Avoid breaking down in your vehicle by maintaining its belts and hoses.
- Avoid breaking down in your vehicle by maintaining its belts and hoses.
Every vehicle on the road has aserpentine-like belt running through it suspended by various pulleys. It isessential for driving main vehicle components such as the alternator and airconditioning compressor. If you know where to look, you can even inspect thebelt for yourself by looking at the front end of the engine where it is usuallymounted externally. The accessory belt used to be constructed of neoprene, butsince the late 1990’s they started to construct new belts with ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM belts asthey are more commonly called). These EPDM belts are much more durable and longlasting, however like all things they do eventuallywear out and need to be replaced.
The two main causes of beltfailure are improper tension and misalignment. Things to look for wheninspecting your belt:
· Cracks or wear similar to tire wear. Withonly 5% of belt material wear, belts can start slipping resulting in inevitablebelt failure
· Fraying or stretching of the belt can lead tobreaks in the belt which can cause your vehicle to come to a sudden halt
· Glazing (hardening of the rubber) fromfriction and heat can occur over time, resulting in more slipping
· Squealing noises coming from the engine orrattling noises from the pulleys
Whenshould the belt be replaced?
If you notice any of theproblems mentioned above you should bring your vehicle in to your nearest BigBrand Tire & Service location to have your belt replaced. Additionally, itis ideal to have your belt inspected periodically (you can even inspect ityourself if you know where to look). Your belt can last more than 100,000miles, but you should consult your owner’s manual for details as it can differbetween vehicle models.