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Nissan Pathfinder Squeals Like A Pig

Q. Hi Vincent, I need your help!! I have been having a problem with my 2001 Nissan Pathfinder LE, 3.5 liter, automatic transmission. At around 63,000 kilometers the truck would make a high pitched squeal when started. I brought to truck to my Nissan dealership. They said the belts looked okay so they sprayed and lubricated them.

Nissan Pathfinder Squeals Like A Pig

They told me to wait a couple of days to allow the lubrication to "work itself in". I waited over a week, the problem never ceased. I brought the truck back, the dealership changed the belts. The problem stopped for a couple of days, and then it started again.

I brought the truck back to the dealership, they then said that one of the pulleys had to be changed, they made the repair. The truck was fine for about a week and then the noise came back again. This time I was absolutely furious.

They said now that the belts needed to be adjusted, re-tightened. They also said that it takes a couple of weeks for the belts to get "seated" on the pulleys because Nissan changed the composition of the new belts.

The truck has been okay for the past 2.5 weeks (it made the noise a couple of times since the last time I took it in, but it only lasted a few seconds). Today, I went to go start the truck and it was squealing again very loudly.

I'm wondering if the weather has anything to do because it has been relatively warm for the last couple of weeks and today it's been cooler than normal. If so, what is the problem causing this and why can't they diagnose it?

I have lost all confidence in this Nissan Dealership and I plan to call Nissan's Head Office to complain. Any assistance you could provide as to what the issue could be would be great!

Thanks,
Frank

A. It is unusual for a belt squeal to be so persistent. I would have to start suspecting if the belt squeal is the symptom and not the problem. As for the dealership, it sounds like they are doing all they can to resolve the problem.

Since there are three drive belts on that engine, we should try to narrow it down to which belt(s) are making the noise. If it only squeals when it's cold, first thing in the morning, it will take a few days. When you park it for the night, remove the first belt which should be the A/C belt. Then when you start it in the morning and the noise is gone, you'll know it is the belt, A/C compressor or A/C idler pulley.

If it remains, you will need to remove the second belt, should be the alternator belt, the next night. Same thing, if the noise is gone when you start it in the morning, you know it's either the belt, alternator or water pump causing the noise. If it's still there, then you need to remove the last belt, P/S belt, and repeat the procedure. You should only have one belt off at a time.

If this is inconclusive, you may want to consider putting a set of aftermarket belts on. If the squealing stops, then you know for sure it was the belts. If not, then something else is causing the noise. Probably a component that is hanging up causing the belt to slip.

Just for giggles, unplug the A/C compressor and see what happens.

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