How Long Does a Serpentine/Drive Belt Last?

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In order to operate, your car needs more than just a working engine and transmission. The “accessories” attached to the engine aren’t really optional. For instance, you need the alternator to supply electricity to run the engine, your radio, the HVAC system and more. Your power steering pump provides steering assist to make maneuvering your car easier. The power for all of those things comes from the engine via the serpentine/drive belt.

Most cars today have a single belt, called a serpentine belt. In the past, two or even three belts were used. The serpentine belt connects all the accessories on the engine to the main drive pulley, which is turned by the engine. As the pulley turns, the belt moves. This turns the pulleys on the attached accessories, providing them with the power to operate.

The serpentine/drive belt on your car is a crucial consideration, and it should be inspected at every maintenance interval (every oil change). The belt is in use every single time you start your engine, and it is used for as long as the engine is running. As you can imagine, that puts a lot of wear and tear on the belt. With that being said most serpentine/drive belts can last for a very long time before they need to be replaced.

The lifespan of the belt will depend mostly on the type of material it’s made of. Older style belts generally last about 50,000 miles, while those made from EPDM can last up to 100,000 miles. The best option is to just ensure that your car receives regular maintenance and that the belt is inspected every time. If it breaks, you’ll find that your driving experience is more than a little bit changed. Without this belt, your power steering pump won’t work, your A/C system won’t work, and even your alternator won’t operate. That means you’ll be running on battery power until the engine drains it, and then you’ll be stuck on the side of the road.

While your belt should last for a very long time, there are a few signs of aging and wear that you should keep an eye out for to prevent yourself from being stranded. These include:

  • Squealing from under the hood (this can indicate a stretched belt)

  • Cracks in the belt

  • Nicks, cuts or tears in the belt

  • Missing grooves on the belt’s inner surface

  • Power steering assist doesn’t work (indicates a problem with the belt or the power steering system)

  • Battery light is on in the dash while the car is running

If you experience any of these symptoms, YourMechanic can help. Our mobile mechanics can come right to your home or office to inspect and replace a broken or worn serpentine/drive belt.


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Recent Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Serpentine/Drive Belt Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

3,897

Rating Summary
3,716
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3,716
106
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Nathaniel

9 years of experience
172 reviews
Nathaniel
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Yorktown, Virginia
I really appreciate his service, very professional. He knows exactly what he's doing. I highly recommend him
Buick Encore - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Nate Cobb was an excellent and personable mechanic who certainly knew what he was doing. First of all, what was described as a thermostat replacement job turned out to be something much different. He quickly and correctly diagnosed the problem, used his knowledge of the local automotive part dealers to get the required parts and then proceeded to do the required repairs. Despite close to freezing temperatures, he maintained a cheerful attitude and was courteous and pleasant throughout what was an ordeal. A top notch “Your Mechanic “.

Joe

14 years of experience
374 reviews
Joe
14 years of experience
Chevrolet Tahoe - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Franklin, Tennessee
I have had the good fortune to use Joe a couple of times. Same excellent results. He knows his business and works quickly and accurately. Definitely one of the top mechanics I have every used.

Luis

17 years of experience
216 reviews
Luis
17 years of experience
Toyota Sequoia - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Somerset, New Jersey
Extremely knowledgeable, professional and friendly. Arrived promptly and finished on schedule. I would recommend. My truck is running great again! Thanks Luis!

Jonathan

12 years of experience
157 reviews
Jonathan
12 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
Jon arrived early and found that the car was not as bad as expected. Good for me. He was fast, efficient and friendly.

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