old_school
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Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Tue 18 Nov 2008 12:26:22 AM
Im on my 4th belt in 12 months so Its probally time to ask for some advice. Basically the belt stretches and then slips, which causes failure. You just keep re-tensioning till it brakes.

On my Micra the Aircon pulley and idler take a 4 rib belt, whilst the crank and alternator take a 5 rib belt. The air con appears to be original fitment and I assume was fitted when the car was purchased. However Nissan list a 5 rib belt as the replacement.

The problem is not so much the mis-match in pulleys but rather that the belt on the aircon pulley has a contact area about 1/4 of the circumference of the pulley. Due to the way the tensioner works.

However is this normal for Micras in Aust? And is the alternator bearing failing or maybe the air con compressor ceasing. Because the car has done 240,000 km and I think the first belt to fail was the original. And if you dont run air con the belt does not appear to fail.

Any Ideas? Thanks
DeepFraught
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Sat 22 Nov 2008 12:31:13 AM
I have to replace my belts, have an LX with aircon, no p/steer, so will post back visual check when I do.

How many km's do you cover in 12months?

Mine is at 116,000km and all the belts are frayed and tearing, I am a new owner though so don't know if they're original.
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Sat 22 Nov 2008 06:07:36 AM
Mine is at 140,000 miles (about 225,000km) and I've changed the belts once. Only owned the car for the latter half of that mileage though. More relevantly, I don't have aircon. Are you sure you're not overtensioning the belt when you fit it?
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Sat 22 Nov 2008 09:57:12 AM
old_school WROTE:

"Im on my 4th belt in 12 months so Its probally time to ask for some advice. Basically the belt stretches and then slips, which causes failure. You just keep re-tensioning till it brakes.

On my Micra the Aircon pulley and idler take a 4 rib belt, whilst the crank and alternator take a 5 rib belt. The air con appears to be original fitment and I assume was fitted when the car was purchased. However Nissan list a 5 rib belt as the replacement.

The problem is not so much the mis-match in pulleys but rather that the belt on the aircon pulley has a contact area about 1/4 of the circumference of the pulley. Due to the way the tensioner works.

However is this normal for Micras in Aust? And is the alternator bearing failing or maybe the air con compressor ceasing. Because the car has done 240,000 km and I think the first belt to fail was the original. And if you dont run air con the belt does not appear to fail.

Any Ideas? Thanks"


No drive belt will do 240,00k's
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Sat 22 Nov 2008 11:28:52 PM
This is one of those annoying problems. At 180,000 km I replaced the belts as they were cracked and ready to fail. This is when I purchased the car and the belts were bloody old.

The air/con alternator belt is fine when you fit it, but stretches within a week to the point where you can here it slipping. Then shreds the belt. You can re-tension several times but the belt ends up failing. This is only when the air con is being used, so seem to think the air con compressor may be siezing.

Took car to air con guy and he reckons wrong tensioner setup, insufficient contact of belt on air con pulley and is slippin under load. The fact that the idler and aircon compressor have only 4 ribs on their pulleys whilst the alternator and engine have 5, leads me to suspect that it may not be the original compressor.

Anyone got a micra with air con? and can tell me how mant ribs on the pulley? Might look around Perth for 2nd hand unit?

Have also had belt fitted by mechanic and had same result.
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Sat 22 Nov 2008 11:42:48 PM
not sure how many ribs the air has on mine, but the idler is smooth with just a groove in the centre. i'm assuming mines standard. if that helps
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Sun 23 Nov 2008 08:44:14 AM
My green car has original belt. 333,000k. The red car needed replacing at 150,000 as it was squealing badly.. Go figure.. both have aircon and power steering.

Mychael
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Sun 23 Nov 2008 10:56:00 AM
old_school WROTE:

"This is one of those annoying problems. At 180,000 km I replaced the belts as they were cracked and ready to fail. This is when I purchased the car and the belts were bloody old.

The air/con alternator belt is fine when you fit it, but stretches within a week to the point where you can here it slipping. Then shreds the belt. You can re-tension several times but the belt ends up failing. This is only when the air con is being used, so seem to think the air con compressor may be siezing.

Took car to air con guy and he reckons wrong tensioner setup, insufficient contact of belt on air con pulley and is slippin under load. The fact that the idler and aircon compressor have only 4 ribs on their pulleys whilst the alternator and engine have 5, leads me to suspect that it may not be the original compressor.

Anyone got a micra with air con? and can tell me how mant ribs on the pulley? Might look around Perth for 2nd hand unit?

Have also had belt fitted by mechanic and had same result."


is your air con factory nissan or is it a aftermarket brand?
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Mon 24 Nov 2008 07:10:56 PM
In my case. Green car is aftermarket, red car Nissan.

Mychael
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Mon 24 Nov 2008 11:31:08 PM
It maybe aftermarket. The idler has ribs on it, 4 like the air con pulley. It pulls down on the belt, so the idler is on the inside of the belt. Hense only about a 1/4 of the air con pulley is in touch with the belt.

On every thing else I have worked on the idler is smooth and pushes on the outside of the belt.

Will post up some pix
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Tue 25 Nov 2008 01:47:37 AM
I didn't get to this on the weekend as planned, but will take a better pic. Here's one I already had when inspecting it pre-purchase, it may help a little to compare yours.
edit: sorry don't know how that will help, only shows the alternator belt, aircon is down under that out of view.
 

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DeepFraught
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Tue 25 Nov 2008 01:57:41 AM
Here's another underside, I can't get my head around which way it is, doubt it will be helpful in the meantime, but may distract you in the meantime.
 

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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Tue 25 Nov 2008 07:04:28 PM
I typically get 100,000Km out of my air con belt, my micra is an Lx, no power steer. Water pump belt tends to be due for replacement at about 120-130,000km.

I think your problem may be the way it is installed, I know you said a mechanic fitted one for you, but he may have just copied the way the old one was done.

The belt will only touch about 1/4 of the air con pulley, but the pulley is rather large, so there is enough contact.

If you trace your hand around the belt, starting at the alternator you should run down the front of the engine to the air con, then back towards the rear of the car under the engine to the crank pulley, then back to the alternator again in a triange. The section of belt between the crank and alternator will have an idler pulley in it that pushes on the back side of the belt. Ie. it runs on the flat side, not the side with the ribs.

This is one thing that should be checked, also check the condition of the idler, remove the belt and make sure the idler spins freely, and does not have to much play in the bearing. Also check for any flat spots or burs on the edges.

Check all the other pulleys as well, if a stick or bit of wire has been picked up off the road, it could damage one of the small vee's in one of the pulleys and that may be nicking the belt, causeing it to break.

See how that goes! Hope something there helps.
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Wed 24 Feb 2010 05:29:50 PM
Now this sucks. After my original belts lasting over 300,000 k's. The ones I replaced them with (still genuine Nissan)lasted only a bit over 20,000.. One just broke on me coming home and the other is also failing.

Mychael
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Wed 24 Feb 2010 09:56:43 PM
Odd issue you have mipcar. I had my belts replaced a few years ago and had no issues with the replacements which might have been aftermarket eg dayco. Have you had a good look to make sure nothing is causing drag eg idle pulley not spinning freely?
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Wed 24 Feb 2010 10:02:03 PM
Yeah, I'll have to check all that. I spun the idler by hand ok. It did not keep spinning like say a bearing but it certainly was not hard to turn by hand.

Mychael
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Re: Aircon / Alternator belt failing

Thu 25 Feb 2010 12:31:25 PM
Well, had new belts fitted. All pulleys seem to be okay. Only explanation is that when belts were fitted in September last year the mechanic did not lay them in the correct direction for the rotation.

Mike