Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does an Alternator Belt Last?

How Long Does an Alternator Belt Last?

alternator belt

Your car’s alternator is what delivers energy to your vehicle’s battery. It works by means of converting mechanical energy to electrical energy, taking power from the engine’s crankshaft and delivering it to the battery where it is stored. The alternator connects to the crankshaft by means of a belt – either a V-belt, or a serpentine belt. With a V-belt, only the alternator is driven. If your vehicle has a serpentine belt, then other components are also powered. If the alternator belt breaks, then the car battery does not receive a charge, and accessories may not operate properly, if they work at all.

The alternator belt is constantly working, from the time you start your vehicle until the time you turn it off. Like all other automotive belts, it is made of rubber, and that means that over time, it can deteriorate. Usually, you can expect your alternator belt to last 3-4 years. You should have it inspected regularly – a good rule of thumb is to have your mechanic check the alternator belt whenever you have an oil change.

Signs that your alternator belt needs to be replaced include:

  • Fraying, cracking or looseness
  • Headlights and/or interior lights flickering or dimming
  • Engine will not turn over
  • Car stalls
  • Accessories do not work

If you notice signs of wear on your alternator belt, or you experience any of the symptoms noted above, you should have a qualified mechanic check the belt. Have the mechanic replace the failing alternator belt to eliminate any further problems with your vehicle.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...


Related questions

Q: How do you deactivate or activate the Belt-Minder® system?

While the Belt-Minder® system in your car is designed to help ensure that you’re aware if a seat belt isn’t being worn, there may come a time that you need to deactivate (and then reactivate) the system. Here’s how: ...

Q: I can't find the right alternator for my Mercedes-Benz. 2003 Mercedes SL500

Hello - any of the MB parts sites selling a "12v, 150 amp" alternator that fits your SL500 is selling the correct specification alternator. Your cars electrical system is nominally 12 volts. The voltage regulator within the alternator allows the...

Q: Car battery light constantly goes on and off.

Hello. The fact that the car struggles when you take the jumper cables off suggests that the battery is not able to maintain a charge on its own. I would recommend checking the alternator and the voltage regulator as these...