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My car has been making a loud screeching sound when I start it in the morning, especially when the heat is on full-blast (I live in a cold, snowy area). Now, it also sounds like I might be dragging something. Someone told me it might be a problem with a belt. Since I have spent a lot on repairs recently, I am wondering if this is expensive to fix or not? Thanks for your help!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Kelly, Yes, I would recommend having your serpentine belt inspected for wear and cracks in the belt, as this can cause it to "squeal". You also may have an idler pulley which may have its bearings worn causing a dragging/squealing noise. Also, make sure that your brush guard on the underside of the vehicle is not what is dragging. This repair to replace the belt alone may average around $80-$110.

Laurie Sarno, Co-Owner at Super Girls Auto Hello Kelly if it is the belt it is not a major expense- it could also be a belt tensioner or a pulley going bad- hope this helps thanks Super Girls Auto.

Pat Fleischmann, Director of First Impressions at Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair Kelly, Screeching like an Owl is not good! Sounds like the belt, but as usual without seeing it one can not be too sure.... Check it out as it could just be an adjustment to the belt tensioner! It will be better than sitting at a light with the screeching and crouching lower in the seat of embarrassment! Your Mechanic will be easy on you...I don*t think it has anything to do with your heater as you haven*t said it does not work? Be SAFE than sorry...

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