Splash guards for wet, squeaky belts.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1996

Dear Tom and Ray:

I own a 1991 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat with a 302 V8 motor. I've talked to other Ford owners and we all have the same problem. It seems that whenever it rains or the underside of the motor gets wet, the belts begin to squeal and won't stop until something dries out. I've tried belt dressing, and that doesn't seem to help.

TOM: What kind of belt dressing did you try, Jeff? You might want to give Paul Newman's a shot. We use his vinaigrette down at the shop.

RAY: The problem is that water is a damn good lubricant. And once it gets on the belts, they slip quite easily...until the friction from the slipping belts generates enough heat to dry everything out. New belts will probably help somewhat, but the real problem is the lack of a "splash guard."

TOM: Many cars have a metal or plastic shield under the motor that keeps water from splashing up onto the belts and causing this condition. But a lot of trucks don't.

RAY: So if you live where puddled water is a constant problem, and the squealing is really driving you nuts, I'd ask a machinist to "fashion" a metal splash guard for you. Make sure it covers the area under the belts. And make sure it's safe (i.e. it won't fall off or touch any moving engine parts). And if that doesn't work, you'll have to trade the truck or move to Arizona. Good luck, Jeff.

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