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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YourMechanic Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement Service

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3,957
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43

PETER

11 years of experience
43 reviews
PETER
11 years of experience
Mini Cooper Countryman - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Oakley, California
Peter was a great mechanic as well as an amazing person to work with. We really enjoyed the experience. I will never go to a shop again. Thanks so much for the great work and the peace of mind, knowing the Serpentine belt has been replaced! Sincerely, The Rossi’s
Nissan Altima - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Pittsburg, California
Peter arrived on time, was extremely friendly and professional.. Did the work in a timely manner.. I would definitely request him again. Thank you Peter.

Torrieanto

11 years of experience
581 reviews
Torrieanto
11 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Serpentine/Drive Belt - St. Leo, Florida
This is my first time, at first I was a little eseptical but now I'm completely satisfied. He was awesome. He did the job with precision and fast. Excellent service. And also have affordable price.
Nissan Sentra - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Lakeland, Florida
Torrienanto was very knowledgeable and had my car fixed in a very efficiently and quickly manner. I would definitely recommend him.

Arturo

11 years of experience
48 reviews
Arturo
11 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Sun City Center, Florida
Timely. Very knowledgeable. Explain all details to me. Very professional. A true asset to the company

Jose

15 years of experience
309 reviews
Jose
15 years of experience
GMC Acadia - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Hollywood, Florida
He was very invested in solving my problem, didn't shy away when faced with the challenge of lifting the engine to change the necessary parts--came back with additional equipment. Great experience.

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