Serpentine Belt

What serpentine belts are and how to stop yours from breaking.

Most people are well aware that they will need a serpentine timing belt replacement every so often but are far less aware of the role a serpentine belt plays in their car.

First used on the Ford Mustang in 1979, a serpentine belt operates multiple secondary parts within the engine including the air, water, and power steering pumps, the alternator, and the A/C compressor. It took the place of a number of smaller belts used in older vehicles.

While this innovation has been used in most new cars, it is not without its drawbacks. If the serpentine belt breaks, all of the important parts that it powers will no longer operate until it is replaced. This is contrasted to older cars that were still able to operate the majority of their parts if only one belt broke.

To make sure that your serpentine belt doesn’t break, you should have it checked during your next Gary’s Automotive Service visit.

The serpentine belt will generally show significant signs of wear before actually breaking, so you can also check your own belt regularly during normal maintenance.

Look for small rips and tears, or even small chunks that have fallen off the belt. Additionally you can listen for excess noise that may signal a problem with the belt.

To get optimal performance from your serpentine belt, replace it every 30,000 to 60,000 miles or consult with your owner’s manual.


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