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The serpentine belt, also known as the drive belt, is made of rubber. It connects the AC, power steering, and alternator to the engine's crankshaft. The crankshaft sends power to each of these systems as well as the vehicle's air injection pump. If the belt does not function properly, the car's electrical accessory components will not operate and the battery will not be properly charged.
Basic fan belt maintenance implies inspection with every oil change. Our technicians will make sure it is correctly aligned on the pulleys, because if it slips off, your car may lose power. Regular maintenance is also important because it helps ensure that your belt will last longer, usually between 60,000 and 100,000 miles, without you changing it.
Belts suffer wear and tear just like any other vehicle part and will often crack due to the engine's heat. It is recommended that you have your fan belt replacement performed before the vehicle reaches the critical mileage level. Regular inspections will help not only identify worn marks or broken belts, but also recognize early warning signs:
If your vehicle's serpentine belt is broken, you may find it difficult to turn the steering wheel and driving may be unsafe. If your vehicle is older, or if you hear squealing noises from the engine, those belts might need changing. It’s important to bring your car in as soon as possible to avoid more serious, and hence expensive, damage.
If you hear slapping sounds from the engine, this is often an indication that the timing belt has slipped. When a timing belt breaks, the engine will no longer function or might even suffer significant damage. This includes damage to the pistons, valves, or the cylinder head, all of which lead to expensive repairs, possibly even an engine replacement.
If the fan belt breaks while you’re driving the car, everything driven by the belt will cease to operate. This includes the air-conditioner compressor, water pump and alternator. Not only that, but all the parts it controls can become severely damaged.
The belt replacement cost is quite minimal compared to the damage that could occur if you leave a malfunctioning belt in your vehicle. As part of your routine maintenance schedule, a certified technician can inspect and replace any belts if needed.
Time for a Serpentine Belt Inspection?