Is Your Serpentine Belt Failing?

May 3, 2021 11:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the most crucial parts in your car is the serpentine belt. It plays an essential role in powering some of your car’s most vital components, like the alternator, the power steering the air conditioning and the water pump.

Your serpentine belt is in constant motion when your car’s engine is on, which unfortunately gives it a finite shelf life due to all the heat and friction it’s subjected to. Most serpentine belts need maintenance at five years or 50,000 miles, though some could last longer. If your serpentine belt has cracked, gone bad or failed, it’s time to get your car repaired in Salt Lake City, UT. Here are some telltale warning signs that you might have a bad serpentine belt.

Squealing or screeching sounds

If the front of your car sounds like a stuck pig, you might be having an issue with your serpentine belt. The noise could be due to the serpentine belt failing or becoming misaligned, preventing it from working as intended. Either way, you should have someone take a look at your car.

Air conditioning isn’t working

Depending on where you live and the time of year, this might be more than an uncomfortable inconvenience. A failing serpentine belt would prevent the car’s air conditioning from emitting cold air. This is more troublesome if it’s combined with other systems failing.

Power steering failure

If both your air conditioning and your power steering do not work, it’s likely that your serpentine belt has gone bad. You can tell if your power steering isn’t working if you can’t turn the wheel as easily and smoothly as you normally would. This could be quite dangerous if you have a cracked serpentine belt.

Engine overheats

The serpentine belt is responsible for the water pump in most vehicles, which cools the engine. If your serpentine belt has cracked or failed, it cannot operate the water pump correctly. If you notice the temperature gauge in your car rising, you should take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible to prevent serious and permanent damage to your engine.

Dead alternator

Your car’s alternator is what powers it up, and a working serpentine belt is fundamental to its function. Your car could lose power gradually or all at once due to the alternator not working properly, or depending on whether the serpentine belt has simply slipped or failed totally.

Visible wear on the belt

This is the most obvious sign that your serpentine belt is failing or has failed. Because of how integral the serpentine belt is to numerous functions of your vehicle, it receives a lot of use and may become cracked, flattened, frayed or broken. It is imperative that you have an auto technician physically inspect your serpentine belt regularly so it doesn’t fail while you’re driving. That could be disastrous.

Schedule an inspection today

Preventative maintenance is the best way to protect yourself against a cracked, bad or failing serpentine belt. If you haven’t had it looked at by a professional in years, give AMR Auto Repair & Towing in Salt Lake City, UT a call today, and we’ll have our automotive experts perform an inspection. Your serpentine belt is too important to neglect, and making sure it’s functioning correctly can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

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