7 Symptoms Of A Bad Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt is a vital part of your car’s engine and needs to be in good working order for your vehicle to run properly. So, how can you tell if your serpentine belt is going bad? Here are seven common symptoms of a failing serpentine belt.

1: Squealing noise when the engine is running:

If you hear a squealing noise coming from under your car’s hood, it could indicate that the serpentine belt is beginning to fail. The squealing noise is caused by the belt slipping on the pulleys.

2: Engine Overheating

If the serpentine belt is not functioning properly, it can cause the engine to overheat. This is because the belt drives the water pump, responsible for circulating coolant through the engine.

3: Power steering problems:

Another symptom of a failing serpentine belt is power steering problems. This is because the serpentine belt drives the power steering pump. If the belt is not functioning properly, it can cause the power steering pump to fail.

4: Alternator Problems

The serpentine belt also drives the alternator. Therefore, if the belt fails, it can also cause the alternator to fail. This will result in a loss of power and, eventually, a dead battery.

5: The belt looks frayed or worn

Inspecting the condition of the serpentine belt itself is a good way to tell if it needs to be replaced. If you see any fraying or wear on the belt, it’s definitely time for a new one.

6: Pulleys look damaged

The pulleys that the serpentine belt runs on can also be an indication of a problem. If any of the pulleys look damaged or worn, it’s also a good idea to have them replaced.

7: The car won’t start

If your car won’t start and you suspect it might be due to a problem with the serpentine belt, there’s an easy way to check. Turn on the ignition and listen for a squealing noise coming from under the hood. If you hear this noise, the belt has failed and needs to be replaced before you can start your car again.

What is Car Serpentine Belt?

A car serpentine belt is a vital part of your car’s engine. It helps to keep the engine cool by circulating coolant through it. The belt also drives the alternator, which powers the electrical system and the power steering pump. If the belt fails, it can cause these systems to fail as well.

How Car Serpentine Belt Works?

The serpentine belt is a long, flat belt that runs around a series of pulleys on the engine. The pulleys are connected to various components, such as the alternator, water pump, and power steering pump. When the engine is running, the serpentine belt turns these pulleys, which causes the components to operate.

How to Increase Car Serpentine Belt Life?

You can do a few things to help extend your serpentine belt’s life:

  1. Make sure that the tension on the belt is correct. The belt can slip if the tension is too loose and cause premature wear.
  2. Keep the area around the belt clean and free of debris. Dirt and grit can work their way into the pulleys and cause the belt to fail.
  3. Have the belt regularly inspected by a mechanic to ensure it is in good condition.

How to Replace a Serpentine Belt?

Step-by-step guide:

  • Locate the serpentine belt routing diagram. This diagram is usually on a sticker under the hood or in the owner’s manual.
  • Use a wrench to loosen, but not remove, the tensioner pulley bolt.
  • Slip the old serpentine belt off of the pulleys.
  • Thread the new serpentine belt onto the pulleys, following the routing diagram.
  • Use a wrench to tighten the tensioner pulley bolt.
  • Start the engine and check that the belt is running correctly.

How Much Does Serpentine Belt Cost?

The average cost for a serpentine belt replacement is between $60 and $200. The exact cost will depend on the make and model of your car as well as the location of the belt in the engine.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What causes a serpentine belt to fail?

A: There are several reasons why a serpentine belt might fail, including wear and tear, damage to the pulleys, and tensioner problems.

Q: How often should I replace my serpentine belt?

A: Most manufacturers recommend replacing the serpentine belt every 50,000 miles. However, it’s a good idea to check the belt’s condition regularly and replace it if necessary.

Q: Can I drive without a serpentine belt?

A: You should only drive with a serpentine belt. Doing so can damage the engine and cause other problems. If your belt has failed, you should have it replaced as soon as possible.


The serpentine belt is an essential part of your car’s engine and needs to be in good working order for your vehicle to run properly. So if you’re experiencing any of these seven symptoms, it’s time to have your Serpentine Belt checked by a professional mechanic!

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