Don’t you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you’re zipping down a busy Eldorado Springs freeway? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. It runs the alternator – which charges the battery; the water pump – which cools the engine; the air conditioning and the power steering pump. All pretty important parts. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components.
John’s Auto Care
1900 55th St. #104
Boulder, CO 80301
Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go for tens of thousands of miles. Like all moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the car immediately or it will overheat, potentially causing major engine damage. You can be sure that it won’t happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your car towed to your nearest Boulder car repair shop. It’s no wonder that car makers recommend a belt replacement on schedule. It’s one of those “have-to’s.”
Boulder motorists who hear a squeal when accelerating or a slow, slapping sound at idle, should have their serpentine belt looked at. Your tech at John’s Auto Care in Boulder will visually inspect your belt to see if it needs to be changed sooner than scheduled. If the belt has more than three or four cracks an inch, 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.
Serpentine belt replacement is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with the cost and inconvenience of being stranded or getting a disabled vehicle back to John’s Auto Care for repairs.
You’re mom was right: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.