Bought a 96 Protege for my college student daughter. It had an occasional squeal when I bought it. Then it threw the alternator/water pump belt. I put on new belts, both the alternator/water pump and the air conditioner/power steering belts.
The squealing came back even the tension on the belts seemed about right to me. I sprayed the belts with a little belt dressing, the squealing went away for a couple of days, then came back. Daughter was driving it on Saturday and it threw the alternator belt again.
I decided that the problem must be in the water pump. The alternator was spinning very free, feels ok to me. The water pump felt fine with just a tiny amount of play in the shaft. Not the amount of play or noise I would expect with a bad water pump bearing. I pulled the front apart - by the way, pull the grill and the passenger headlight for this job, that gives you plenty of room and visuals for the work.
I replaced the water pump. Looked over the old one, still don't detect any problem, but ran out of time. Going to be working on in the evenings this week, putting all the gear back in place, but I am not sure that the squealing will be gone. Maybe the problem is in the alternator and I just can't detect it. So far, I have not been able to get the alternator out. It's loose, but it won't come out. I am thinking about pulling the big plate that runs from back around the convertor to under the radiator to get the alternator out. The front motor mount is showing some wear, so if I pull that big plate, I can also do that motor mount. What I would like to do is take the alternator in and have it tested. Have it spun up to speed so I can listen to it while it is checked for volts and amp output. Maybe I would hear the problem in the alternator that is causing the car to throw the belts.
It's also possible that this is just a matter of really scorched belt pulleys, so I am cleaning the belt pulleys vigorously. Planning to keep the car a few days after I get it back together, drive it and get the belt tension right, listen for squealing etc.
I wasn't expecting to be doing this much work on this car this fast, but I am getting familiar with the engine compartment and getting oriented, so I guess that's good.
Any suggestions or collective wisdom that can be shared is appreciated.
Register today for free or log-in if already registered to remove this ad!
Ahhhh, the old squeaking belt trick. Everytime I change belts on mine (1996 ES 1.8L) This happens. I've narrowed it down to a few things.
1. Pulley alignment - Get a long straightedge out and put it on all the pulleys. Be sure they are aligned to each other.
2. Pulley condition - be sure to get them clean. If not you will throw belts. Clean all that belt dressing out and throw away the can. Never use belt dressing on grooved pulleys..
3. Tightness - DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN!!!! Deflection for a new A/C - P/S belt should be 8-9mm between the crankshaft and p/s pulleys. Used should be 9-10mm. Generator pulley belt new should be 5.5-7mm, 6-7.5mm used between the generator and the crankshaft. Use the bolt above the generator to adjust. TIP.. Put the new belts on, Drive the car for an hour or so, then readjust. Then repeat the procedure in 3 days. When readjusting in 3 days, use the "used" numbers
4. Belt quality - I always use goodyear gatorback belts. Cheaper brands will just cause headaches
5. A problematic generator will cause major headaches on these cars. Typically, you will see chunking on the generator belt, but not always. I would need to know what size motor you have before could tell how remove it.
6. Also, check for oil leaks around the crankshaft.
I have a mazda shop manual for this car, so I can help with diagrams and procedures. Just email me what you need and I will try to get it to you.
I wondered if it was some kind of model specific quirk. And I was thinking along some of those lines. Gatorback was the brand of belt that just got thrown, so will stick with that belt and work on alignment and tension issus.
What is the process for alignment? What should I be using to shim the pulleys into alignment and where would I be installing the shims? Behind the pulleys or behind the mounting brackets? I don't have much experience with the quirks of numerous pulleys. Previous cars I have owned and maintained have not been particular about belts and pulleys so this is new territory to me. I believe this is the 1.5 4 cyl 16 valve dohc engine.
Sorry for all the questions, but I would like to get this right this time. Thanks for the help.
If you have to shim, I would do it at the mounts. Most of the time, however, tightening everything back down like you are torqueing a head. A little on each side til tight. Usually the offending belt is the generator. The easiest thing to do is to get a straightedge on the pulleys and see how they align to each other. However, I think you may have just overtightened the first time round. I did that, and it is a common mistake, so don't think you are special.
If you need to remove that generator, let me know and I give you a procedure.
i have a '96 DX and when i first got it about two years ago, i had a belt replaced, and after that it would sometimes squeal and whine when it was wet out, or when i turned the ac on (not everytime though) it threw about two belts over the course of 6 months, and i took it in and had everything tightened...no more thrown belts, but it will still occasionally squeal, like i said, when its wet or when the ac is on...
[&o]I have a 96 lx, i just bought it about three months ago and since buying i have had tons of belt issues. when it first snapped i put one on with a friend of mine, then a few weeks later it snapped again and i got it put on by a mechanic, another two weeks later its snapped again. The mechanic told me to change my water pump and it would be fine. I got that and the timing belt changed , and the squeeking sound went a way for a little while. Now being that i have become a expert at snapping my alternator belt, the sqeeking sound came back and would go away as long as i wamred up the car, its been about a month since i put the last belt on which was done by the mechanic, its starting to squeel even when i am driving now. I am figuring its getting close to snapping again, what do you think i should do , because i feel like driving the car off a clif pretty soon .
Look at my post above. Make sure the belts are at the factory reccomended tightness. No More, No less. It is possible that your generator is the issue. They will always charge fine, but the pulley bearing starts to bind. Is the generator belt chunked up. If so, there's your sign. By the way, pulling the generator is a pain in @$#%$ job.
I have a Protege and a 626 LX. Both have the same size engine (4CYL).
Mazda blew it on the belt configuration. ALL MAZDAS with the 4 CYL 2.0 will eventually give you the annoying Squealing at a cold start. You will find as you search the web that I am telling the truth on this one.
Brand new belts every six months will fix this problem as you will find that simply tightening them will buy you only a month at best till it starts all over.
Now it is important to note as a disclaimer that you may have a bad water pump,compressor or alternator. My point is even with all good parts these belts are under-designed for the application and they will not last as long as you are accustomed to with other car manufacturers.
One hint you will get that it is time to replace your new belt is that very familiar smell of burning rubber emanating from your car when you park and first get out.
It may not be squealing at this point but it will in a very short time. You will need to be the judge on how long you tolerate the squeal at startup. Usually when the belt gets hot enough it will grip the pulley and stop squealing.
Mazda is not going to come to your rescue or even admit they screwed up on this design. My advice is to buy both belts and keep them in your trunk. I have a kit of wrenches that fit the tensioner bolts and the one bolt on either the compressor or the alternator that you need to loosen in order to tighten or remove the belt. BE WARNED....You will be infuriated when you attempt replacing or tightening these belts as they have placed obstacles at all points you need access to make these adjustments or replacements.
Wish I had a better solution?
I welcome any other suggestions that is a work around?
The alternator will not come out unless you remove the exhaust pipe right at the exhaust manifold. You will have to maybe remove a body cross member too. you will have to remove and replace the alternator from under the car so be sure you have good jack stands and set that emergency brake. VERY IMPORTANT TO DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BECAUSE A VERY BAD SHORT CONDITION EXISTS!!!