Signs Your Serpentine Belt Needs To Be Replaced

27 March 2023
 Categories: , Blog


The serpentine belt in your vehicle, also known as the drive belt or the accessory belt, received its name because it winds around many important components in your vehicle. Some of those components include the water pump, power steering pump, air pump, alternator, and air compressor. If your serpentine belt breaks, these components can fail and your car will become inoperable. Fortunately, your vehicle will often give you warning signs that the belt is loose, cracked, or damaged, allowing you to get it repaired at an auto repair shop before it completely fails. Here are some of the signs that your serpentine belt may be damaged. 

You Hear a Squealing Noise When Your Car Is Operating

One of the most common issues that you may encounter if your serpentine belt needs to be replaced is a squealing or screeching that comes from the front end of your car. This squealing or screeching typically happens when the belt is loose or frayed. A squealing or screeching sound can also indicate a problem with the timing belt, so bringing your vehicle to a professional auto repair shop is important to determine what belt is causing the noise. 

Your Engine Is Running Hotter Than Normal

Another issue that can happen if your serpentine belt needs to be replaced is that your engine runs hot. Typically, your engine temperature gauge should be in the middle once your car has been operating for a few minutes or longer. If you notice that the gauge is higher than it normally is, your engine is running hot, and this can be caused by a failing serpentine belt. 

The Belt Is Cracked or Fraying

The position of the serpentine belt can vary based on the make and model of your car. However, you can typically see parts of the belt if you open the hood of your vehicle. If you can see the belt and notice that it is cracking or fraying, you should immediately bring the vehicle to an auto repair shop to have it replaced. 

Your Car Is Having Trouble Starting

The final sign that may indicate there is an issue with your serpentine belt is that your car is having trouble starting. Your vehicle may take a while to start or may stall as you try to turn it on. This can also be a sign of a failing battery, a failing starter, or even failing spark plugs, so it is important to have the issue diagnosed by an auto repair shop so you know what is causing the problem. 

If you hear a squealing sound from the front of your car, notice your engine is running hotter than normal, can see damage on the belt, or notice that your car is having trouble starting, your serpentine belt may need to be replaced. Bring your vehicle to your preferred auto repair shop to have your vehicle inspected and, if needed, have the serpentine belt replaced.   

For more info, contact a local auto repair shop