Serpentine Belt Service at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol

Posted August 28, 2016 1:25 AM

If you've ever heard a squealing sound under your vehicle hood, chances are it was your serpentine belt. More importantly, the belt powers the alternator. The alternator creates electricity that's used by your vehicle's electrical systems and also charges the battery. Without the alternator, the battery will go dead after a short distance.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering (some are electric) and power brakes (some use vacuum boost).

And, on most vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to keep it within optimal operating temperatures. On some Bristol vehicles, the water pump is powered by the timing belt instead of the serpentine belt.

When they understand what it does, Bristol drivers realize that if it breaks, it affects a lot of systems. That's why vehicle manufacturers outline recommended replacement guidelines in the owner’s manuals. If this important maintenance component is not included in your owner’s manual, come see us at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair.

At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair in Bristol, your professional technician can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch or couple of centimeters, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces or has a shiny, glazed look, it needs to be replaced regardless of age or mileage.

If it has lost a significant amount of thickness, it also needs to be replaced. Talk to your service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. There's a special spring-loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley. Its job is to make sure there's a constant tension on the serpentine belt so that it doesn't slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. At Economy Transmission and Auto Repair, we recommend that the tensioner be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

As mentioned, a squealing sound could alert you that the serpentine belt needs to be replaced. It may be loose if you hear a slow, slapping sound when idling your vehicle.

All in all, the serpentine belt is very important to the operation of your vehicle. And it's not that expensive to replace at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair – so it's good to do so before it fails.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



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