A serpentine belt can be a life-saving device in your vehicle. It is designed to drive many of the accessories and components that can’t directly connect to the engine’s power source, like the alternator, air conditioner compressor, water pump, and more. These belts are also responsible for making sure that certain parts of your car work together by synchronizing their timing. In this article, we are going to discuss what happens when a serpentine belt breaks, the symptoms of a bad serpentine belt, how much it costs to replace a serpentine belt, and if you can drive without one.
The serpentine belt in your vehicle uses a belt and set of pulleys connected to the engine’s crankshaft. The belt transfers power from the engine to the cooling system, alternator, heat and air conditioning, power steering, and other auxiliary items. A broken serpentine belt leads to your car overheating and your battery providing electricity as opposed to your alternator.
Can you drive without a serpentine belt?
If you’re wondering whether or not you can drive your car without a serpentine belt, the answer is no. There are many dangers to driving without a serpentine belt. A car can only take out so much slack from other components before they fail and stop working altogether. The serpentine belt is a crucial component for your car and if it breaks, then you’re in big trouble. Without this part, there will be insufficient coolant flow to maintain the engine temperature- which isn’t good because without that fluid running through the motor, it can overheat! If left unchecked too long, an overheating vehicle can lead to more serious problems like warped pistons or cracked blocks from internal pressure.
What can happen when a serpentine belt breaks?
Serpentine belts play an integral role in keeping engines running smoothly by circulating antifreeze throughout them so they don’t overheat while driving. In order for this function to work properly though, drivers need their vehicle’s water pump constantly circulating antifreeze. If the serpentine belt breaks, it will lead to critical power assist loss for the steering system. In fact, if a serpentine belt breaks, turning the steering wheel becomes extremely difficult and can result in your engine overheating.
The symptoms of a broken serpentine belt
The symptoms of a broken serpentine belt can be identified by noticing any large rips or cracks on the belt. The belt can also appear to be twisted and can sometimes be difficult to see due to being covered in grease and dirt. If you can’t see the belt it is possible for it to have broken off from the engine shaft. There can also be trouble with your power steering pump, brakes, and traction control. There can also be a vibration that’s more noticeable when the car idles.
Here are some other symptoms of a bad serpentine belt:
- A squealing noise coming from the front of your vehicle
- Air conditioning is no longer working
- Your car’s engine is overheating
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in your vehicle, I’d recommend visiting your local mechanic for an inspection. You don’t want to end up with a failed serpentine belt on the highway.
How long can a car run without a serpentine belt?
The length of time your car can last depends on a few factors. If it is hot outside, for example, the engine will overheat without adequate cooling so you may not be able to drive very far at all before having an issue with overheating – which could put you in limp mode. On the other hand, if it’s cold out or there is plenty of coolant (like during winter), you might get 90 minutes until running out of battery power!
How much does it cost to replace a serpentine belt?
In most cases, it can cost anywhere from $50 to upwards of $500 depending on where you take the car and how much work is needed. These costs include the price of the serpentine belt ($25 – $75) and the labour costs. Labour costs can range anywhere from $75 – $150 an hour depending on the mechanic’s rates.
How many years will a serpentine belt last?
The lifespan of a serpentine belt can range anywhere from 60,000 – 100,000 miles. There are many different factors that can affect the lifespan of a serpentine belt. Some cars have newer models with an updated design, which can make them last longer than other makes and models. Typically, you. The type of driving you do can also play a role in how long your serpentine belt lasts as well: if you drive mostly on highways or flat surfaces, you can expect your serpentine belt to last longer.
Can you replace a serpentine belt yourself?
Typically, a serpentine belt can be replaced by the vehicle owner. If you have no experience with working on vehicles and are not confident that you can complete this task yourself then we would recommend that you take your car to an automotive technician. The cost of replacing a serpentine belt can vary depending on the make or model of your vehicle but typically can range between $30-$120.
Is a timing belt the same thing as a serpentine belt?
No, a timing belt is not the same thing as a serpentine belt. They both have different functions for your vehicle.
A timing belt regulates the movement of your engine’s valves to maintain a smooth, even flow of air and fuel to the engine. A timing belt also helps maintain the crankshaft’s position in time with the revolution of the camshaft, so that it can correctly mesh with other moving parts in order to keep them in alignment.
A serpentine belt keeps your engine accessories running efficiently. This includes your power steering, radiator fan, alternator, and water belt pump. The serpentine belt can also distribute power to other parts of the vehicle such as air conditioning compressor or auxiliary fans for horsepower.