How Long Does an AC Belt Last?

Your AC belt connects the crankshaft of your car’s engine to the air conditioning unit, delivering cool air to you in hot weather, and also working to defrost your windows when the temperature drops.

Depending on the type of vehicle you own, your AC may be driven by a single serpentine belt that drives all of your car’s components, or your AC may have a separate belt. If your vehicle has a separate AC belt, and it fails, then your air conditioning will not work. If it is governed by a serpentine belt, then loss of air conditioning will be just one symptom – many components will fail, and your car may not even run.

Typically, car belts last between 30,000 and 40,000 miles, or about three years, depending on how much you drive and whether the belts are exposed to contaminants. The life of your AC belt will also depend on how frequently you use your air conditioning and your defroster.

Signs that your AC belt needs to be replaced include:

  • Cracks, fraying, stretching or wearing in the belt
  • Squealing when you turn on the air conditioning
  • Defroster not working in cold weather
  • Not enough cool air in hot weather

If you live in a warm climate, and you are comfortable simply rolling down the windows in hot weather, you can get by without replacing the AC belt. If you drive in cold weather, though, you will need your defroster. If you suspect that your AC belt needs to be replaced, a mechanic can check it out for you, and if necessary, replace the AC belt.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Heater Bypass Tube
If you see coolant leaking under your car or smell coolant from your car, you may need to replace the heater bypass tube.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Heater Control Valve
Common signs include the heater not working, coolant leaking from under the engine, and no voltage across the heater control valve.
P0532 OBD-II Trouble Code: A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0532 code means there is an abnormally low voltage reading for the A/C refrigerant pressure sensor circuit often due to too little or too much.

Related questions

AC blowing hot air.
Hello! A malfunctioning air conditioning system can be caused by several scenarios. A simple fuse can be the culprit, as well as a broken drive belt. I don't have much information from you, so I will recommend you have a...
A/C not cold enough
Thanks for writing in about your 2006 Mazda RX-8. You may still be low on refrigerant (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/top-off-coolant). You should have the system checked for leaks, and then fully charge the system with the correct amount. You may have a leak...
ac freon, still not cool, serviced, stil now cool, then looked at and given price high quote to replace leaking seal. Acceptable?
If an air conditioning system is empty, or not performing well, if it passes a visual inspection, the first step to diagnosing it is to do a vacuum and recharge. This process will involve a labor charge of 1 to...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com