Your drive belt, also known as a serpentine belt, is an essential part of your car. This belt provides power for your power steering, air conditioning, water pump, and more. Although this belt is made of very durable rubber and can last up to 150,000 miles in modern vehicles, the wear and tear from heat, friction, and frequent use can cause this belt to fail. So, what are the signs of a failing drive belt? Let’s find out.
The Signs of a Failing Drive Belt
1. Noise, noise, noise
The only sound you should hear from your engine compartment is idling and acceleration. It’s time to open up your car’s hood when you hear squeaking or squealing noises. Sometimes, water from the road (especially when you’ve driven through an area with standing water) can get the drive belt wet. If you find this to be the case and the squeaking goes away when the weather dries, you’re fine.
If the weather and the belt are dry and you’re still hearing strange noises, however, this may be a sign that your drive belt is misaligned or worn and needs some attention. It’s especially important to visit your mechanic if you notice oil on your drive belt since this is likely a sign of a larger problem.
2. Changes in your power steering, air conditioner, or other components
Sometimes, the signs of a drive belt that’s on its way out are subtle. Perhaps your air conditioner isn’t working like it used to. Maybe turning your steering wheel isn’t as effortless as it once was. Or, maybe your air conditioning and power steering just don’t work at all. You guessed it – your drive belt might be the culprit!
3. Your drive belt is visibly worn
Drive belts are built to last, but they aren’t imperious to the wear and tear of tens of thousands of miles. When you see cracks, dry rot, and a significant number of missing ribs (the raised notches that help your drive belt wind its way through your engine), it’s time to get a new belt.
Additionally, you may notice that your belt is not wearing evenly and is thicker on one side than the other. This is a sign of a misalignment problem, so even if the belt looks otherwise fine, you may want to go ahead and bring your car in for service.
4. Your engine overheats
Your engine can overheat for a number of reasons, one of which is a broken drive belt. This belt powers the water pump, so if it goes, then your water pump can no longer cool down your engine as normal.
Your car shouldn’t overheat under normal circumstances, so whether it’s caused by your drive belt or another component, it’s time to bring your car in for service. Continuing to drive while your car is overheating is a recipe for a potentially catastrophic engine failure.
Fast and Convenient Drive Belt Repair at T3 Atlanta
Sometimes, your car may perform normally with a failing drive belt. Other times, it could lead to you being stranded on the side of the road. In either case, it’s important to get a worn or broken drive belt replaced as soon as possible, especially since a broken drive belt could damage other components in your vehicle.
T3 Atlanta can help. We provide top quality Nissan, Lexus, Toyota, and Infiniti service at our two convenient metro Atlanta locations. Give us a call and we’ll make sure your car is always in great condition wherever the road takes you.