Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Should the Belts in My Car Last?

Car belts

Automotive belts these days last quite a bit longer than they once did, thanks to better materials used in the manufacturing process. Just the same, they’re not going to last forever. So if you’re wondering, “How long should belts in a car last?” that’s a perfectly reasonable question. At some point, you will have to replace a belt, and ideally, you want to do it before it fails.

How long do car belts last?

In order to get an accurate assessment of how long your car belts are likely to last, you really should have a hands-on inspection done by a qualified mechanic, but you might be able to get a ball-park idea by providing the model, age, and mileage on your car. It would also be helpful if you know when the belt you’re concerned about was last replaced.

If you’re concerned about your belts, you can do a visual inspection. Some things, like cracks, fraying, chunks missing or visible glazing are proof that the belt needs to be replaced. Also, if a belt has been contaminated with oil or grease, it should definitely be replaced – the belt is going to deteriorate.

If your vehicle is equipped with v belts, they should be replaced within 3 years, or 40,000 miles. Beyond this point, car belt life will be dramatically reduced.

How often should belts be replaced?

Most cars today actually operate using a single belt, called a serpentine belt. Generally speaking, you should replace it every 3 years – more often if you notice wear or missing teeth – unless it’s made from EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer). This compound has been in use since 2005, and belts made from it are frequently found in newer vehicles. They’re usually good for 10 years or 150,000 miles. Even so, don’t neglect your car belt maintenance. It’s still a good idea to have a mechanic check the belt from time to time. Usually they’ll do this as a courtesy if you’re in for an oil change or other servicing.

Although replacement recommendations are usually based on years or mileage, the conditions your vehicle is subjected to can also affect the life of the belt. For instance, if you’re constantly driving through water, or if you live in an area where the weather is extreme (freezing in winter or in the triple digits in summer), this will lower the life expectancy of your belt.

So, make sure you maintain your belts properly, and replace when needed. The consequences of a broken belt can be expensive, and prevention is always preferable to repair.

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

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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,...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: While on the interstate, displays lit up and steering locked

The engine peripherals that are driven by the belt need to be checked to make sure that they are all able to rotate without issue. If the engine peripherals check out okay, then the belt can be replaced and this...

Q: Why would me 2002 Honda CR-V make a squealing noise when hitting the gas

Hello. This noise can come from a few different things. You are right that most of the time it is caused by a failing or loose belt. If the belt is loose then it may be the tensioner that is...

Q: Belts squeaking and air coming out hot

Depending on where the blend door in your air conditioning system is set will determine the temperature of the air coming through regardless of ambient temperature. The linkage could be jammed or broken keeping the air coming from your vents...