The serpentine belt is known as the alternator belt or drive belt. It is responsible for providing power to the component of the car. The electrical system, power steering system, cooling system, and A/C system depends upon the serpentine belt. In some vehicles, water pumps, parking brakes, and radiator fans also depend upon the serpentine belt.
If the serpentine belt gets damaged or break, engine accessories will not be able to spin at the proper speed leading to decreased power to the electric system. This can lead to loss of power to the steering wheel, the steering wheel will become hard while turning. To know how to fix a broken serpentine belt, before that you have to know the symptoms of it.
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Symptoms Of A Failing Serpentine Belt
The serpentine belt will fail due to regular heat and friction and have to replace it. If you suspect that your serpentine belt fails, watch out for the following symptoms
1. Weird Noise From The Front Of The Vehicle
If you hear some squealing noise from the front of the vehicle, it’s time to replace the serpentine belt. This squealing noise occurs due to slipping of the serpentine belt.
2. Power Steering And A/C Not Working
If you notice power steering when the vehicle is moving and A/C is not any longer producing that much cooler, it’s time to replace the serpentine belt.
3. Engine Overheating
Serpentine belt help by providing power to cool the engine. If you notice, the engine becomes overheating because the water pump turns off, it’s time to replace the serpentine belt.
4. Cracks And Wear On The Belt
Physical inspection is best to know about the serpentine belt symptoms. If you notice cracks, uneven ribs wear, and missing chunks, it’s time to replace the serpentine belt.
How To Fix A Broken Serpentine Belt?
Driving with a broken serpentine belt, can overheat the engine and also makes the compartment such as A/C, alternator, or power steering destroy. If you notice any of the problems mention, fix them immediately. Read the article to know how to fix a broken serpentine belt.
1. Get All The Required Tools And Materials Required
Before you begin the replacement you have to collect the handy material ready. The materials you required a new serpentine belt, safety gloves and safety goggles, Socket set and ratchet, and Serpentine belt tool.
1. New Serpentine Belt
Before buying the new serpentine belt, you have to know about the size, length, width, model no. of the car as well as say to shopper whether you have A/C or not. The pattern of the belt will be s-shaped.
According to this, the shopper can provide the exact copy of the old one.
2. Safety Gloves And Safety Goggle
Whenever you ever work with an engine, perform the work with safety. So, always buy safety gloves and safety goggles.
3. Socket Set And Rachet
You already have enough rachet set and a socket set in the engine but this set you required when you relieve the tension.
4. Serpentine Belt Tool
If you buy the serpentine belt tool, this will save your time and effort a lot. It helps to release the tensioner and replacing the serpentine belt very easily.
2. Locate The Serpentine Belt
Park the car on a flat surface, with brakes on and engine off. It does not require but for safety, you can disconnect the battery. Open the hood and try to remove the engine cover that may block the access of the front engine. After that look car’s belt route diagram. If you do not know about the route at least search online. It is important to know for going to the next step.
3. Relive The Tension On The Serpentine Belt
Tensioners are designed with either a hole to fit a standard rachet or bolt so you can use a socket. Just locate the tensioner belt which keeps the serpentine belt secure. Then by using the wrench tool pull it in the opposite direction of tension to release it. The pull depends on the engine whether you have to pull in clockwise or anticlockwise.
Once you release it, you can remove the old serpentine belt.
Nowadays on an automatic drive, the tensioner is very straightforward and can release the tension only in one step.
4. Replace The Old Serpentine Belt With New One
Now compare the old serpentine belt with the new one to ensure that you have bought the correct one but there will be a slight difference in length due to friction the old one has increased slightly.
If everything is fine then start fixing the new serpentine belt through the pulley in the same pathway as the old one had fixed. Make sure your car doesn’t tangle and the rib should be attached properly.
Once the new belt is installed, start the belt tensioner in the same way as you release the tension of the old belt either with rachet or serpentine belt tools or socket.
The procedure is finished and this is how you have to fix a broken serpentine belt. Now you can start the engine and make sure everything runs smoothly. Sometimes, after opening the hood you observe that the engine compartment-making process is difficult. In that case, we suggest taking the car to professional mechanics as they use to remove the engine with professional tools.
How Much It Cost If It Replaced?
The cost varies from car to car as well as whether you replace both serpentine belts or single. The main part is in the cost, it includes two parts replacing cost and labor cost. We recommend if single serpentine gets damage, change both of them to save the labor cost because the replacement cost will be around 20$ but labor cost will vary between 70$ to 150$ which depends on mechanics.
Your owner manual advises you when to replace the serpentine belt. In general, the serpentine run up to 130 miles. Always in time interval check the thickness of the serpentine belt and if there is any crack, just immediately change the serpentine belt by yourself by reading this article or take the car to the professional mechanics.