Do You Have a Bad Serpentine Belt in Your Vehicle?

Your vehicle has several belts that need to be in good condition for it to work properly. One of those belts is the serpentine belt, which is also known as the alternator belt or fan belt. The purpose of this belt is to keep all of the accessory pulleys connected. When the engine is running, there is a pulley that moves the belt to rotate the water pump, power steering pump, AC compressor, and alternator. As you can see, there are many components that rely on the serpentine belt. Here is how you can tell if you need a new serpentine belt.

You've Exceeded the Recommended Mileage

Serpentine belts actually have an estimated lifespan based on the number of miles you have traveled. However, the range of the part's lifespan is quite large. A serpentine belt can last anywhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. If your car is well over 100,000 miles and you are noticing other problems with it, then you should consider replacing the serpentine belt to prevent it from breaking while you are driving.

You Hear a Squeaking Noise

A serpentine belt tends to make a squeaking noise when it has been stretched out. What is happening is that it is slipping across the pulleys, so the belt is not coming in solid contact with the pulleys anymore. A mechanic can determine if the problem is with the belt or the pulleys causing the noise, since it can be difficult to figure it out on your own.

You Notice Cracks on the Belt

It's possible that the serpentine belt will develop cracks in it over time, which is an indication that it is going to break. This happens due to normal wear and tear, such as being exposed to the heat of the engine. You may be able to see these cracks if you simply look under the hood. If you leave a cracked belt as is, it will eventually tear down the middle of the belt.

Your Serpentine Belt Breaks

You definitely do not want to wait until the serpentine belt breaks. This will cause your air conditioner to stop working, the alternator will no longer be able to charge the battery, and it's possible that the power steering will malfunction and become really difficult to turn. If you have a water pump powered by the serpentine belt, the engine temperature is going to rise very fast and the engine will start overheating. 

For more information, contact a company like Alfa Romeo Service Center.