Today, most serpentine belts are expected to last anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Some belts can last significantly longer than this, while others give out before 60,000 miles. Make sure to check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended belt replacement time frame. Keep an eye on your vehicle’s miles, so that you don’t go too far over the replacement window. Even if you don’t notice any problems, it’s important to get the belt checked and replaced if necessary during your routine maintenance. Your technician is trained to find any problems that your drive belt may have, allowing you to fix the issue before it’s a problem.
Let’s be honest — any time a part of your vehicle breaks, it’s a bad day. Repair costs can get expensive, plus you have to deal with the stress and frustration of not catching the damage in time. If your drive belt breaks, you’re in trouble. This piece runs power to most of the engine and its accessories. When the belt fails, so does the entire vehicle. Everything from power steering to the air conditioner stops working. In catastrophic situations, a broken belt can actually damage other engine components.
For many drivers, it’s easy to forget to take your vehicle in for routine maintenance. If you’re worried about the cost to replace the drive belt, remember that the cost to repair your car once the belt has broken is significantly higher. Get your belt checked regularly, and if you notice any of the signs of wear, go get an immediate inspection.
One of the biggest signs that you probably need to take your vehicle to the dealership for a check is when you start hearing strange noises coming from your engine. Once you start hearing the serpentine belt making screeching or squealing noises, don’t put off an inspection. While not all belt noises mean that your drive belt needs to be changed, it’s a good indicator. Other things that can cause the belt to squeak include water on the belt or a leak in the motor oil. However, these can cause damage to the belt, as well.