Serpentine Belt – When Should You Consider Replacing It?

Your vehicle’s serpentine belt is an essential component of the machine. And if it does break, you may find yourself waiting for a tow truck on the side of the road if it happens. That is why we highly recommend you replace the serpentine belt before it snaps to avoid the need for additional repairs and to save money in the long run.

What is a serpentine belt?

A long rubber belt that tranfers power to the various engine accessories, including the alternator, the pump for the power steering, the AC, and sometimes the water pump is what a serpentine belt is.

In the past, someone may have called a serpentine belt a fan belt or an accessory belt. It is because automobiles once had many drive belts that connected the engine to various accessories (such as the radiator fan).
However, most modern automobiles are powered by a single belt that circulates through several pulleys and drives all vehicle components.

Using only one belt may be the most time- and labor-saving and dependable choice, but this also implies that if your car’s serpentine belt were to break, nothing would operate! As a result, you will not have power steering, the air conditioning will not work, your battery will run out of juice, and the engine might overheat. Additionally, it may cause harm to the engine accessories that it regulates.

Because of this, it is incredibly critical to have your serpentine belt replaced at the recommended intervals.

Serpentine Belt vs. Timing Belt

Do not confuse both; a timing belt and a serpentine belt are not the same. The timing and serpentine belts serve quite distinct purposes in your automobile.

The timing belt is kept inside the engine and responsible for keeping the crankshaft and camshaft in time with one another. This guarantees that the exhaust and intake valves of the engine open and close in rhythm with the pistons, allowing for a smooth engine operation.

The serpentine belt enables the engine’s accessories to operate streamlined and effectively. It does this by connecting the engine’s crankshaft, which is located on the exterior of the engine, to the various components of the engine.

When you compare the grooves of the two, you will see that there is a clear distinction between the two. A timing belt’s ” teeth ” are horizontal and designed to engage the appropriate cogwheels on the crankshaft and camshaft. A serpentine belt is characterized by having many V-shaped grooves arranged vertically along the belt in a row.

It is common for these belts to be replaced simultaneously, so check with your technician or the owner’s handbook to see whether or not you also need to repair the timing belt on your vehicle.

When should you get a new belt for the serpentine drive?

Your serpentine belt was constructed to endure a long time. If everything goes according to plan, the serpentine belt in your vehicle should last between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.

Even though the belt appears in good shape, it should be replaced as part of the routine maintenance performed on your vehicle so that you do not experience a breakdown while driving.

5 Signs That Your Serpentine Belt Is in Poor Condition

Longevity and durability are built into the construction of a serpentine belt. However, with time, the heat and the friction will wear it down, and ultimately it will need to be replaced. The following are some symptoms that a serpentine belt needs to be replaced:
• Signs of wear and tear (cracking, glazing, fraying, etc.)
• A high-pitched squealing or chirping noise (indicates a slipping belt)
• A drop in overall performance (power steering failure, sudden car battery drain, or stalled engine)
• The alerting light of the engine
• Unusual sounds

Do you remember when the last time you updated regarding your serpentine belt was? During the routine maintenance appointment, the skilled experts at Auto Alt can perform a visual check of it and provide you with an estimate of when it needs to be replaced.