For best results, view in Landscape mode.
serpentine belt, also known as the drive belt, is a belt
car engine that works with the idler, tensioner, and pulleys inside
the accessory drive belt system.
Most cars from 1990
and newer have serpentine belts.
serpentine belt is located on the side of the engine and
be inspected from under the hood.
It's a thin, rubber belt
that winds around several components in
like a snake (hence 'serpentine').
drawback of this single belt is that if the belt
breaks or is knocked
loose, the vehicle instantly loses multiple critical
The water pump, power steering pump, and alternator
(for battery charging) would cease functioning.
A new serpentine belt has a soft felt-like surface on the
As the belt wears out, the belt rubber hardens and cracks.
Pay attention to the engine’s
A sign of a loose serpentine belt may be the vehicle
Avoid allowing the vehicle to overheat, as it can cause
and expensive damage to the cylinder head.
If you notice a squealing noise coming from the
front of your vehicle,
it could be from the serpentine belt.
When you start to notice a
squealing noise, the belt looks bad, the
engine overheats, or loss of power steering, have your
check it right away.
A worn-out belt stretches and loses tension.
This causes the belt to start
slipping from time to time.
It is not
recommended that you drive a vehicle with a damaged,
loose, or severely worn serpentine belt.
Thoroughly inspect your serpentine belt and check for wear.
your mechanic inspect your serpentine belt each time you get
an oil change if you prefer not to do it yourself.
If the serpentine belt fails, it can cause damage to the
which in turn can be an expensive headache.
Check for signs of wear.
Check the edges of the belt for wear and fraying.
Serpentine belts move at high
rates of speed and can catch any loose
fitting clothing or jewelry if you get close while the
engine is running.
Do not get close to the belt while the engine is
If the belt is showing sign of wear like
polished edges, it likely will
need to be replaced.
If the serpentine belt is loose, the belt grooves may begin
and glaze over.
Glazing is easy to spot, as it will look shinier than the
rest of the
rubber the belt is made of.
Glazing occurs as the belt passes over pulleys without
tension on them to actually make them turn with the belt.
If the grooves of the belt have glazed over, you’ll need to
Look for fraying, notches, cracking, glazing, too much slack
on the belt,
uneven wear on ribs or belt, and misalignment on the
The cracking looks a
little like dry-rotted rubber.
Check the tension of the belt
belt starts slipping, the tensioner should also be checked
if it is functioning properly.
Check the tension by pushing down on the
belt with your hand.
The belt should have about a half an inch of play when at
Grab any area of the belt that is between two
pulleys with your fingers.
Most serpentine belts have an auto- tensioner that
the proper tension on the belt.
However, some belts have an adjustment screw that applies
to the belt.
If the serpentine belt is too loose, your alternator will
charge your battery and your accessories may not work
The required measure of tension in the serpentine belt is
that it should
not deflect more than ½ inch when twisted either way
from the middle.
If twisted more, the belt is loose, and if
twisted less, the belt is too tight.
If your serpentine belt is installed with
a self tensioner, ask your
mechanic to replace the tensioner when they
replace your serpentine
Today's serpentine belts are designed to last around
But it's recommended that you replace the serpentine
50,000 to 60,000 miles.