1984 Pontiac Fiero SE
by Pontiac Owner
1984 Pontiac Fiero SE
I needed to put a new Alternator belt on and was still in the process of learning how to do it when my sister brought her mechanic to do it for me.
I had the new belt but, they determined it didn't fit and took the old one to auto part store and got a different one, even though the clerk told them the one I had was correct.
After putting the belt on they told me to start the car. when I did, the car screeched nonstop until I turned it off. I told them that it was not just a loose belt. They decided that the problem was probably bad bearings or something I did. I closed the car up and said I would figure it out later. A month later I had to move my Car and started it up, the screech was not too bad and stopped when I drove it.
When I got out of the car, I smelled a hot rubber type of smell The next morning I returned home and on the way the temp went up and check engine light came on. smoke was coming out the vents. I walked away. the next morning I took the parking ticket off my windshield and called my old friend.
He was a International truck mechanic before he retired as a supervisor. By this time I knew the procedure for replacing the belt by heart. Loosen the 2 bolts on the alternator bracket to move the alt to remove the belt,(in this case the belt had removed itself) The condition of the belt was that it looked like a flat type with 4-5 little ribs. My friend put the belt I originally bought on and I took the car home a 1/4 mile away.
When I inspected the belt, it had done the same as the other one but, had not come off the pulley. I had told my friend he had to loosen the bottom bolt also to move the alternator, but he didn't because the top bolt was all the way in and would not move the alt any closer. He also had a hard time getting the belt over the pulleys.
I am a 60 yr old 100 pound woman and I have small hands so I followed the route of the belt with my fingers and the first thing making contact with the belt were the threads of the bottom bolt. Long story short, it took me 5 minutes to put a belt on and tighten it up. Had the written procedure been followed the routing mistake would have been caught before finishing.