Most people know the importance and benefits of maintain their vehicle. While it is important to be aware and look at major components and parts yourself, it is also beneficial to bring your vehicle in to have it inspected by a professional. Having the vehicle inspected can help to ensure it runs as well as it is supposed to. One part that is commonly overlooked is the serpentine belt for the vehicle.
A serpentine belt is a belt that runs through all major components of the vehicle. The serpentine belt runs differently depending on the vehicle’s make and model. The serpentine belt will transfer power through pulleys from the crankshaft of the engine. It also transfers power from any other component or pump that is mounted on the engine of the vehicle. For some vehicles, an idler pulley or a belt tensioner can also guide the serpentine belt for it to operate efficiently.
It is important to maintain and inspect the serpentine belt because the belt connects through several of the major components of your vehicle. The serpentine belt also is a major factor for several important functions of the vehicle. One major component that relies completely on the serpentine belt is the alternator. When the alternator on the vehicle is not functioning, the battery cannot be charged. This can result in your vehicle not starting when you will need it. Also, the serpentine belt can affect other components such as the water pump, power steering, fans, and power brakes. Sometimes this can depend on the make and model of your vehicle because some power steering and fans run off of separate motors. If the water pump goes out, this can cause issues. This is because the water pump causes the coolant to stop flowing. The coolant is important because it is what helps to protect the engine from overheating and becoming damaged.
The serpentine belt is an important and crucial part to the function of your vehicle. It should always be kept up with proper regular maintenances. You can do a visual inspection of the serpentine belt to see how it is wearing. Noticing any wear can help make you aware for the possible need of the belt being replaced. Also make sure to have a professional inspect it, as they might notice something you have missed. The serpentine belt may show signs of wear by having more than three or four cracks per inch. If you notice the belt is frayed or missing pieces, the belt should be replaced as soon as possible. While the life of the serpentine belt varies from each make and model of vehicle, it is always important to make sure it is maintained and inspected. This can help ensure your vehicle can work the best it can.