The Importance Of Checking Your Car’s Belts


Avoid Car Trouble with a Belt Check - Car Care Coucil. #CarCare
Photo Credit: Car Care Council
The Car Care Council is reminding us about the importance of giving cars the proper TLC to avoid engine trouble and keep them running properly.

One way to keep your vehicle maintained is by checking its engine belts to make sure they are in tip top shape. Engine belts are a vital part of keeping your vehicle moving. Losing one can mean immediate trouble for the engine and an unpleasant breakdown for you.

To avoid being stranded, in its press release, the Car Care Council recommends that motorists review the owner’s manual to ensure that belts are inspected and replaced at the proper intervals.

A vehicle’s belts are essential to the cooling, air conditioning and charging systems of the engine. Serpentine belts are used to turn the water pump, alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. Older cars use V-belts for various accessories.

Always check serpentine and V-belts for looseness and their overall condition. Replace V-belts when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Noise in the belt system is a sign of wear and the smell of burnt rubber can indicate a slipping belt. When changing a serpentine belt, it is important to check all the components in the serpentine system as tensioners and pulleys wear at the same rate as the belt and should be inspected.

Typical serpentine belt replacement is 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Typical V-belt replacement is 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Replace timing belt per interval specified in the owner’s manual.

“Why risk being stranded when a bad belt can be diagnosed with simple routine maintenance?” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Inspecting and replacing belts as specified in your owner’s manual will help you avoid the hassle and expense of a sudden breakdown.”

Many dealerships and repair facilities will do a visual inspection for free while they have your car in for something else. Replacing a belt showing wear is much cheaper if you don’t have to pay a tow bill with it.

Click here for our tips on how to keep your vehicle running smoothly and make it to 200,000 miles. Click here for the Car Pro Guide to oil changes, another important part of vehicle maintenance.
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