Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'96 Ford Taurus, Power Steering Pump Problem
Q: I have owned this 96 Ford Taurus since June 2003. I have had to replace the serpentine belt almost every 2 months. I replaced the power steering pump and now have to do it again as the shaft is wobbling again, throwing and shredding more belts. The question I have besides any recall info is can these engines be converted to a multiple belt setup and eliminate the serpentine? A friend of mine thinks doing this would eliminate excess tension on the power steering pulley and help the pump last longer. I really have never liked serpentine setups anyway. Any help or suggestions you could offer would be great and if it is possible to do the conversion are there any actual kits available to do this??
- Teresa D.
A: The serpentine belt setup on your vehicle is a good system and far better than any multiple belt system ever dreamed of being. Why are you having so many problems? Something is being missed. The most common cause for belt shredding on your vehicle is due to pulley alignment problems. A common offender is the automatic belt tensioner. The bushing in the pivot of the tensioner will wear and cause the pulley to move out of alignment. It doesnt take much misalignment to cause the serpentine belt to start wearing on one edge and slowly eat the belt up. As for the power steering pump problem? You could have installed a bum pump. We had a vehicle in the shop that we replaced the power steering pump on and the next day the shaft in the pump failed, it happens. Thats just life in the automotive business. A closer inspection of pulley alignment should provide the answer to your belt failure problem.