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Herb Gordon Subaru

Learn the Warning Signs of a Worn Out Belt

Serpentine belts are belts that connect your engine’s pulleys together. These belts usually connect the crank pulley to the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and A/C condenser. Some vehicles have more pulleys than others, depending on how your engine was made. By connecting all of these components to the crank pulley, these other vital parts can be powered by the rotation of your engine. 

Belt Noise

As these belts wear out, they can begin to squeak or squeal. They make noise because there is not enough tension on the belt, or because the pulleys are misaligned or weak. Often, simply changing the belt will make it stop squealing. The noise isn’t usually a danger, though it does sound alarming. In some cases, it can be a warning sign that the belt is about to fail. It’s best to inspect your belt regularly, and especially if it starts to make noise.

How to Check Your Serpentine Belt

You shouldn’t wait until it starts making noise to inspect your serpentine belt. Any time you check your oil, also check your belt. Pay close attention to the edges and look for fraying. If you notice that the belt has begun to fray, have it replaced immediately. Fraying is a sign of a very worn out belt and it could break, leaving you stranded. The same goes if you observe any excessive cracking. Over time, serpentine belts become cracked due to being heated and cooled. A cracked belt could fail and leave you waiting for a tow truck. Even if your belt is free of fraying or cracks, it will become weaker over time. Make sure you follow the recommended service interval for serpentine belt replacement on your vehicle. 

Belt Replacement

Belts need to be replaced, but not as often as other components like filters. Depending on your vehicle, it may need to be replaced once every 5 years or 50,000 miles. Many vehicles only need the belt replaced once every 10,000 miles. Older belts are typically weaker, so it’s important to keep an eye on your serpentine belt if you know it is older. 

Not sure if it’s time to replace your serpentine belt? Contact Herb Gordon Subaru today to schedule an appointment. Our trained professionals can take a look for you and recommend the best action, so you don’t find yourself stranded.