alternator problem?

Peter Schulz pcschulz at
Fri Aug 22 05:45:43 PDT 2008

At 05:35 AM 8/22/2008 -0700, Kneale Brownson wrote:
>There are three belts on the front of the engine driven by the 
>crankshaft.  As you are facing the front of the car,  the alternator 
>will be down low to your left.  Down low to your right will be the 
>A/C compressor.  Above that to the right is the power steering pump.
>   Starting at the engine, the first belt is the power steering pump 
> belt.  The middle one goes to the A/C compressor.  The outer one 
> goes to the alternator.
>   If your system has thrown two or three belts, most likely they 
> were not high quality metric belts.  Conti belts are recommended 
> and usually give no trouble for years of use.
>   You do not need to remove anything from the car, just loosen the 
> tensioning system for which ever belt(s) you need to service and 
> the belted device will move inward to allow installing the new 
> one.  Looking from underneath the car, you can figure out what ALL 
> needs to be loosened.  The alternator and the compressor tensioning 
> systems INCLUDE funky little geared devices that let you do it all 
> with wrenches (no need for prying, etc.) if the teeth haven't been 
> mucked up.  You also have to loosen the main bolts that attach the 
> devices to their brackets.  The power steering pump uses a bolt in 
> a cage to tension the belt and also has to have its main fastener 
> loosened.  If you're not familiar with the tensioning devices, you 
> should consult the Bentley because it's easy to ruin the geared system.


13mm for the "locking" bolt on the star geared bolt, and 22mm to 
adjust need to loosen ALL the bolts that are securing the 
accessory ( be it the AC compressor or alternator, use the geared 
bolt to adjust the tension, then retighten all the bolts.

You will need 13mm, 15mm, 17mm, and 22mm open ended or box wrenches 
to adjust the AC compressor &  Alternator.

BTW, loss of AC then loss of voltage means that your AC belt took out 
your alternator belt. Until you can be sure that the AC compressor 
hasn't seized, you might want to hold off reinstalling it and just 
install the alternator belt, otherwise you might be doing this again.

You _WILL_ strip that expensive geared bolt if you try to use it to 
adjust the position of the accessory without loosening the rest..

Folks who have trouble with aftermarket belts are using ones that 
don't have the same profile or cross section as the stock ones, 
essentially the V doesn't fit into the pulleys properly.

Good luck...btw, recommend that you get two alternator belts, keep 
one in the car as a spare...


>chris gregg <loxxrider at> wrote:
>   Ok, so I couldn't stand it, and went outside and looked with a 
> flashlight. I'm 99% positive there are like 3 pulleys that should 
> have a belt on them that dont.
>The big crank pulley of course is in the middle, and then I assume 
>the alternator is on the left (looking in from the front of the car) 
>and the (compressor?????) I'm assuming is on the right of that crank pulley.
>I did hear a funky sounding little clunk noise every once in a while 
>earlier in the night which I am assuming was my belt slapping 
>against something before completely coming off.
>SO, now my question is, how hard is it to put that belt on? It would 
>be easy, but it seems like you have to take the whole front end of 
>the car off to get at it : /
>Also, where can I find that belt?
>Thanks again guys,
>----- Original Message ----
>From: chris gregg
>To: 200q20v at
>Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 2:01:21 AM
>Subject: alternator problem?
>Well tonight I ran into my first real problem with the audi.
>I haven't had a chance to look at anything yet, that will come 
>tomorrow morning, but I still wont have much time to check it out 
>because I am packing everything up to drive up to school. I figured 
>I'd ask here in case I can get a quick response.
>So...tonight I was driving to our local VW/Audi meet, and like 1/4 
>of the way there, the ac compressor stopped working (stopped blowing cold).
>Everything else was fine though.
>Then after the meet, two lights came on. One was battery light, and 
>one was ABS OFF light. I am assuming all of the above issues are 
>from a dying battery.
>The question is WHY is the battery dying.
>Here are the additional clues to the problem. When car is running, 
>lights dim and certain things fail to operate (like the cd changer 
>lcd screen), when windows are rolled up, etc...voltage was sitting 
>around 10 volts, and with windows in action, it probably dropped to 
>about 8.25 volts. IMO, it cant be just the battery thats the problem 
>if its dropping while the car is running.
>So my question is, are the other issues all related to the battery 
>dropping so low...(I am assuming this is correct), and what is the 
>deal with the alternator. (I'll probably figure this all out 
>tomorrow, but I'd like to ask anyhow). I figure its either got a 
>loose/bad wire, belt came off alternator..?, or alternator is bad.
>What do you think?
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-Peter Schulz
Chelmsford Ma, USA

1995.5 S6 Avant Emerald/Ecru
1995.5 S6 Avant Silver/Platinum
1991 200 20v Q Avant Titan Grey (for sale)
1991 90 20v Q Red
1991 CQ silver  (eS2 recipient) 

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