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Belleville, IL Auto Repair: How to Tell if Your Serpentine Belt Needs to be Replaced

Serpentine Belt Replacement in Belleville, IL

The serpentine belt is a small rubber belt that plays a large role in the overall function of your vehicle. Sometimes referred to as the drive belt, if the serpentine belt goes bad you will quickly start to have engine trouble among other issues. The belt is responsible for powering your power steering, alternator, and air conditioning. Therefore, if it is not functioning correctly it is vital that you visit an auto repair shop quickly before larger damage occurs.

Most serpentine belts are able to function between 50,000 to 80,000 miles depending on the make of your vehicle, so if it is getting close to that timeframe it may be time to consider replacing it. Here are just a few signs that may indicate your serpentine belt needs attention.

serpentine belt in an engine

Squealing Noises Under the Hood

The number one reason that people end up at an auto repair shop for their serpentine belt is because they hear squealing noises under the hood. If the belt starts to slip or becomes misaligned across the pulleys you can hear it squeaking under the hood. The only way to fix this problem is to replace the serpentine belt.

engine overheating due to bad serpentine belt

Engine Starts to Overheat

Another sign that the serpentine belt may be going bad in your vehicle is your engine overheating. The serpentine belt often turns on the water pump in the car, so when it is not functioning properly the water pump is unable to cool the engine. If you notice your engine overheating you need to promptly head to an auto shop because continual overheating can cause very expensive engine trouble.

power steering problems due to serpentine belt

A/C and Power Steering Quit

If the serpentine belt completely breaks you will instantly lose your air conditioning and power steering. This will cause the car to break down and can lead to some serious safety issues. This is one reason why proper maintenance at an auto repair shop is so vital. You don't want your serpentine belt to break while you are driving.

serpentine belt with gears

Check for Cracks and Wear on Your Serpentine Belt

With this in mind, instead of waiting for your serpentine belt to fail it is a better idea to physically take a look at the belt on occasion. It's not a bad idea to check it every oil change since that is a schedule you can easily remember. Take a close look for chunks missing from the belt, rib separation, or cracks in the serpentine belt. If you notice any of these issues with your serpentine belt immediately make an appointment with an auto shop and get it replaced.