Noise from power steering belt or tensioner?

Hello, my name is Lee and I have a 1998 GTO SR.

Last week I had a loud(ish) screeching noise coming from the engine bay when driving and when ticking over. I sprayed some WD40 on the Power Steering belt and it went away. This morning the noise came back so to pinpoint the area I sprayed again on the belt but the noise comes back after a couple of seconds. If I spray directly where the belt meets the Power Steering tensioner - it goes away for much longer - no more noise at the moment.

I changed the belt and the P/S tensioner 17 months ago (new parts) and the edges on the belt appears to be a little frayed.

If anyone can help or recommend anything - It will be much appreciated.

thanks Lee

1 Like

Hi lee
This may or may not be the problem but I have seen a number of belts on the market being sold for these cars but they don’t fit very well into the v groove (I am assuming that you have the v belt type). It means that only part of the belt grips into the v and allows it to slip as it wears. If you have ribbed belt, it may just need re-tensioning.


Hi Joe, thanks for the quick reply. The belt I have on at the moment is ribbed - like the alternator belt - but with 4 ribs.

I may order a new one and try that to see what happens.

Is it easy to check if its tensioned correctly - sorry if that’s a stupid question - I am trying to learn all the time. thanks Lee

There are specific tension settings, but as a rule of thumb, the longest section of belt between any 2 points is where you are looking for the tension measurement. If you move it in and out it should have about 5mm of movement each side of centre without forcing it. If it is realy tight, it is too tight. If it has much more than 5mm, it probably needs tightening. I will try to look up the specific settings and put them in a video but you won’t go far wrong with the above guide.
Also, beware of certain types of cheaper belt whose rubber degrades quicker than some better quality belts. I am not saying that you have to buy any specific brand or pay a fortune, just ask for recommended brands from people that have used them in person over a long period of time.


Thanks for the info joe!! A Video would be amazing when you get the chance. I have ordered a Gates belt from Evil Empire so hopefully that will be decent quality. thanks again!

Just checked my 91 vr4 for squealing when i cut the wheel al the way left or right with a friend to confirm location, and determined my power steering belt is worn to a point where I’ll have to tighten the tension pulley. Here’s the tension specs your asking about from the service manual.

1 Like

thanks for the info! I did finally get to the bottom of the problem though - I needed a new crank pulley - mine had literally become 2 parts! It was last resort to change that and I ended up changing every pulley and belt on that side!

1 Like

Lucky You noticed early.

1 Like

Yeah, there was smoke coming from it too when being revved the final time I checked it. Hopefully all the new pullies, p/s pump, belts will last another 20 years before I have to change them all again.