You know that long belt that snakes around the front of your engine? Itís called the serpentine belt. 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. Sounds like a lot of important stuff doesnít it?
If your serpentine belt were to break on one of our San Antonio TX roads, 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 ownerís manual for when itís recommended that you replace your serpentine belt Ė or just ask your San Antonio TX service advisor at Cordova Auto Center by calling 210.646.9348. He can inspect the belt as well to see if itís in trouble.
You may have been told by a service advisor in San Antonio to look for cracks in your belt to see if it needs to be replaced. Of course, cracks are still a concern, but modern belt material doesnít crack as often as old belts did. What we look for these days is the thickness of the belt. We have a special little tool at Cordova Auto Center 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.
Now you can imagine itís important for the belt to be tight, so thereís 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 serpentine belt.
Replacing your serpentine belt on schedule, or when an inspection warrants it, will keep you from an unexpected breakdown.