How Often Should Drive Belts Be Replaced?
The drive belt, also known as the serpentine belt, is one of the most crucial components in your car and most modern cars operate with just one. It’s a long, winding belt that keeps your engine running smoothly and your vehicle simply won’t move without it.
How long does a drive belt last?
The good news is that driving belts are built to last and, on average, a good quality belt should last for between 100,000 to 160,000 kilometres. If you are an infrequent driver or drive only short distances, your belt could last many years, or for as long as you own a particular vehicle. However, those doing much heavier mileage may require a replacement within a few years.
Most importantly, the drive belt should have a regular mechanical inspection. If a fault develops, it will need repairs and in some instances, replacement.
The benefit of drive belt replacement
A critical consideration for all car owners is that they are not driving with an aged or faulty drive belt. This can lead to the belt becoming misaligned or contaminated with fluid, with the belt developing cracks and glazes, or with strips of its rubber peeling off.
An aged belt could snap at any time. If that happens, everything, from the alternator and power steering to the water pump and air conditioning, stops working. This can damage the engine, making repairs costly and lengthy.
How to know when your drive belt needs to be replaced
It’s difficult for you to know when your drive belt has reached the stage that it should be replaced. The best approach is to have a regular mechanical inspection by a professional mechanic. These are some of the signs that could point to a drive belt problem:
1. Squealing sounds
When a belt is misaligned or has slipped from the correct position, a squealing noise coming from the engine can be an indicator of this. A mechanic will be able to check out the cause of the problem.
A car’s cooling system is powered by the drive belt. If an engine overheats, one of the possible causes could be a failure of the belt, as the engine won’t cool down in the required fashion.
3. Power steering and A/C problems
Your car’s systems and accessories, including the power steering and air conditioning, are reliant on the performance of the drive belt. There are various reasons why either the power steering or the A/C might malfunction. If you encounter errors with these, failure of the belt could be the cause.
4. Wear and tear
Like all components of a car, the drive belt is subject to wear and tear. This could be visible in the form of unevenness across its surface, or cracks, abrasions, and missing chunks. If you notice these, it’s best to have a mechanic take a look and give you an appraisal of what’s required.
Your dependable Wollongong mechanic
If you need your drive belt checked, or for any car repairs in Wollongong, 1st Choice Mechanical Repairs is your best choice for experience and reliability.
Our service covers Wollongong, Shoalhaven Heads, Greenwell Point, Albion Park Rail, Mount Pleasant, Kiama, Warilla, Figtree, Corrimal, Worrigee and the surrounding areas.