Automotive Repair Blog: Tips, Facts, and Fixes

What to Know About Serpentine Belts

Back in the day, most components under the hood, such as the alternator, AC, etc., we're driven and powered by individual belts. Nowadays, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories, called the serpentine belt. This long snake-like belt is a pulley attached to a car's crank and powered by the engine.


The serpentine belt loops in through your alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering components. So without a productive belt, none of these parts would function.


No matter what kind of engine you have, you're not going to get very far without the serpentine belt. Over time, this belt can experience a lot of wear and tear. It can loosen, crack, tear, and break. It would be best if you didn't let it get to this point, which is why your manufacturer has a recommended interval for when to replace it. If you're unsure, you can always ask a tech at Pro Auto Care to inspect it for you.


As more advancements continue in the automotive industry, manufacturers have started producing serpentine belts with higher-quality materials. They've become more durable, making it more laborious to tell when you may need a replacement. On the newer styles of serpentine belts, you can determine the wear by looking and feeling the ribbing. Sometimes, you can also use a tool, like a gauge, to see if the belt is worn.


A worn serpentine belt can put immense stress on your vehicle motor and its costly accessories. Some vehicle parts are more expensive than others, but they can add up, especially if they've worn prematurely. It would help if you changed your belt as guided by your manufacturer's recommendations to extend the life of your engine and its accessories. You can also bypass the additional costs of a vehicle breakdown. Please do not hesitate to bring your vehicle to our trusted mechanics at Pro Auto Care for all your auto repair needs.