What are drive belts all about?
The drive belts are connected to the crankshaft (a part of the engine), as well as to the alternator, air conditioning, and power steering system. The belts are responsible for transferring power from the crankshaft to these other systems. Over time, and especially if multiple systems that put stress on the belts are being used, the belts can grow loose, or unaligned. When this happens the belts will need to be adjusted so that they can return to their normal, optimal position.
Keep in mind:
- If the drive belt is at all frayed or cracked it should be replaced instead of adjusted.
- When the drive belt is adjusted, the drive belt tensioner and idler pulley should both be inspected.
How it's done:
- Adjust the drive belts
Your drive belts should always be checked during tuneups and maintenance. During any kind of servicing your drive belts should be checked to see if they need to be replaced or adjusted.
What is a common symptom indicating you need to adjust the drive belts?
- Squealing noise from the engine
How important is this service?
Your alternator, power steering, and air conditioning are all powered by your drive belt. The belt is connected to the crankshaft, and transfers power to these systems. As the belt is used and wears, it can grow lose, or begin to become unaligned. If the drive belt becomes loose, it won’t move as efficiently, and it won’t transfer power as efficiently. If the belt becomes unaligned, it can come into contact with parts of the engine, which can cause damage.