Common Signs Your Drive Belt Needs Replacement

Some vehicles have two drive belts, but most modern vehicles have a single belt, called a serpentine belt. It’s a reinforced, ribbed rubber belt that delivers power to your alternator, air conditioning, power steering, cooling system, and other components in your vehicle. Usually, these belts don’t require maintenance, and will last up to 150,000 miles. Of course they’re not going to last forever, and once they fail, your vehicle isn’t going to go anywhere. That’s why you should have regular inspections, and have your drive belt replaced if you notice any problems.

So, how do you know if you need to replace your drive belt? Here are a few clues.

Noisy drive belt

This is the biggest tip off that you have a drive belt problem that shouldn’t be ignored. If your serpentine belt is squealing, it’s time for an inspection. Maybe it’s just water on the belt, which isn’t a huge issue. If you’ve been driving through torrential rain, you can expect some squeaking. But if the squeak is due to leaking or spilled motor oil, that’s a whole other ball game. Oil is the kiss of death to the belt, so make sure you don’t have any leaks, and have YourMechanic replace the belt right away, instead of waiting until the inevitable damage forces you to have it done.

Belt wear

Before your belt fails, it will usually show signs of wear. If the ribs facing the pulley are missing chunks, it’s not necessarily the end of the world. Many belts will function quite well with a few bits missing. But if there are a lot of chunks gone, or if several notches appear close together, replace the drive belt right away – this is just a disaster waiting to happen. If one side is wearing unevenly, you could have a misaligned belt. This could be a problem with the pulley.

Cracks and rot are, of course, indications that you should replace the drive belt. Any crack that’s more than halfway through the belt has to be replaced immediately.

If your drive belt is damaged, don’t take chances. You could drive for miles without a problem, or you could end up stranded by the side of the road. Worst case scenario, a damaged belt could cause extensive damage to other vehicle components. When in doubt, it’s best to replace.


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John

27 years of experience
857 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 V6-3.5L - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Pearland, Texas
Highly highly highly recommend John. He is truly the most honest hard working man that I’ve met. He treats you like family. He fixed my Benz in a timely manor. He is nice and will go the extra mile to ensure your happiness.
Nissan Versa Note - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Houston, Texas
As always, John provided us with excellent service! On time, professional and honest. The only mechanic I trust with all of our vehicles.

Greg

22 years of experience
155 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Acura RDX L4-2.3L Turbo - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Mesa, Arizona
Greg was awesome!! Very polite, helpful, knowledgeable and efficient. I will be requesting Greg for repairs on other vehicles. I am also recommending him to friends, family and Co workers.
Honda Civic - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Chandler, Arizona
He was honestly a great person and worker. He checked my car before working on the order that I put in and was able to see the real problem with the car. Would definitely recommend him to others . And will be using this service again

James

31 years of experience
611 reviews
James
31 years of experience
Hyundai Tucson L4-2.4L - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Buena Park, California
James was very professional and surprisingly "on time". It is so refreshing. We will definitely request more work in the future.
Toyota Tacoma - Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement - Yorba Linda, California
James was on time and definitely knew what he was doing. Went over the truck, checked and inflated tires, checked coolant etc.

Kyle

12 years of experience
70 reviews
Kyle
12 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Las Vegas, Nevada
Kyle was friendly and on time. Recommend other services that my car may need in the future. I will differently call again.

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