A serpentine belt, also known as a multi-ribbed belt, is a long, winding belt that runs through various engine components, such as the alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor. Its primary role is to transfer power from the engine's crankshaft to these components, which run on different accessory drive systems. That is why the serpentine belt is also commonly referred to as the drive belt.
How Does a Serpentine Belt Work?
The serpentine belt works by rotating in a circular motion around the engine's pulleys, which then rotates the various components. It's made up of a durable material, usually rubber, with several grooves on its underside that fit into the pulleys.
When to Replace a Serpentine Belt?
Serpentine belts are designed to last a long time, more than 100,000 miles, but they do wear out over time and eventually need to be replaced. Some common red flags that point to an old or worn serpentine belt include:
- Squeaking or squealing sounds coming from the engine compartment
- Visible cracks or fraying on the belt
- Difficulty starting the engine
- Loss of power steering or air conditioning
As a responsible vehicle owner, you should have your serpentine belt and all other belts and hoses inspected by a professional auto repair shop regularly. If you notice any of the symptoms above, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. A worn-out or damaged serpentine belt can cause damage to other engine components or even cause the engine to fail.
If you suspect your serpentine belt is failing, we welcome you to bring your car to Monkey Wrenches for an inspection and belt replacement. We'll have your vehicle back on the road in no time.