fan squeals!

Asked by Jul 09, 2017 at 02:43 PM about the 1996 Mazda Protege 4 Dr LX Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1996 mazda protege has an issue with the fan
belt/serpentine?...Every time I start the car, the 1st
5 minutes, the fan belt screams. When it warms up,
the screaming stops & doesn't happen again
unless it's off & cools down. If I don't let it idle &
drive it screaming, the belt snaps/breaks. Ive gone
thru 10 belts in 5 yrs. At night, when it rains...I can't
use the wipers, headlights and run the heater.
Using more than just headlights will cause the belt
to scream as well. Nobody knows how to stop the

9 Answers


I would suspect a bad idler wheel bearing. Is the belt at proper tension or is the tensioner broken or worn out?

I've got all new parts & it still squalls


How is the belt tension? What do you mean by all new parts?

My husband is a very good mechanic. He couldn't figure it he asked other mechanics. They all said, for some odd reason that year...all those cars do it. No one knows why

Yes, the tension is tight & the bearings are new


Since you said that you can't have anything drawing current or you will have an issue with the squealing tells me the alternator bearing is probably making the noise. Bad bearings make noise and put a drag or drain on the system and belt. Remove the serpentine belt again and spin the pulleys by hand, do they spin freely? Did you replace the alternator in all the new parts?

Yes the alternator is new....that's one of the first things we checked. The pulleys also are fine

There HAS GOT TO BE a reasonable explanation why only this yr, make & model is THE ONLY car that squeals. Aside from replacing the engine & tranny....this car has all new parts.


The problem may be that the replacement belt does not ride deep enough in Madza pulleys. Your replacement belt may be .080'" whereas you need .100". I understand that this is an issue a lot of people have on older Mazda's. After having your issue for this long it can't hurt to check the size. The only reason I know this is because I needed to change the belt on my 1998 Mazda and the forums I looked at mentioned this for the older Mazda's.

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