Somersworth Auto Repair

Somersworth Auto Belts Replacement

Vehicles are equipped with one or multiple belts depending on the make and model and should be regularly inspected.  The serpentine belt is driven by the engine as it turns.  It powers your alternator, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump.  On some vehicles it also runs the water pump, radiator fan and power brakes.  If your serpentine belt were to break, your battery would die in a few miles.  If it runs your fan or water pump, your engine could overheat.  And steering and braking could be more difficult.  Obviously, the best thing is to replace your serpentine belt before it breaks.  Check your owner's manual for when it's recommended that you replace your serpentine belt, or we can inspect the belt as well to see if it's in trouble.  We look for obvious cracks in the belt which are caused over time.  Of course, cracks are a concern, but modern belt material doesn't crack as often as old belts did.  What we look for these days is the thickness of the belt.  We have a special tool that measures the depth of the grooves in the belt to see if it needs replacing.  A worn belt can slip or be misaligned, putting undue stress on the accessories it runs.  There is a tensioner pulley on your engine that puts pressure on the belt to keep it at the right tension.  The spring on the tensioner wears out over time so we recommend replacing the tensioner pulley at the same time as the belt.  Replacing your serpentine belt on schedule, or when an inspection warrants it, will keep you from an unexpected breakdown.  Some vehicles have accessory belts which are designed to run only certain components on the vehicle (power steering, air conditioning).  These should be checked and replaced regularly as well.

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