Serpentine Belt

When you start your car in the morning and you hear squealing coming from under the hood this is the early signs of needing to replace your serpentine belt.  These belts are good for around 100,000 kms.

The serpentine belt operates a lot of things in your car.  It operates your power steering, air conditioning, alternator and water pump.  If it were to come off while you were driving you would notice immediately as you would lose your power steering and it would become “Armstrong” steering.  Your air conditioning would also stop working.  The next thing that would happen is that your car would start to overheat as the water pump is no longer circulating coolant through the engine to cool it and then your car would die since the alternator is no longer charging the battery. 

When the technician is inspecting the belt they are looking for two things depending on the belt.  They are looking for cracks in the belt and if the belt is what they call a “new technology” belt the technicians have to measure how deep the grooves are in the belt.  Recently the belt companies changed the material they use so the belts are no longer supposed to crack, but not every vehicle has this new style belt on it and that’s why the technicians still look for cracking.





I had just given a clinic in Halifax and the next day one of the ladies was driving on the highway, and her serpentine belt came off.  When she called the shop she was able to tell the shop owner immediately what happened to her car.  I bet that made her feel good to be able to know what had just happened to her car and be able to relay it to the shop. I always say “knowledge is power”.




Car Care Clinics

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