Serpentine Belt Replacement in Santa Clara
Just about every late model car and truck use a serpentine drive belt.
It is a single ribbed belt that drives all the accessories, A/C, Power
Steering, alternator and various other pumps and accessories. They should
require no maintenance unlike their predecessors the V-Belt that needed
periodic adjusting. But the fact of the matter is they don’t last
forever and they do need to be inspected often to keep you from getting
stuck. If it starts to go bad, you can replace it at a time of your choosing
and not when the belt decides for you. Having your mechanic check the
ribbed drive belts at every oil change, and the position of the self-adjusting
mechanism indicator, will insure you catch a bad belt long before it snaps.
The backside of the serpentine drive belt, or the smooth side, usually
drives the water pump. If the serpentine belt gets oil soaked or glazed,
it will slip and not provide the proper circulation to keep the engine
cool. And if there is oil on the serpentine belt, it’s coming from
somewhere – so you will need to find out where and fix it before
putting on a new serpentine drive belt.
Look for tears or abrasions. If you see any it means the serpentine drive
belt is rubbing a pulley flange or bolt as it winds its way around. This
will happen more often as the drive belt gets older. If this happens you
may need to file a pulley flange smooth or bend something out of the way.
Also look for pinholes and/or bumps. If you see any it means dirt and debris
is getting in between the serpentine drive belt and the pulleys. Turn
the belt around and see if there are chunks of the ribs missing. You can
crank the engine to expose sections of belt as you inspect. A few, small
widely spaced chunks are okay, But if there are many and/or close together,
replace the serpentine drive belt. Hairline cracks are normal, but if
they go into the backing, or flat side of the serpentine drive belt you
will need to replace it.
A good rule of thumb for serpentine drive belts is that if cracks are observed
3 mm (1/8 in) apart, all around the belt, the belt may be reaching the
end of its serviceable life and should be considered a candidate for changing.
Small cracks spaced at greater intervals should not be considered as indicative
that the belt needs changing. However, the onset of cracking typically
signals that the belt is only about halfway through its usable life.
Here at Autoland, our mechanics look forward to your car’s maintenance,
including serpentine belt checks and replacement. Conveniently located
off of El Camino Real, the address for Autoland of Santa Clara is 2275
De La Cruz Blvd, Suite A Santa Clara, CA 95050.
If you have questions about our car maintenance services, you can email
our auto techs for an
appointment, Ask A Pro or call us at 408-868-5845