DIG-S belt drive noise

Long story short: If you get your belts done due to any noise, have the mechanic check the main serpentine and supercharger tensioner 2 and 4 in the image below), rather than just doing the belts! It seems both are Nissan only parts and hellishly expensive to replace!

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For the last 18-24 months, the serpentine belt (as advised by a garage) has been making a noise when cold, but would clear up after being driven. IT is more obvious when its been over night and in damp conditions.

However, today I noticed that the noise has changed to more of a, well, the only way I can describe it is it sounds a bit like a rattle can type noise. Probably the bearings.

Inspecting the engine, it sounds like its coming from the mid to rear side of the engine. In the image below taken from the Nissan workshop manual, it sounds like No 3 - super charger clutch, but I suppose it could be No 4 (this is preferred, as I dare say a simple idle pulley is far cheaper than a electro-mag clutch!)

I do note that the noise does not depend or change on supercharger operation, (so rules out 1 and 2) so it suggests pulley 4...

Car has done just shy of 67k and is approx 8 years old so probably due a change.

Not really the weather to go pulling the inner arch out so further research is needed! Over to the Note owners club forum I go!

DIG-S_Belt.png

DIG-S_Belt_desc.png
 
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Very helpful - thanks.

I will try and take a video, maybe tomorrow of it.

When the weather stops being a pain, I will take a further look, not much room unless you take the wheel off and arch liner... although its MOT time in a month so I may just tell the garage to deal with it!
 
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Managed to get a couple of vids...

First one is a bit pants and short however it was from cold and you can hear the belt starting to squeal

2nd vid is after the engine has been sat for about 2hrs after last being driven

The noise here is the 'rattle can' sound I tried to describe last night. If I apply water to the belt, it quietens down for a short amount of time.

I suspect just the belt now, but I still have my suspicions about pulley 4!
 
I worked at nissan for a while, a common fault was the v belt stretching and being noisy to the point of sounding like bearings. We did not fit genuine nissan belts because it did not take long for it to happen again. We would always fit a GATES belt, and then would have no more trouble. Try this first.

Sent from my SM-A505FN using Micra Sports Club mobile app
 
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Thanks.

The noise has all but stopped now the weather has warmed up so leaving it until it next goes into the garage for a service and will get it done at the same time. Should be into the 70k region then so the belt has had a fair life!
 

Glen

Club Member
I have a Nissan note dig-s. It had the exact same sound. I ended up just changing the belt as it was cheap and it now sounds perfect. Worth changing and seeing if it fixes it first
 
Hello to everyone.
Same problem to my Nissan Note service belt. The motor is the same of Micra dig-s hr12ddr but from 2014 and with 102k km.
This is a video to explain the noise problem that came from service belt.
I temporary solved with some talc until new belt will arrive. I have purchased the Gates one as suggested from NathanFul123.
 
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Almost forgot to update this..... the back box fell off the car last week, so whilst it was in the garage I got them to swap the belts..

The noise was indeed from the serpentine belt.
 
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Well, that didnt last long!

We have a new noise now from the serpentine belt area... this time it sounds like metal on metal 'clack' within the first 15-20 seconds of engine starting from cold over night, but not every time and after 15-20 seconds, it stops and no other noise!

I think the temp has to drop very cold or the car having been sat idle for a reasonable period. I have convinced myself that the issue is with the main belt tensioner or idler pully but will take a look at the engine during start-up tomorrow and probably just throw it back at the garage to deal with.
 
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I did take the car to a garage that did the belt and whilst a 'from top down' visual check was done - it was inconclusive without getting it up a ramp and taking a deeper look.

However, I rang Nissan to see how much the idler pully would cost as I cant see one online..... £145 and would take 3-4 days from Europe! Wow!

He however did say that the dealership has yet to replace on of these.
 
Ouch, I am newbie but that sounds pretty bad.

My Note DIG-S is having a squeak sound at cold start, similar to your previous issue.
 
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Its not done it for a few days (although it did momentarily squeal this morning) and the garage have yet to call me back (although the guy is a bit 'slow' in getting back to me most of the time)...

I did have a feel around the other day of all the pullies. Granted, this is with the belt on and tensioned, there didn't seem to be any excessive play.
 
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Quick update on this.

Original garage never got back to me so shipped it somewhere else.

News is that the belt tensioner is bad and needs replacing - a Nissan only part it would seem, plus new belt (annoying that it only just got replaced) and time. Around £350 all in....

They also advised that there is no guarantee that something else may not be worn and might need a further repair later. I have asked them to check the idler pully a bit further as I have my suspicions, which is another ~£250 Nissan only part...

However, as it stands, I'm on the verge of trading it in (just a shame lock down has closed all the showrooms!). It has worn lower arm suspension bushes (again - this car eats them for fun it seems), heading towards needing a set of new tyres, heading towards front brakes (discs and pads) needing to be done, its coming up to the mileage for a new set of plugs, a few other service items such as brake fluid....

I have worked out I will need to sink around just over £1000 into the car probably over the next 12 months or so, and that we were looking at getting rid in 12-18 months anyway once my Megane RS was paid off so I am thinking cut my losses now before I go too far down the rabbit hole. Even if its just the tensioner today and do the general service items, I think its come to the age where its going to start chewing through money (for example, we are now clutch swap mileage territory, springs looked a little suspect when I glanced at them the other day....) that and the inconvenience of it being repaired....
 
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Further update.... so it turns out both tensioners are blown, supercharger and serpentine - (2 and 7 on the above diagram). Total bill for that is just just shy of £700.... Idler pully (4) appears fine

Changes are its the serpentine tensioner making the noise as it corresponds with the belt movement I see, and the supercharger is more of a pro-active swap as its showing signs of failure.

buy a micra they say, it will be a cheap runner they say!
 
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Doing some poking around (and yes, I realise im talking to myself here, but its the only way im keeping any sort of sanity!)

From looking around, I have a feeling that the reason these parts are so expensive, and fitting cost is high is because they are not just the bearing/pulley - but the full sub assembly and thus more involved to fit. The closest I have come to finding any sort of individual part numbers for the pulley/bearing are located here - granted for the Note version of the engine, but they should be the same:



Searching for the part numbers however shows no usable results. I dare say that the individual pulleys are around and could be the same as other engines, however will require taking off the pulleys, measuring and searching.

If I go ahead with the above, I will see if I can seek what ever parts are removed from the car so I can review.
 
I don't know if you go ahead with the repair, but I put some note here just for reference.

This German site said the tensioner part 11955-3VA0A is replaced by 119553VA-0B

242 EUR on German site or £185 on UK site, yeah so expensive.

Edit: Another site: https://handlerparts.dk/en/Search?code=119553VA0B&brand=Nissan
 
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Went ahead with the repair and got the car back yesterday. First start this morning all appears ok so far but wasn't all that cold last night. I can however still see slight movement on the belt rather than running 100% true so I'm a little anxious after spending quite a bit of money! I still have my suspicions about the idler pully (4 - behind air intake) but I have to stick my trust in that they checked it and deemed it was ok!

According to the garage, they had underestimated the amount of time to bill for and the main serpentine tensioner was a much bigger job than expected but at least they honoured the quote. At first (and this did slightly alarm me) - they quoted for the main serpentine tensioner and hadn't realised there as a super charger attached until I asked them to double check! I suppose its something you dont expect to be fitted to a Micra, and when everything else is turbo.

Looking at the cost breakdown on mine and the prices above, its probably best just going straight to Nissan for parts - at least then you know what you are getting. Whilst ours 'only' lasted 70k, in all fairness its had a bit of a hard life with most driving is short trips which probably hasn't helped.

The breakdown of the bill:

Serpentine belt: £23.94
Supercharger belt: £ 42.02 (!!!!)
Main Serpentine tensioner: £167.97
Supercharger tensioner: £198.74
Fitting: £146.25
+ VAT (20%) of £115.78

I didn't get the old parts in the end - forgot to ask as I have been so busy at work!
 
Thanks for the update.

I guess these parts failed as a chain reaction.
Did they give some speculation on which was the root cause?

Sorry to say that I am looking on autodoc online shop and the main Gates belt is ~12 eur and the supercharger Gates belt is ~8 eur.
Maybe they offset the labour cost to that?
 
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No root cause just that they were shot and had excessive play. I am happy that the main serpentine tensioner had play as I confirmed that myself before sending it in. The 2 tensioners are 'unrelated' items, so one failing should not affect the other as they are on separate belts but they look similar so it could just be mileage/type of driving related. They have probably been blown for some time given how long have had the belt issues.

Although it does leave me wondering if the other garage bothered checking them (which with the belt off, the car already up in the air and in bits) should be a fairly simple procedure?!) when I took it in for a belt change, for 2 to go, it seems unlikely that they will have both just gone within a couple of months.
 
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Last update on this (hopefully!)

Been driving around in the car daily since the tensioners were replaced a week and a half ago. Whilst it has been mild with only a couple of really cold days, there have been no further noises from the belt (either squeal or clack type noise). I believe the issue has been fixed.

After some thought, my suspicions is the main serpentine belt tensioner was the root cause of the noise. Maybe it wasnt making the noise itself, but may have caused the noise further down the belt. The reason I think this is because the supercharger is not spun over as part of the engine start up and only kicks in once you start to press the accelerator or move so by that logic....
 
I actually think of the reverse cause. The engagement/disengagement of supercharger clutch created a mini shock to both belts and both tensioners. Since this happens quite frequently - especially for mostly short trips driving pattern - the tensioners could go bad over time.

As mentioned by Eaton https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/products/engine-solutions/superchargers/tvs-overview.html,
this R-series supercharger can only achieve peak efficiencies at high pressure ratio and high speed. This is probably the reason why Nissan had to design this clutch mechanism.
 
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aah sorry - we are talking 2 different 'root causes' here!

My root cause - the root cause of what was causing the noise to occur and needed fixing.
Your root cause - What caused the tensioners to fail in the first place.

Does the supercharger add that much of a shock compared to say, an air conditioning pump? I note the supercharger is timed to kick in 'appropriately'. IE does not kick in during acceleration (which can be annoying at times!) but will either do it at idle or when you jab the throttle, deacceleration or gear change where the shock would be less. Although its likely done that way to prevent a sudden surge in power which is likely to take a typical driver by surprise.

It could also be a poor design/layout as well. It is quite a compact and tight belt. We have already seen that the K13 eats through the bottom suspension link bushes like they are sweets.... how Nissan could get that element so wrong as suspension on a run around should be childs play to make right so it would not surprise me.

Or, I could just be really unlucky and these parts fail rarely. Given the lack of pattern parts and no other posts, that's looking likely at the moment!
 
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