Mechanically, the serpentine belt is a connector between moving engine parts that help different parts operate with each other. Specifically, the belt translates the engine’s power to run the water pump, the air conditioner, the alternator, and even the power steering capability. While the belt approach works incredibly well and still utilizes technology designed decades ago when the belt fails, it really does cause a big headache. Fortunately, serpentine belts are manufactured to last for a very long time under hard working stress before wearing out.
Generally, engine belts and hoses should be replaced about every 100,000 miles. This is not a hard and fast rule, though. It is guidance suggested by the manufacturer to ensure the driver doesn’t end up with a broken belt on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Replacing the serpentine belt and other similar parts at a set point is a preventative maintenance approach that ultimately ends costing much less than repairs after the fact.
The servicing of the serpentine belt starts with an inspection. Our Rapids Honda certified mechanics will examine the current state of your vehicle’s serpentine belt as well as the other consumable connection parts and hoses of your engine system. If we see noticeable wear or the start of tearing, we will let you know right away, why it needs to be replaced, and what could happen if left to keep running as-is. Our primary focus is not on business; we focus on your driving safety first. We want you to be safe on the road and keep coming back to us and being safe with other drivers on the road.
Signs of problems can vary because the way a serpentine can fail varies. First, the belt is moving at high speed on pulleys. A loosening belt that is unable to keep its tension could start to slip off a pulley, losing its traction. The belt might not be broken at all, but the fact that it can’t keep its tightness is a serious issue and a need for replacement. There is also a loud squealing sound that occurs when the belt is moving and rubbing against the parts of the engine that are not moving. This friction will eventually cause the belt to wear and eventually snap or snag as well. Another sign is that it requires more strength to turn the steering wheel, as the power steering begins to fail.
Again, the best way to avoid a failure on the road or being stranded is to rely on preventative serpentine belt service and rely on safety inspections and replacement when scheduled per guidance. This avoids the headache of a repair altogether. At Rapids Honda, we are committed to protecting your safety and your car’s reliable operation. We can easily help you examine your belt and its status as well as with other repairs and services too. We service folks from Coon Rapids, MN as well as the nearby areas of Anoka, Andover, Brooklyn Park, and Ham Lake, MN. Give us a call or email and schedule an appointment at your next engine oil service. We’d be glad to take a moment to inspect your serpentine belt and hoses as well.