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Belts - Serpentine Belts & V-Belts

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Belts - Serpentine Belts & V-Belts

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What is a serpentine belt and where is it located?

A serpentine belt is a flat, multi-ribbed belt used to connect and drive the multiple accessories that are bolted to the vehicle’s engine such as the alternator, power steering pump, and A/C compressor, among others. The belt transfers the power from the crankshafts rotation to the engine’s accessories, allowing them to move and perform their function. These belts are also known as accessory drive, poly-v, multi-rib, multi-groove, or multi-v belts. The term “serpentine” refers to the fact that they “snake” around the multiple pulleys that are connected to the various components that the serpentine belt drives. Serpentine belts were first used on cars and trucks in the 1980s, and are now the industry standard in terms of drive belts. The advantages of using a serpentine belt are that they eliminate the need for multiple V-belts, which was what automotive manufacturers used prior to the development of serpentine belts, and generally last 30-50% longer too.

Serpentine belts come in a variety of lengths, widths, and styles. Most automotive serpentine belts have between 3-8 grooves or ribs on one side, and are smooth on the other side. Although less common, some applications use a “double sided” serpentine belt, which have grooves on both sides. While most vehicles will use only one single serpentine belt, some use multiple serpentine belts or even a combination of serpentine and V-belts to drive the engine’s accessories.

How do I know my serpentine belt needs to be replaced?

Since a single serpentine belt drives multiple engine accessories, when they do break these accessories will stop functioning. This could leave you and your car or truck stranded on the side of the road, which of course is not an ideal situation. Automotive serpentine belts are wearable items—meaning they will eventually need to be replaced. Depending on the vehicle, often the recommended serpentine belt replacement interval is anywhere from 30 to 60 thousand miles. Your serpentine belt should be routinely inspected for wear—vertical cracking cross the grooves is a sign your belt is in need of replacement. Other factors such as improper belt tension can result in premature belt wear. It is also good practice to visually inspect your serpentine belt every time you change your oil.

Can I replace the serpentine belt myself?

On most cars and trucks, replacing your own accessory drive belt can be done fairly easy. Certain vehicles may require the need for a specific serpentine belt tension tool to release the belt tension, but many can be replaced with a 3/8" ratchet. Once tension is relieved you can remove the old belt and install the new one, using the belt diagram routing sticker on the underside of the hood or on the radiator support for reference.

Need a serpentine belt replacement?

Is your vehicle’s serpentine belt broken, cracked, snapped or cut? Since this belt drives multiple engine accessories, if it is no longer in working condition, then your car or truck is likely sitting in your driveway or on the side of the road somewhere since your car won’t operate without it. To get your vehicle back on the road, a serpentine belt replacement is exactly what you need and luckily for you, 1A Auto has you covered! We have quality, aftermarket replacement accessory drive belts for many cars and trucks, at great prices.

At 1A Auto, shopping for a serpentine belt replacement for your car, truck, SUV or van is easy—we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our accessory drive belts, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online. So, don't risk another day of missed work due to a stationary automobile; get a replacement serpentine belt for your car or truck from 1A Auto today!

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