1985 Trans Am Stop Belt From Slipping on the Pulley

A slipping belt will squeal and cause loss of power to belt-driven accessories like power steering, air conditioning, and the water pump. So, it's important to stop belts from slipping in vehicles of any model. A slipping belt on a 1985 Trans Am is not difficult to repair. By ensuring the belt is clean and under the correct tension, most belt problems will be solved. The belt in V6 and V8 models of the Trans Am is a serpentine belt, and it requires minimal labor to inspect and repair.

Tools Used: Basic set of sockets, Ratchet

Stop Belt From Slipping on the Pulley

Touch the belt with the engine off to make sure it is under the appropriate amount of tension. Press firmly on the belt. It should flex very little -- less than 1/2 inch, depending on the span between the pulleys. If the belt is loose, you will need to put more tension on it by adjusting, cleaning, or repairing the belt tensioner.

Move the belt tensioner with a 15 mm socket and ratchet. The tensioner should spring back into place. If it does not spring back into place and stretch the belt, you need to remove, clean, and lubricate the belt tensioner. It could have a bolt that is too tight or rust or debris may be preventing it from springing back into place and keeping appropriate tension on the belt.

Check for engine oil leaking onto the drive belt. Engine oil or other fluids on the belt will cause the friction between the belt and the pulleys to drop. If you find any oil leaks or evidence of oil on the belt -- shiny or slippery surfaces -- repair the oil leak and replace the belt.

Remove the belt and belt tensioner if you found that the belt was not tensioned appropriately. The tensioner is one of the uppermost pulleys on the engine. Remove the belt. Push the tensioner to one side with a ratchet and socket, then remove the belt from the tensioner.

Unbolt the tensioner and inspect it carefully for debris or sticking parts. It may also have a bad pulley.

Bolt the new or repaired tensioner back in place. Position the belt around the drive and accessory pulleys, then slip the belt over the tensioner pulley while pulling the pulley aside with a ratchet and socket.

Tips & Warnings

If cleaning or replacing the spring tensioner does not work and the belt is still slipping on any one pulley, it is likely a bad bearing in that pulley. Do not drive or run the car without replacing the bad bearing or the whole assembly containing it.

On a short span between pulleys, the belt should flex less than 1/4 inch under firm pressure. Keep in mind the length of the span between pulleys when checking belt tension.

Be careful while working with the belt tensioner. The spring in belt tensioners is stiff and can injure you if it slips.

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