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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2004 156 1.9JTD has shredded 2 auxilliary belts in less than a week. Both of them in exactly the same way, on the edge nearest the offside wing. It may be coincidence, but it happened both times when the climate control was on.
I only bought the car 4 weeks ago, but it has done 4000 miles since its 72000 mile service when the cam belt and tensioner were replaced by an Alfa service centre in Preston.
I am beginning to get a bit worried about it as it is my 1st Alfa after owning BMW's
 
G

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What do you mean by "shredding"? Has it frayed and broken or simply snapped?

Sounds like something is out of line, or seized.

wrinx
 

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Probably the bottom tensioner, if you look from the front above you may be able to see it a bit out of line. When you look from the side with the wheel off (and the guard) you will think its OK. About £80 with belt and less than 1 hour. I had this on my Fiat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The belt is fraying and taking all of one edge off and you can here the shaved bit whipping around under the bonnet. The most recent belt has only been on the car for 40 miles. Everything appeared to be ok until about 3-4 minutes after I put the climate control on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry. Left a bit out. When I opened the bonnet this time
there was lots of bits of cloth. so I guess the belt is being shaved. I had driven nearly 1000 miles on the previous belt, but I don't know how old that was as I only bought the car 4 weeks ago.
 
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Needless to say..something is badly out of alignment and needs looking at by someone who knows immediately. This isn't normal for an Alfa I assure you, well not in my experience anyway.

Take it back to the Alfa service centre who did the previous work..and speak to the boss as either 1) they have reassembled it wrong or 2) failed to spot a fault they should have spotted
If there is any messing go straight to Trading Standards. It should not matter that you are a different owner, as the work should be guaranteed.

AlfaLincs
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess the only problems with taking it back are that it is a 35 mile drive up the M6 with an iffy aux belt and the cam belt change was carried out for the previous owner last October.
Its a real pity because I love the car, more so than my BMW's, but I am rapidly losing confidence.
 
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Hang on a mo..you are in Cheshire. If Mangoletsi can't sort it nobody can. Give them a ring. There's no reason for you to lose confidence. You've bought a second hand car that has a fault that needs putting right. Happens to all cars, nothing to do with Alfa. If you don't want to drive it there get it trailered.

Who put the second belt on without diagnosing the fault that caused the first to go?

AlfaLincs
 

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My 2004 156 1.9JTD has shredded 2 auxilliary belts in less than a week. Both of them in exactly the same way, on the edge nearest the offside wing. It may be coincidence, but it happened both times when the climate control was on.
I only bought the car 4 weeks ago, but it has done 4000 miles since its 72000 mile service when the cam belt and tensioner were replaced by an Alfa service centre in Preston.
I am beginning to get a bit worried about it as it is my 1st Alfa after owning BMW's
Not sure if this will help or not
I noticed my old belt was begining to shred on one side and had it changed
Les than 24 hours later the new belt was almost gone.:wow:
When we checked it again we realised the spring loaded tensioner was on it's way out and was too weak to hold it in line and as it jumped the pulley the edge of the belt was sliced off.
It might be worth your while getting your tensioner replaced and a new belt fitted after that.
Once i'd done that on my 2.0 TS it works a treat and the belt looks as good as it did the day it was fitted
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rabtmac - It looks as though you may be correct. Had a look at the car this morning and it looks as though it has 'jumped' its pulleys, especially the alternator one. I washed the car and did my ususal clean under the bonnet. I checked the belt at that time and it was perfect with no signs of 'shaving' or 'rubbing'. I can only assume that when I have put the air conditioning on, it has put an instantaneous extra load on the alternator and it has jumped towards the offside of the car and the belt has ridden on the raised shoulder of the alternator pulley, thus shredding it.
So, I will have to get a new belt on tensioner tomorrow. Is there anything else I should be checking?
 

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Just back after power cut. The bottom tensioner ( furthest away when you look from the front) is likely to be faulty. When the mechanic replaces the belt he is looking from the side, the bearing is OK so he thinks its right. But it is probably on a 5% angle to the direction of the belt. Visible from the front above, but not from the side. Easy to miss, I had to diagnose my fiat (same part) twice to different and experienced mechanics before they saw it. A Fiat/Alfa garage should have seen this many times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
keithglos - it looks as though all you guys are homing me in on the fault. The belt is virtually wrecked, so unable to drive to nearest Alfa garage with it. Spoke with my trusty mobile mechanic this morning and before I told him what you guys thought it was, he said "sounds like the bottom tensioner to me".
The belt has definitely moved over. What are the functions of all of the pulleys on the auxiliary belt. It looks as though there are 2 tensioners. Is one of them 'fixed'?
When the mobile mechanic gets it back on the road, I will take it to the nearest Alfa specialist to get it checked out. I have read recommendations for Heath Road Garage in Sandbach, Cheshire, which is only 30 miles from me.
 

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It's the bottom tensioner. The same thing sort of happened to me.

I bought a new belt & the top tensioner...(bottom one is expensive...for a tensioner).

Anyway, while changing the belt I noticed the bottom tensioner was on it's way out, but I still put the new belt on. Guess what, it kept jumping and within minutes the belt was destroyed. So then I went and bought a new belt & bottom tensioner :rolleyes:

I recommend you change all tensioners along with the new belt.

Good Luck,

Warrior
 

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You can take off the belt and drive the car. The drain on the battery is minimal as it is a diesel. The steering will be very heavy but should be manageable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have phoned reputable 'indie' in Sandbach and he reckons it could be the air conditioning compressor seized or partially seized, which then causes the belt to jump.
Has anyone else come across this?
 
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The A/C compressor seizing is sadly not unknown, but again, not unique to Alfas. Yes it can certainly cause belt shredding. My uncles 156 did it in the middle of France three years ago and caused a lot of "sacre-bleuing" amongst the locals who thought an Alfa was a strange beast from Mars "Mais ce n'est pas un Peugeot Ou Citroen Monsieur, ce'st une apparition tres etrange" to which he replied in his best English "Bog off Froggies!"

(He didn't really he's far too nice for that, and he's very Francophile as it happens)

But yes..get the compressor checked..lack of use over winter is the usual killer of these items...Bit pricey sad to say.

AlfaLincs
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just got a replacement belt from Caledonia in Warrington. Will get that fitted and drive it down to Heath Road Garage in Sandbach. At least I will get some peace of mind and get my baby back on the road. I really love the car. It has so much more character than my previous BMW's.
If anyone gets wind of a secondhand air conditioning compressor in decent nick, please let me know.
 

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The A/C compressor seizing is sadly not unknown, but again, not unique to Alfas. Yes it can certainly cause belt shredding. My uncles 156 did it in the middle of France three years ago and caused a lot of "sacre-bleuing" amongst the locals who thought an Alfa was a strange beast from Mars "Mais ce n'est pas un Peugeot Ou Citroen Monsieur, ce'st une apparition tres etrange" to which he replied in his best English "Bog off Froggies!"

(He didn't really he's far too nice for that, and he's very Francophile as it happens)
AlfaLincs
He should have reminded them that French cars have a tendency to spontaneously combust! :cheese:

But seriously, yes a tensioner/pully issue. I had a similar problem with my old 156 TS.
 
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