I am working on my daughter's '98 9000 this weekend. The car has about 175,000 miles. I changed the belt, the tensioner and the tensioner and idler pulley about 6,000 miles ago, and yesterday I noticed that the belt is frayed. There is one section about 8 inches long where about 20% of the belt is missing (one of the five grooves on the inside of the belt). The rest of the belt has a 1/8 inch wide section on either edge of the flat side of the belt that is worn down, almost like it was designed with a shoulder on either edge. There were pieces of it looking like black string under the power steering reservoir, and the inside of the tensioner pulley looked like part of the belt had melted and bonded to the inside of the pulley. Needless to say, I am replacing both today.

The question is, why did it happen? I checked the other pulleys, and there are no rough edges on any of the A/C alternator or power steering pulleys, and the idler pulley looks fine. The only thing I can assume is that when I replaced it last time, it wasn't sitting in the center of one of the pulleys and caught on something. If anyone has any other ideas why this has happened, please let me know. I have few opportunities to work on this car, and I don't want my daughter to be hung up with a broken car in the middle of the night if the situation occurs again.

Thanks, Ray