Serpentine Belt Wear - How to Inspect It

February 3rd, 2016

Under your hood there's a long belt that kinda snakes around your engine. This is a critical part of your engine drive as it powers your very important alternator that keeps your battery fully charged. The serpentine belt also powers your air-conditioning compressor as well as your power steering pump. Its duties varies from manufacturer-to-manufacturer and on some vehicles it can possibly run the power brakes, your radiator fan and the water pump. Important stuff, right?

You can see from the above that this part is critical in keeping your auto on the road because if your serpentine belt breaks and all the belts in your vehicle can wear out depending on temperature under the hood, mileage on your car or just ordinary wear.

The first thing that can happen should this important belt break? Since it would no longer be driving your alternator, your battery would die within a few miles. If your particular make of car has the serpentine belt running your fan or your water pump there would be a more serious consequence. Your engine could over heat.

Steering would also get a lot tougher. Also, your braking capacity would be seriously impaired.

First and foremost before you get to the point where your serpentine belt has worn out, please refer to your owner's manual and see when your vehicle's manufacturer recommends changing your serpentine belt. Please do all maintenance work when it's recommended by your auto manufacturer. This will save you a ton of money.

If vehicle maintenance is not your thing for whatever reason, inspecting your serpentine belt and all others often would prevent the above mechanical failure. All auto belts wear out. Some may even be defective from the factory and not hold up to the estimated life span.

What to look for? You would be looking for signs of wear like cracks and nicks and check out the thickness of the serpentine belt. A worn belt can slip or be mis-aligned, it could be stretched from wear. There are special tools to check the functioning of belts. Confused? Don't know what to look for?

106 St Tire & Wheel inspects almost all of your belts and much more in our 47 point safety inspection available free at all of our locations. Come in to any one of our Queens locations and let us do the work...(and here's a four letter word you will love) FREE.

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