1993 Chevy Truck Belt Noise and Rough Idle

Reader Question Good Morning,

I have a 1993 Chevrolet C-1500 Work truck (175,000 miles). What is going on is I was coming home, and the engine started sputtering, and wanting to stall (after heavy rains), and the belts were squealing. I had to park the truck. Now, when I idle at around 3500 RPM, it sounds like a machine gun in the right head; however, when I drive it at 35 mph or less, it’s fine.

We recently went to ethanol here, and I have had three mechanics tell me that it is a simple plug and wire fix; however, one has told me I need a new engine. I am newly stationed in the Norfolk, VA area with the Marines, and I don’t know any mechanics here, so I don’t know who to trust! There is no loss of oil, I have new high mileage synthetic in the engine. The radiator is empty (but I have had a slow leak for a year, and it goes empty a couple times a year).

I have no overheating, no smoke, no missing, and no knocking (until it “broke down”) Tranny fluid is fine. No burnt smell or shavings. No visible leaks in the engine, and no residue on the driveway. Could you possibly give me your take on this, and if it is something I can handle at home? Thank you for your help!

Very Respectfully,
LCpl Martin, USMC


The belts were squealing???? If that was truly happening, then you had some pulley that was trying to seize up. Take a look at all the pulleys and make sure they are straight and turning ok. If the belt was squealing, the power steering pump would slip when the belt slipped, so you should have felt it in the steering wheel….was it???

If you would not have mentioned the belt noise, I would have told you that you probably have a weak fuel pump, which is pretty common on Chevy trucks. A bad fuel pump would not cause the noise in the belt though.

I don’t think running on ethanol had anything to do with it though.


Austin C. Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

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