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Serpentine Drive Belt Replacement
The Alternator Belt Is the Lifeline for Many Engine Accessories
The alternator belt is one of the most important engine belts your car utilizes. Without the alternator belt, many of the functions your car performs would simply be impossible. In many ways, the alternator belt is the extension cord that supplies electrical power to your vehicle.
If you didn’t know what the alternator belt was before this, or just want to enhance what you already know, keep on reading. We think you will find this article helpful.
The Alternator Engine Belt
Almost everyone has heard of an alternator before. The alternator is the component in your car that is responsible for sustaining the charge of the car battery so that it can power the rest of the electrical accessories in the car.
When the alternator is doing its job, it’s actually spinning. But how does the power get from the alternator to the rest of the car? Well, that’s where the alternator belt comes in.
The alternator engine belt wraps around pulleys or multiple pulleys attached to the alternator itself. The other end of the belt is connected to the crankshaft. That way, the alternator, and the crankshaft can rotate simultaneously using the alternator pulley.
Without this belt, the alternator would not be able to do its job effectively. When it doesn’t work properly, you may run into problems with your:
- Air conditioning
- Power steering
- Water pump
Physical Signs of an Old Alternator Belt
Over time, physical changes will occur to your alternator belt. Some of these can become hints whether your belt requires service. If you notice any of the following physical signs, consider scheduling maintenance:
- Fraying around the edges
- Glazing along the belt
- Uneven wear
Symptoms of a Bad Alternator Belt
Every single time that you drive, you are wearing down the engine components. This is true for the alternate belt as well. Overtime, it will experience a great load of wear and tear. When this occurs, your car may display symptoms that should point you towards getting maintenance.
IF you notice dimming for flickering lights while you drive, it could be a sign that the alternator belt is not working properly. The case may be that the lights are running purely off battery power. Eventually, without the belt running, the lights will cease to operate.
Another symptom of a bad alternator belt are engine stalls. This is when your vehicle looses power completely and shuts off. When this occurs, you’re forced to pull over and call for a tow truck.
Illuminated Battery Light
One of the telltale signs that your alternator belt needs replacement is the battery light becomes illuminated on your dashboard.
There are other reasons for this light to turn on, however one of the most frequent reasons is because the alternator belt is no longer sustaining sufficient power to the battery>
Chirping or Squealing Noises
If the alternator belt is worn out and loose, you may hear chirping or squealing noises when the car turns on, and as it runs. This problem is normally made worse in cold weather. IF you hear these noises, it’s time to see a mechanic.
Because the alternate belt is responsible or sustaining the power of the battery from the alternator, if the belt no longer does its job, the battery will eventually lose its charge and die.
Servicing your Alternator Belt
In general, we recommend completely replacing your alternator belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. However, every person and their driving habits are different. So monitor the condition of your belt when you can.
If you think you are experiencing any of the issues from above, it could be related to the alternator belt in your car. If you are unsure, you can always contact us for guidance.