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What Does Your Serpentine Belt Do?

Cars are complex machines that require all parts to work efficiently, effectively, and in time with one another. Some parts of the car are more essential than others in keeping things running smoothly, such as the timing belt and the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt helps control some important functions in your car, and will need to be replaced during the lifespan of your car to keep things running. But what exactly does it do, and when and how is it replaced? Let’s look more closely at the function of a serpentine belt, as well as the maintenance for it.

A serpentine belt close up.

Function

The serpentine belt function is to ensure the air conditioning, power steering, alternator, and water pump continue to work as they should. These systems are essential to your vehicle so if your serpentine belt breaks, your car will no longer run. The alternator, for example powers the electrical components of your car, including the battery. When the alternator isn’t working because the serpentine belt has broken, you won’t be taking your car anywhere.

Wear Over Time

Over time the serpentine belt becomes worn and damaged because of friction and use. Signs of a worn serpentine belt include squealing noises and physical signs of damage such as tears. If you notice a rhythmic squealing or chirping sound when running your car, there is a pretty good chance the serpentine belt is to blame. If left unattended a damaged belt can break, causing damage to your car and leaving you stranded on the side of the road with a car that won’t run.

Replacement

To prevent a major problem it is recommended to have the serpentine belt checked and replaced when your mechanic deems it necessary. If you notice a squeaking sound as described above, it is time to take the car in to be looked at. Generally serpentine belts should be replaced somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 miles, but a mechanic can tell you the condition of your belt by looking at it, and can let you know when it is time.

If you are concerned about your car’s serpentine belt or other maintenance issues, call us at Mighty Auto Pro today. We can quickly diagnose your car and get you back on the road with confidence. If you are in need of auto repair in Medina, OH we are here for you!

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