When to Replace a Serpentine Belt

November 27th, 2018 by

Closeup of a drive belt and pulleyHow long does a serpentine belt last? Serpentine belts (or drive belts/accessory drive belts) are made of sturdy rubber, so it’s not uncommon for them to last for 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, exposure to heat and friction breaks them down over time. You’ll need to schedule an appointment at our service center near Nampa to replace a worn belt. Read on to learn more about when to replace a serpentine belt!

What Does a Serpentine Belt Do?

The drive belt is a long, winding belt that sends power to the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, and air conditioning system. The belt needs to be in good condition to effectively power other systems inside your Mazda.

Signs It’s Time for Replacement

Over time, serpentine belts begin to peel, crack, slip, or fray. If you notice any of the following red flags, it’s probably time for a replacement:

  • Squealing Noises: Strange noises indicate belt stretching or low tension, or the belt and pulley aren’t correctly connected.
  • Wear and Tear: Signs of wear are tear are easily recognizable. You’ll see cracks, uneven wear, etc. on the belt.
  • Systems Failure: If the power steering and/or air conditioning fail, your serpentine belt needs to be replaced immediately.
  • Complete Breakdown: Total belt failure results in a breakdown, which can be extremely dangerous for you and others on Caldwell roads. Catching problems early on can prevent this.

What is a Belt Tensioner?

Modern drive belts feature self-controlled belt tensioners. Using an internal spring and pulley system, they hold a specific amount of tension on the serpentine belt to prevent damage and breakage. Belt tensioners also help to keep the belt in place; loose belts can cause the power steering, cooling system, and engine to stop running. Replacing the belt tensioner when the drive belt is replaced will help prevent mechanical failure.

Schedule Belt Service Near Meridian!

Periodically inspecting your Mazda’s serpentine belt can prevent steep repair costs and the failure of essential systems, such as the power steering system. Contact us at Dennis Dillon Mazda to learn more about when to replace a serpentine belt and associated costs. Don’t forget to check out our parts specials for savings on components like drive belts, brake pads, and more.

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