Hi-Tech Car Care Auto Maintenance Basics: Serpentine Belt Question:

My Hi-Tech Car Care service advisor said I need a new serpentine belt but I don’t see any cracks in it. Does it really need to be replaced?

Hi-Tech Car Care Answer:
I appreciate your concern. Old style neoprene belts would crack with age, making it pretty obvious to Phoenix drivers when they needed to be replaced. Nowadays, serpentine belts are made from a different material that doesn’t crack or glaze the way neoprene did.

Stepping back, the serpentine belt transfers power from the engine to various important accessories like the alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor – even the power brakes and water pump on some vehicles. Modern serpentine belts have several grooves running their length. These grooves mate with the pulleys on the accessories. When the belt is within its useful life, it spins the accessories at the designed speed.

Over time, belt material is worn away. When as little as 5% of the material is lost, the belt can slip and not properly spin the accessories leading to harmful stress and pricey damage.

Using a special tool, your appreciative Hi-Tech Car Care service professional can measure the material lost in your serpentine belt. He will identify if it needs to be replaced.

It’s important for Phoenix motorists to understand that the serpentine belt is part of the aaccessory belt drive system which also includes the serpentine belt tensioner and any idler pulleys. The belt tensioner has the same service life as the belt itself, so if it is time to replace the belt, you should also replace the tensioner and idler pulleys as well.

A worn belt tensioner can cause belt slip and enough belt-slap to really hammer the accessory upstream from the tensioner. Running too long with a worn belt, tensioner, or idler pulleys generally causes excessive heat at the accessory pulleys, resulting in inefficiency, pricey damage and premature replacement.

Hi-Tech Car Care in Phoenix can perform an inspection to see if your belt or tensioner is worn and should be replaced. Ask your technician if it’s time for a serpentine belt system replacement.

Give us a call

Hi-Tech Car Care
2924 E Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602.224.0941

At Hi-Tech Car Care in Phoenix AZ (85016) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 602.224.0941. To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

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