My Experiences: '95 Kia Sephia - Alternator Belt
Hello All -
Me not wanting to join this forum for only extracting info, I thought I'd share what I've experienced with my KIA.
The most notable experience is the Alternator Belt experince I've had.
When my family and I moved to AZ, the alternator belt snapped. It was loud and I was able to figure it out and get it to a mechanic asap. That mechanic replaced that belt for the grand sum of (part and labor) of $60. Which I thought was steep, but I needed the car (only one we had at that time). When the mechanic replaced the belt, about a week later the belt would CHIRP or make that high pitched sound a belt makes as it slips, but would go away after the engine would warm up.
ONE year later, I've graduated college and have started my new job. The third or fourth week of my new job; I'm driving to work and all of a sudden my radio cuts out. My lights go out, and ALL electrical goes out. I get stopped at a stop light. I'm trying to figure out if a fuse has blown, or what else it could be cause there wasn't any smoke or loud noises prior to the electrical going out.
So, I'm at the stop light, the engine is running still. The light turns green.. oh.. and I should mention that there was a huge 4X4 truck behind me, who the driver was VERY patient with what was going on. Anyways, as you might have guessed the engine starts to die as I start to go. "WHAT THE...?!?!" Luckily the light I was at was for an entrance to a local mall. I was able to pump the cluch and gas (and rock my body to gain some movement) and get the car hobbling into the parking lot. And luckily the entrance to the mall had a slight down slop; so when I finally got to that point I was able to coast into a parking space.
I popped the hood, let the smoke clear (from all the high engine reving, clucth pumping, and all that). Look down, and my one year old alternator belt looked "loose." I went to test the tention.. Ya.. it had snapped.
The belt didn't even look dry rotted, still looked "new". Except for the fact it was broke, and a couple of the "teeth" on the underside of the belt were broken off.
SO, I got the car towed to my house ($60). I went to a local auto-parts store using my wife's car (thank GOD we had her car). Found the belt and decided to check out the differences between the $12 belt, and the $18 belt. The $12 belt was the same width as the belt that had JUST broken off. The $18 dollar belt was almost twice the width of the original. I decided to go with the $18 belt.
I haven't had a problem yet, and it's been a couple of months since. No chirps our strange sounds. In fact, I'd say that I have better power in my electical. I kid you not when I say, I think the lights in all the componets that light up are just a slight bit brighter.
So.. If your belt is chirping, don't do the liquid soap to coat the belt. Spend the extra money to get a better belt and better mechanic to do the job right the first time. Or it could cost you MORE in the short term as you'll have to pay to have your car towed, another mechanic to fix the problem, and so on.