Serpentine Belts - All You Need to Know

Serpentine Belts - All You Need to Know

WHAT 'S A SERPENTINE BELT?

As the name implies, a serpentine belt is a long, snaking belt that keeps various engine components like the power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, alternator, and water pump running as efficiently as they should. This is also referred to as a multi-V belt, poly-V belt, or multi-ribbed belt. Nowadays, most vehicles are equipped with them and they have replaced most other belts as they are compact and cheaper to replace. It is the one belt that outperforms all others.

WHEN DOES A SERPENTINE BELT NEED TO BE REPLACED?

With use comes wear, and over time serpentine belts can crack, fray or slip as their grooves lose depth. Despite the advantage of only needing to replace one belt instead of several, a serpentine belt failure usually means that several components such as engine cooling, battery charging, and power steering will stop working. It can be difficult to tell if your serpentine belt needs to be replaced, but our manufacturer-trained technicians have the expertise and tools to measure the depth of the grooves and replace them when the time comes.

With that in mind, you can still keep an eye (or better yet, an ear) out for things like engine chirps or squeaks. Your vehicle's check engine light will also come on if the serpentine belt fails, and you'll notice a loss of power to the power steering system, sudden battery drain, or high engine temperature gauge readings. You should not drive your vehicle if this happens, as it can lead to further engine damage and malfunction. Call us as soon as possible.

HOW LONG DOES A SERPENTINE BELT LAST?

Serpentine belts are built tough and, thanks to advances in rubber technology, usually last about 100,000 km or 5 years before you need to replace them.

Categories: Maintenance, Service

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