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Old 12-20-2022, 06:14 PM   #1
jack black
 
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reapeated drive belt failures

I'm scratching my head about this. Never had that problem before. Bought used 2007 1.5L Yaris AT in 2013 with 65,000 miles and the maintenance papers indicated changed drive belt by a dealer a year prior near 60,000 miles. Sounded like good news at that time.

We used the car locally till 2021 when a kid took it out of state with like 112,000 miles. It was super reliable up to now and well maintained. Shortly after that belt made lots of noise and it was shredding by the time kid took it to a mechanic. It was replaced, but the mechanic had problems tensioning it correctly and she had to take it back a few time to fix the noise. when she visited home this summer, the belt looked good and tight.

Now, at about 130,000 miles, it suddenly failed and stranded her in freezing weather. She stopped as soon as she saw overheated engine light and got it towed to a mechanic.

This is very frustrating to hear, being far away from the kid. Not to mention expensive for her. I'm thinking she should get a more reliable car now. Is this a design flaw? How can one be sure it doesn't brake again and strand her out of nowhere in very cold weather?

PS: the last mechanic supposedly checked water pump and all the pulleys and saw no other problems.

Thanks for helping!
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Old 12-21-2022, 05:25 AM   #2
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No design flaw. I find it hard to believe the mechanics have found nothing wrong with the things driven by the belt. There’s got to be something wrong
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Old 12-21-2022, 08:14 AM   #3
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I'd have the harmonic balancer looked at closely, there's a rubber ring between the two main parts. Sometimes the outer part will start to walk off and cause belt misalignment.
Make sure the belt looks straight from pulley to pulley.
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Old 12-21-2022, 01:30 PM   #4
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Thanks!
I'll check it myself when she visits for Christmas. Hopefully she makes through the long drive.
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Old 12-22-2022, 02:22 PM   #5
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i wonder if they have been over tightening things with cheep POS belts...we ALL know these cars love to squeel the belt when cold at times...maybe the monkey with the wrench reeffed on it and overtightened it to the point of failure on a dirt cheep belt
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Old 12-22-2022, 10:01 PM   #6
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Never heard of a yari throwing belts.

Serpentine belt problems usually result from one of three causes: a defective belt tensioner; misalignment of a pulley; or, defective bearings in the tensioner, idler, or one of accessories driven by the belt (including the water pump)

This sounds like misalignment to be shredding them or they have been installed way, way to tight.

To check its correct hold the belt between finger and thumb at this point and move it from side to side. See how much it deflects at the centre of the run. If it moves more than 1/2 in. (13 mm) it is too slack - any less movement and it is too tight
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Old 12-24-2022, 04:49 AM   #7
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the yaris belt is very sensitive to tension, because its a very small and skinny belt, you need a special tool to tighten in properly and not just wedge a pry bar to the side of the alternator becuase the alternator will be crooked in alignment with the belt
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Old 12-24-2022, 06:33 AM   #8
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Youre right they are tricky to adjust. Too loose and they Squeal. Too tight and there goes the water pump.
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Old 12-27-2022, 01:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Compeer View Post
Never heard of a yari throwing belts.

Serpentine belt problems usually result from one of three causes: a defective belt tensioner; misalignment of a pulley; or, defective bearings in the tensioner, idler, or one of accessories driven by the belt (including the water pump)
This thing doesn't even have a belt tensioner...it is manually tensioned by a hinge bolt and a sweeping slotted bracket that allows you to swing the alternator away and take up slack.

Misalignment of a pulley? There's no way to misalign a pulley. Every single pulley is a critical engine part that is made to tight tolerance.

Defective bearings in the tensioner? You mean alternator?

One of the accessories? You mean either the W.P., Alt., or AC compressor?

It's not the water pump. The pulley drives a shaft which drives an impeller. Not only would you hear the impeller or shaft scraping, but the car would've leaked every drop of coolant before it'd shred a belt from the W.P. bearings being worn out. Every bit of clearance in the bearing is seen by the seals and impeller as well as the pulley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by remcafee View Post
the yaris belt is very sensitive to tension, because its a very small and skinny belt, you need a special tool to tighten in properly and not just wedge a pry bar to the side of the alternator becuase the alternator will be crooked in alignment with the belt
How? None of this makes any sense. The alternator bolts to the block and a 1/4" thick bracket. Which way are you prying? What makes this car so difficult?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bronsin View Post
You're right they are tricky to adjust. Too loose and they Squeal. Too tight and there goes the water pump.
Please enlighten me as to how these are tricky to adjust...seems like you know exactly how tight to make them. Squeal=loose. Just right=tighten until not squealing. Am I right?

One of my earlier repairs in my life was rebuilding the alternator around 340k miles and I had to get very familiar with the belt and alternator, and never did I think this job was ever a challenge or a mystery in any way
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Old 12-27-2022, 03:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by IndestructibleYaris View Post
Please enlighten me as to how these are tricky to adjust...seems like you know exactly how tight to make them. Squeal=loose. Just right=tighten until not squealing. Am I right?
everything you mentioned is mostly correct except 1 thing....if the alt is pulled TOO TIGHT it WILL flex the slide mount enough to cause a "slight" missalignment.

too tight of an alt causes 2 primary things the pulley to missalign just slightly but its a "3/4" wrapped pulley so that slight bit is under ALOT of friction, but having a belt too tight doubles that effect, and also causes more heat build up on the belt and eventual destruction
the other thing it causes is alot of stresses on the alt bearings and eventually causes premature alt failure

the only other things i can think of to force belt fails is any of the components "not tight" ie a slightly loose AC unit..to which would be "tight" under belt tension but be out of true....also a bent or "walked" harmonic balancer(crank pulley)
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Old 12-28-2022, 06:21 AM   #11
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Merry Christmas to you all.

I inspected the new belt closely while doing maintenance (oil and ATF change, tire rotation, battery check, and other visual checks). the new belt is good quality: Gates Micro-V and in a great shape. the harmonic balancer is not wobbly and none of the pulleys look misaligned.

the only thing that caught my sight is the water pump pulley is partially smooth and polished and in small part rusty. now, i remember it being more rusty 6 months before with the old belt. i have no idea if it maters. i'll take a picture if i can.

i noticed coolant a bit on a low side, i hope it's not headgasket from the overheating episode.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-28-2022, 03:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndestructibleYaris View Post
This thing doesn't even have a belt tensioner...it is manually tensioned by a hinge bolt and a sweeping slotted bracket that allows you to swing the alternator away and take up slack.

Misalignment of a pulley? There's no way to misalign a pulley. Every single pulley is a critical engine part that is made to tight tolerance.

Defective bearings in the tensioner? You mean alternator?

One of the accessories? You mean either the W.P., Alt., or AC compressor?

It's not the water pump. The pulley drives a shaft which drives an impeller. Not only would you hear the impeller or shaft scraping, but the car would've leaked every drop of coolant before it'd shred a belt from the W.P. bearings being worn out. Every bit of clearance in the bearing is seen by the seals and impeller as well as the pulley.



How? None of this makes any sense. The alternator bolts to the block and a 1/4" thick bracket. Which way are you prying? What makes this car so difficult?



Please enlighten me as to how these are tricky to adjust...seems like you know exactly how tight to make them. Squeal=loose. Just right=tighten until not squealing. Am I right?

One of my earlier repairs in my life was rebuilding the alternator around 340k miles and I had to get very familiar with the belt and alternator, and never did I think this job was ever a challenge or a mystery in any way
you can absolutely make the alternator crooked, go adjust your belt tension and tighten it really tight and watch the alignment of pulley with the rest of the accessories
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Old 12-28-2022, 05:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack black View Post
Merry Christmas to you all.

I inspected the new belt closely while doing maintenance (oil and ATF change, tire rotation, battery check, and other visual checks). the new belt is good quality: Gates Micro-V and in a great shape. the harmonic balancer is not wobbly and none of the pulleys look misaligned.

the only thing that caught my sight is the water pump pulley is partially smooth and polished and in small part rusty. now, i remember it being more rusty 6 months before with the old belt. i have no idea if it maters. i'll take a picture if i can.

i noticed coolant a bit on a low side, i hope it's not headgasket from the overheating episode.

Thanks everyone!
a weaping water pump due to an over tight belt trashing the bearings in the pump is a possibility...

and the water pump pulley should be 100% polished looking..unless the car has been sitting a while..the belt should keep it polished
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Old 12-30-2022, 02:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh0rtlife View Post

and the water pump pulley should be 100% polished looking..unless the car has been sitting a while..the belt should keep it polished
when the kid was in a school overseas, the car sat for a couple of years with only occasional use (but battery was kept charged religiously). But that changed when she came back in 2021 and she made about 15,000 miles since.
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Old 12-30-2022, 03:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack black View Post
when the kid was in a school overseas, the car sat for a couple of years with only occasional use (but battery was kept charged religiously). But that changed when she came back in 2021 and she made about 15,000 miles since.
thats why you have some rust spots on the pully they will go away and are nothing to be concerned about...the "sitting" caused the exposed section of the pully to get a bit of surface rust no big deal
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Old 01-05-2023, 12:09 PM   #16
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Update and new question

Please see the partially rusted water pump pulley.

The second picture is a mysterious part that i found at the bottom of the engine compartment lying on the plastic engine undercover. looks like some part of a pulley, but it doesn't look Yaris specific. I'm sure mechanic left it there by a mistake. does anyone think this belongs to the yaris?

BTW: Happy New Year everyone!
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Old 01-05-2023, 12:58 PM   #17
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The piece in your hand is off of the a/c compressor. I'd check to see if your a/c pulley is wobbling.
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Old 01-05-2023, 02:34 PM   #18
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thats litteraly the nut that holds the AC pulley on..
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