended to fit the pulleys and each of the pulleys was replaced after major engine work with pulleys made to fit my model jeep also from Autozone. The belt was a top of the line belt because we need to use the jeep four to six times a year to drive from home in California's a to Phoenix Arizona for appointments at Mayo Clinic which is a straight 5 hour ride. Again, the compressor works fine once I start the air conditioner about a block or two from home with no other problems.

Do they still make a spray on belt dressing and will this be safe to use (if they still make it to create friction between the belt and compressor pulley or should I be considering replacing the A/C Compressor under warranty? Does anyone else have this problem?

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  #2  
Old 08-14-2016, 10:55 AM
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Re: 97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

It can be that the spring from the tensioner became too weak over time, putting not enough tension on the belt and make it slip. Was the tensioner checked?
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:17 PM
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Re: 97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
It can be that the spring from the tensioner became too weak over time, putting not enough tension on the belt and make it slip. Was the tensioner checked?
That was my thought as I was reading it.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:15 PM
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97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
It can be that the spring from the tensioner became too weak over time, putting not enough tension on the belt and make it slip. Was the tensioner checked?


Not specifically for tension but as I recall the belt release is not spring loaded but is released by loosing a bolt and moving either the alternator or tensioner pulley along a curved slot in a steel bracket until it's back in place and then tightened while you manually check the belt for play. The idler pulley or tensioner pulley are in a fixed position. So I wasnt exactly correct as it is a release and tightening bolted connecfion. I didn't install the belt but on three of four occasions (one was when the idler pulley bearings failed on a road trip in Tucomcari New Mexico and the only mechanic in town did not have a replacement and tried to repair it, the second was 50 miles later in Santa Rosa New Mexico at a NAPA dealer with a disassembling yard. The who found a replacement pulley from a junket 97 Jeep same model and the third time was after buying two new pulleys to replace the NAPA used part from Autozone and had both installed at home by the mechanic at a Goodyear tire shop mechanic. I referred to the shop manual to show the mechanic how to properly install the Serpentine belt and tighten it. Come to think of it it may not have been spring loaded but manually pulled tight using a pry bar. In the fourth time was after replacing the compressor last September but my regular mechanic did it while I was in the hospital following surgery. Still, he checked all his work in the last year when I brought it in following a 302 code misfire. I trust this mechanic and used the others when I wasn't home. He and his boss who is a Transmission specialist are the only mechanic shop I found in 2014 that I've been loyal to as the back their work and went as far as to replace a radiator they put in nine months before because while looking through the screech complaint that my wife was able to hear first which was too high pitched at first the I couldn't hear it initially. He wasn't happy with the new radiator he installed and replaced it under his shop work warranty with no cost to me. His shop is a licensed transmission rebuild specialist that replaced a few bad sensors and did the work on my front and rear transmission seals in 2014. His engine mechanic has been with him many years and they are a licensed shop. The reason I'm explaining in such detail is that they stuck by me when I was traveling through Texas and started to have some problems and called them thinking it might have been related to the transmission seals or sensor work that he replied. He got me to an Autozone in Amarillo Texas whose manager American out and checked my error codes. I didn't know at the time but the problems was not with his work but a failing fuel pump and leaking emissions that he finally fixed after I made it home. My fuel pump was going bad after 17 years. And my rear hoses were cracked and had never been replaced. He did the work at a reasonable price after I came home from a 5,000 mole round trip to get my wife to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in 2014 (the photo of my 12 year old Golden Retrievers on the first record breaking coolest day in history in the beginning of October 2014 when it hit minus 21 degrees below zero in the first week of October. I trust this shop and it took 14 years to find him. I won't use a one else. He was trained by the original transmission shop owner back in the early 1980's and he bought the place 23 years ago.

This leaves me back to the question of initial belt slip and can I safely use a belt dressing or if it could be a faulty A/C Compressor still under warranty with Autozone?

Maggie my travel companion on the first coldest day in history of early October 2014 when it hit minus 21 degrees below zero after being 70 degrees the day before.

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Old 08-14-2016, 01:25 PM
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Re: 97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

Hell yes put some belt dressing on it. Please.

I'm just kidding.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:27 PM
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97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

Quote:
Originally Posted by Governor View Post
Hell yes put some belt dressing on it. Please.


Aw Hell, thank you. Now go back to sleep and thanks again . I'm just kidding too. You'd think my long text would have put you to sleep after the first couple of sentences unless your waiting for the photo of my travel dog 12 years old Blond Golden Retrievers from Tucson when we first found her - she was six weeks old at the time - the only other blond my wife will let me share a bed with. Yeah, that's me in the background. Haven't been this cold since leaving Chicago in 1978 to relocate to the desert. She's got two more Golden rescues at home and a "save-A-Pet" Chocolate Lab back home who doesn't like to travel. Maggie should be riding shotgun since my wife's the back seat driver. But after Maggie first cross country trip she knows she gets the best treats at Sonic Burgers Willie I make the strawberry crushes last most of the day. Maggie's a Therapy dog gets to stay free with us no matter where she goes. My wife and I both have disabilities but Maggie gets me out of the house the reason I need my Jeep. It's like never leaving home and calms my nerves so I can travel with Crohns Disease and my Wife with Muscular Dystrophy.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:56 PM
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Re: 97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

LOL. Yeah, I was posting your reply before I saw the dog. I guess you added an edit? It definitely would have held my attention. I love dogs.

It wouldn't hurt a thing to try some dressing. However, Frango is an experienced mechanic and I think you should certainly run this down further if he has the time and you are willing. He'll have a flow chart to run through most likely probables.

I'm mostly a body shop guy with some basic knowledge. I mostly get lost after carburetors though so your best bet is Frango. I'm amazed at how he can diagnose from the Internet when many mechanics can do nothing but swap parts till something is fixed. Diagnosticians are golden.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:39 PM
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97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

Quote:
Originally Posted by Governor View Post
LOL. Yeah, I was posting your reply before I saw the dog. I guess you added an edit? It definitely would have held my attention. I love dogs.

It wouldn't hurt a thing to try some dressing. However, Frango is an experienced mechanic and I think you should certainly run this down further if he has the time and you are willing. He'll have a flow chart to run through most likely probables.

I'm mostly a body shop guy with some basic knowledge. I mostly get lost after carburetors though so your best bet is Frango. I'm amazed at how he can diagnose from the Internet when many mechanics can do nothing but swap parts till something is fixed. Diagnosticians are golden.


Thanks Governor, I'd be happy to wait and certainly appreciate the help. Even more impressive, Maggie wants me to take you up on the offer. At 13, she can't hear much any more and her cataracts are so bad I'm wearing an orange vest and am her 66 year old "seeing eye partner". Without vision or hearing that nose of hers makes up for everything. She gets along better on her since of smell then I could if I'd lost my sight ( already lost most of my hearing and developed CRS (Can't Remember Sh*t)). I love this dog. I had one other Travel dog before her, Jess. She was a Flat coat Retriever / Rottweiler mix ( the runt of my daughters two dogs litter). Jess never left my side. She passed at 12 years from Cancer and of all the dogs we've rescued in close to 40 years Jess was the first "boy's dog" I never had that made me fall in love with all other dogs. The rescues are wonderful dogs be have been exposed to multiple homes and physical abuse and they don't like change in routine including long care trips, although Ruby is a red Golden Retrievers who loves to visit hospitals and shelters where she gets a lot of attention and visits shelters for kids that come from abusive homes. She does a lot for the kids who range in age from 12 to 17 years old. Ruby brings something that they are missing in their lives. Unconditional Love! Here is a picture of Ruby sine your a dog lover.

She loves to sneak up onto the sofa for a nap and the other picture is Ruby watching my wife's wild Doves she feeds waiting for two squirrels that drive her nuts as they steal the bird seed. We lived in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs is above 30 miles west of us) since 1993 and these are the first squirrels we've ever seen. Snakes, scorpion, Tarantula, Coyote, Big Horn Sheep and lizards sure. But the two Squirrels she's waiting for are the first in 23 years out here.
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:04 PM
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Re: 97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

I know exactly what Maggie is going through. I have had German Shepherds pretty much non stop since I was a kid. Jeb made it to 13 then his son, Loafer made it 15 years. I currently have two, 5 yr old Ellie and 2 yr old Chief. Plus the wife's long haired Chihuahua, Bruno. He's the Alfa dog believe it or not. He has to leap straight up into the air to give Chief his fake throat slash. He also tries to throw himself sideways to try and topple Chief who is 95 lbs. compared to 8 lb. Bruno. Like he's going to knock that big Moose over. He tickles the crap out of me.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:46 AM
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Re: 97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

Quote:
Originally Posted by Governor View Post
I know exactly what Maggie is going through. I have had German Shepherds pretty much non stop since I was a kid. Jeb made it to 13 then his son, Loafer made it 15 years. I currently have two, 5 yr old Ellie and 2 yr old Chief. Plus the wife's long haired Chihuahua, Bruno. He's the Alfa dog believe it or not. He has to leap straight up into the air to give Chief his fake throat slash. He also tries to throw himself sideways to try and topple Chief who is 95 lbs. compared to 8 lb. Bruno. Like he's going to knock that big Moose over. He tickles the crap out of me.


My step-daughter in Illinois just got two Shepard from the same I later; Ellen and Bella.



My grandson lives a few hours away. His dad and I have issues and I never got to meet David until last year on FaceTime thanks to my 94 year old mother in Chicago. I downloaded this photo of David (named after my dad who passed in 2001). I enjoy photography and played around with this shot of Dave and his dad's Pitfnull from a few years ago). Got to meet David after his dad's divorce thanks to Davids mom and half brother.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:57 AM
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Re: 97 Grand Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 A/C serpentine belt screeching when first started

My step-daughters dogs are Ella and Bella. Step-daughter is Lisa . We're a big dog loving family!
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