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Auto Maintenance: Serpentine Belt Replacement

Auto Maintenance: Serpentine Belt Replacement

SERPENTINE BELT REPLACEMENT

If you’re in need of a new serpentine belt they are fairly quick and easy to replace.  One thing we notice is that when changing out the serpentine belt there is the chance of discovering the belt tensioner or idler has failed.  Quite possibly just releasing the tension from the tensioner or idler is too much for it to bear as it was on the verge of breaking. 

WHAT IS A SERPENTINE BELT REPLACEMENT?

The serpentine belt winds its way through the engine, connecting multiple components to the crankshaft pulley. This belt, made of strong rubber, eventually wears down and needs to be replaced to keep the engine running properly.  The belt is the one you see when you lift the hood and perhaps remove a cover or two.  This belt wraps around the engine crankshaft and then powers the other devices on your motor such as A/C, power steering or the alternator. 

RECOMMENDATIONS

When you see signs of cracking or frayed ends it is time to replace.  If that belt breaks you will be stuck in the spot until it gets replaced.  You should replace a worn or damaged belt before it causes damage to the engine components.

HOW DO I KNOW IF ITS TIME TO REPLACE THE SERPENTINE BELT?

First, you want to look for unusual wear such as small cracks or fraying at the ends.  Common symptoms of a failing serpentine belt are a squealing noise coming from the engine, and the loss of power steering or air conditioning.

AVERAGE COST

$80 to $300 depending on the vehicle. 

CAN I DO IT MYSELF?

You can but they can be very tricky to do properly. 

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