Your vehicle’s engine is made up of numerous individual parts and components that work together to power the entire thing. And while there’s a myriad of parts that are surely important to the functionality of your vehicle, few are as critical as your serpentine belt. Yes, it’s true: this simple belt is responsible for some of the most critical functions in your engine and without it, your vehicle isn’t going to get far!
Understanding how important your serpentine belt is starts with understanding exactly what it is and what it does. The belt itself is aptly named because it snakes around your engine to transfer power to several different components. It interacts with the following aspects of your vehicle:
- The alternator, to transfer power to this critical electrical component.
- Power steering components, giving you the ability to easily turn your vehicle.
- Your water pump, allowing it to push coolant to the radiator.
- Your air conditioning compressor, enabling it to cool your vehicle.
- Your air pump, which pushes air into the engine for compression.
If your serpentine belt snaps, becomes misaligned or threads, it’s going to affect each and every one of the above systems, leaving you with a vehicle that’s far from functional. Needless to say, you’ll be looking for an auto mechanic in Norwalk, OH.
As is evident by its many responsibilities, your serpentine belt is something you can ill afford to have fail in your vehicle! That’s why inspection and a proactive approach to replacing it are essential.
Inspecting and replacing
Inspecting your serpentine belt is easy: simply pop the hood of your vehicle, locate the belt—which will be connected to the many components listed above—and examine the condition of the belt. If you see cracking or fraying in the belt, it’s time to replace it, even if the belt is still functioning. It’s better to proactively replace the belt than reactively deal with a dead vehicle!
Replacing a serpentine belt isn’t all too hard, either. You’ll need to locate the belt tensioner and release it to free up the belt, then carefully unloop it and remove it from your engine. You’ll need to replace it with an identical belt that’s of the appropriate size and thickness (found at your local auto parts store). Loop the belt carefully into the guided pulleys, adjust the belt tensioner to a firm degree and start your vehicle! If everything is done correctly, the belt should run smoothly, with no sound or wobble.
Talk to a mechanic
If you hear a squeak or squeal from your engine when you start up your car or you suspect a problem with your serpentine belt, it’s a good idea to consult an auto mechanic in Norwalk, OH right away. Replacing your belt or adjusting it for optimal function is going to be far cheaper than having your vehicle towed and your belt fully replaced after it snaps! It’s better to stay on top of this critical component than have to deal with the aftermath of its failure.