Serpentine Belt

Serpentine belt

Serpentine Belt

A serpentine belt is one of the most important belts in modern automobiles. The purpose of the belt is to run and power multiple parts of the vehicle which can include the air pump, power steering pump, and the water pump. Since they were introduced in 1985 in the Mercedes-Benz 190 series, serpentine belts have replaced the old, multiple belt design used to power the various components.

There are several advantages to using a single serpentine belt compared to the old, multiple belt design. The first advantage of a single serpentine belt is that it allows the vehicle to operate in a much more efficient manner. Another advantage of the serpentine belt in comparison to the old design is that it provides a much cleaner, more hassle-free, and space saving design. In vehicles that didn’t utilize the serpentine belt, consumers had to replace the many belts more frequently because they didn’t last as long due to the poor design. Older model vehicles that weren’t equipped with the serpentine belt also had some issues with the belts slipping off pulleys. The serpentine belt, since it’s longer, is much less likely to slip.

Tensioner Pulley
Tensioner Pulley

For the same reason it’s superior, serpentine belts have a major fault. Since the belt runs several different components of the vehicle, when it goes out, those components all stop working.

Although serpentine belts cause fewer problems than the belts used in older model vehicles, there are still problems that can arise with this type of belt. Because this kind of belt controls multiple parts that are responsible for a vehicle being able to run, if a belt breaks, all of those parts are going to stop working. If this happens in your vehicle, you aren’t going to be able to continue driving it until the belt is replaced. While a broken belt can pose a significant problem, you’ll be happy to know that you should almost always be able to tell ahead of time if your belt is wearing out and needs to be replaced. If you have recently noticed that your vehicle squeals when you accelerate, this is normally a sign that your serpentine belt needs to be replaced. You can also determine the condition of your belt by visually inspecting it. If you notice that your belt has multiple cracks or is missing chunks, chances are it’s time for it to be replaced.

Damaged Belt
Damaged Serpentine Belt

If you discover that your belt isn’t in good shape, you should replace it as soon as possible to avoid any serious problems. Even if you haven’t noticed any signs of your belt wearing out, most experts recommend replacing it every four years. Fortunately, replacing a serpentine belt is fairly easy to do. It also won’t cost you a fortune. Depending on your vehicle and the specific serpentine belt you need, you may be able to purchase a replacement for as little as ten dollars. And while it’s possible to replace the belt yourself, if you prefer to let a professional do it expect to pay around fifty dollars for them to complete this job.

If you plan to replace the belt yourself you can find the diagram you need here at If you have trouble finding the diagram you need or you need help installing your belt, you can post your questions or request in our forum and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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