The serpentine belt is the long belt that twists around the engine and is driven by the engine. Some belts may power the:
- Air conditioning compressor,
- Power steering pump,
- Water pump,
- Radiator fan,
- And power brakes.
If your serpentine belt breaks while driving, your battery could die in a few miles or less. If the belt runs your fan or water pump, your engine could overheat. Steering and braking could become more difficult. The best thing is to replace your serpentine belt before it breaks.
Check your owner's manual or ask us when we recommend that you replace your serpentine belt. We can also inspect your belt for signs of trouble. You may have been told before to look for cracks in your belt to determine replacement. Cracks are still a concern, but modern belt material does not crack as often as old belts did. What we look for these days is the thickness of the belt. We have a special tool that measures the depth of the grooves in the belt to determine the need to replace.
A worn belt can slip or be misaligned, putting undue stress on the accessories it runs. To help ensure the belt is tight, there is a tensioner pulley on your engine that puts pressure on the belt to keep it at the right tension. The spring on the tensioner wears out over time, so we recommend replacing the tensioner pulley at the same time as the serpentine belt.
Replacing your serpentine belt on-schedule, or when an inspection warrants replacement will help keep you from an unexpected breakdown.