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Old 04-04-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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I have a Ford Ranger 3.0 V6 with 140,000 miles. Occasionally as I am driving the temperature gauge will go up to hot for a moment, and then drop back down. Also, occasionally, the ammeter will go to low for a moment, and then back.

Is this a symptom that the serpentine belt is either loose or needs to be replaced? Is it difficult?

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Old 04-04-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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It is very possible that it is the problem, and since it sounds like it may have been a while since it has been replaced, I would definitely start there, and it's a pretty simle task. It may show you in your owner's manual, and/or there may be a tag under the hood that shows it, but you should have an idler pulley that keeps tension on the belt, and someplace on the bracket for this pully you should find either a square hole in which you can insert a ratchet or breaker bar, or it may have a nut welded to it, which you can grab with a wrench. Either way, then you just need to pull or push the bat or wrench, and will see the idler pully move. Once you have established which way to move it, hold that out of the way while flipping the belt off if it, and then unravel the belt from around all of the accessory drives, fan, etc., and remove and replace it. Depending on how much "stuff" you have under there, you may want to make a sketch first, but, again, the routing may be shown in the owner's manual, and/or a tag under the hood.

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Old 04-04-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Before removing the belt completely, with that many miles, I would check the idler pulley itself, as well. Just flip the belt off of it, roll it around by hand, and see how it feels and sounds. If it's noisy or has any wobble, replace it ass well; just a matter of unbolting the old one, and bolting a new one in it's place. Both items, the belt and pulley, should be available at your local auto parts store or dealer.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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I would suggest removing and cleaning the battery and alternator connections, power and grounds, including connections at engine and frame. use a wire brush, and then apply some dielectric grease before reassembly to protect from corrosion.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:48 PM   #5
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Thanks DexterII -- it's the original belt, so I'm sure it's about time for a new one in any event. Sounds easy enough. I'll get one and put it on, and check the pulley as you suggest. After the rains last week I heard some noise that was either the belt squealing or a bearing going bad. Since it went away and hasn't come back, I'm thinking it was the belt, and the moisture from the rain made it a little slicker than normal.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:10 PM   #6
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Pyper, I concur with Rehabber's advice as well; it is a very good maintenance tip, particularly for a vehicle with that many miles on it. And, not to diminish what he suggested, but simply expanding a bit, if your battery is more than 5 years old, you may want to consider replacing it while you are messing around under the hood. Mechanical gauges are pretty much a thing of the past, and electrical systems are not what they used to be. A battery that is starting to fail can cause sporadic readings, as you have experienced, and when they finally do go, they simply leave you sitting in one place.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:05 PM   #7
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Thanks again.

I think the battery is only a year old, or maybe two.

The belt was a snap to change, once I knew what to look for . The hardest part was getting the breaker bar onto the pulley bolt in a way that the bar could move far enough to de-tension the belt. The fan makes for limited clearance.

But it all worked out, and it only took a couple minutes. The old belt was definitely stretched.

The auto parts store had two belts. One was $18 and the other was $52. I went with the $52 belt. I don't know how much difference it makes, but if I got the cheaper one and it broke I'd feel dumber than the alternative.

I'll check the alternator & battery wires too, just to be safe. It's been a great truck so far.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:22 PM   #8
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When all else fails go to the Ford forum .

http://www.fordrangerforum.com/

http://www.ranger-forums.com/

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