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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a small "belt squeal" when I have the AC running and accelerate from a complete stop. It happens for a split second and then doesn't happen again until I accelerate from a complete stop again. Any ideas what this sound could be?
2009 Focus SE
 

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Dead high mileage belt or pull belt and see what's sticking or dragging, could be a bearing going bad somewhere. If you are just experiencing it and problem fairly new you may be getting ready for a walk home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've checked the belt and it looks brand new. No cracks and no rib breakage. The sound doesn't happen unless the AC is on. I haven't looked at the AC belt so I'll get back as soon as I check that out this weekend.
 

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No separate belt to check, one serpentine for all belt driven items.

amc mentioned one check for the tensioner & all driven items (including idler pulleys).

What trans? I get an occasional squeak from the manual's clutch, won't bother with details as it doesn't likely apply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Automatic. I'm gonna check the AC Compressor clutch pulley bearing. If it only happens with the AC on I'm hoping it's isolated there.
 

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You pretty much can no longer look at belt to tell if it is worn out, they quit cracking at grooves when the material used in the better ones changed around year 2000 or so. The only difference between new and worn out is wear so small in grooves that 99.5% of the people looking at cannot see at all. Even the wear measuring tool that Gates provided for free there for a while can hardly be read to tell it. The belts will look new when dead. Why mileage now counts so much toward making a decision. If 75K or more miles start looking at belt.

A weaker tensioner from age can do the same thing.

Problem can easily be elsewhere, the a/c simply loads belt harder and problem then shows up, often not on a/c.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks AMC! I'll go get a new belt and look at the tensioner while I'm at it. Hopefully the belt change will fix it. Much appreciated to all who replied!
 

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Check EVERYTHING that rolls while the belt is off, your big chance there. The tensioner must have good spring and the arm must travel smoothly in its' swing through the operating arc with no sticking. Most of the time sticking from dirt getting into the shaft is what brings them down. You'd think they'd make them far more sealed there but no way, that sells less parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Squeal Fixed!

Well it turns out to be the Tensioner Pulley after all. Pulled and replaced the belt and while it was off I noticed a ton of grease on the bottom of the oil pan. I thought it was oil at first and then rubbed and smelled it. Turned out to be grease from the pulley bearing. You can see the black stuff and the smear where I rubbed my finger through it. Bought a new pulley and popped it on there and everything is smooth, squeal free, and I've got my lost horsepower back. Thanks again for all who posted replies.
IMG_0025[1].jpg
 

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Well it turns out to be the Tensioner Pulley after all. Pulled and replaced the belt and while it was off I noticed a ton of grease on the bottom of the oil pan. I thought it was oil at first and then rubbed and smelled it. Turned out to be grease from the pulley bearing. You can see the black stuff and the smear where I rubbed my finger through it. Bought a new pulley and popped it on there and everything is smooth, squeal free, and I've got my lost horsepower back. Thanks again for all who posted replies.
View attachment 72473
Sorry I missed the thread. I could have answered it for you right away! Had the same problem. The standard tensioner is junk.
 

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Practically every tensioner made is junk, they do not provide weather protection for them virtually at all, eventually dirt works its' way in and kiss it goodbye then. The higher mounted ones generally last longer than lower ones on the engine which are more likely to eat splash from rain.
 

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But more specifically, the Motorcraft tensioners fitted to 09-11 Focus models are junk. I installed a Duralast tensioner and it seems to be a much higher quality piece.
 

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I'll second that, the Motorcraft internally is one of the cheapest ones I've found. The friction bearing plastic insert is paper thin and max loaded to wear through it like lightning. The big circle slot exposed there also allows plenty of dirt to get in to wear the damper insert super fast as well. The wear of the plastic insert subducts it below the slot to allow even more dirt in, a diabolically designed part to self-destruct in minimum time. Several OTC ones are made much better.
 
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