Knowing the many warning signs of mechanical issues within your specific car is important knowledge that you, as a safe and responsible driver, should know. Being able to pick up on key signs that your vehicle may not be running correctly, does not just represent good car ownership and road safety however, it is also the sign of a financially savvy individual.
As with many things in life, catching a problem early can mean an easier and quicker resolution. The issue is likely to remain centered in one area, instead of having spread through your car, or impacting on other mechanisms, meaning the time your car is in the shop is far shorter, and with time being money, far cheaper too.
In this article we’ll be focussing on the warning signs that the serpentine belt in your Land Rover may be on its last legs and in need of replacing.
What is a Serpentine Belt?
Also referred to as a drive belt or sometimes a fan belt, a serpentine belt is flat, multi-ribbed belt, driven by the crankshaft pulley of your cars engine. Usually long, and able to drive many, if not all, of the engines accessories (depending on the age and model of your car), having a serpentine belt in top condition is essential for the running of; the alternator, air conditioning compressor, water pump, power steering pump, and air pump. If your serpentine belt is no longer fit for operation, you could end up facing all manner of problems, including engine damage and failure.
Signs your Serpentine Belt May Need Replacing
There are several tell tale signs that your serpentine belt may be struggling, including the three main indicators highlighted below.
A loose or inoperable belt will not be able to drive the vehicles alternator at the speed required for optimum function. This may cause your car’s battery to not charge correctly, or even lose charge, resulting in the warning light illuminating on your dashboard.
A Squealing Noise
Irregular noises from a car’s engine is something many drivers understandably dread to hear. If your car is giving out a strained or squealing noise, it’s typically a sign that your serpentine belt is either misaligned, or under excess tension and at risk of snapping.
Without your serpentine belt in operation, your engines water pump will not operate and because of this, if the belt is misaligned you may notice higher engine running temperatures. If the belt were to snap, you could find your engine could overheat, within minutes or, if you’re particularly unfortunate, in seconds.
The Importance of Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
The most simple way to identify if your serpentine belt may no longer be fit for purpose is through regularly scheduled maintenance. Any good mechanic will be happy to check this for you during maintenance checks, which you should aim to have carried out annually.
The average lifespan of a serpentine belt is anywhere between 90,000-110,000 miles, however, this may vary depending on the model of your car, as well as the way in which you drive. Some of the visual signs of an aged belt to look out for include; fraying, cracking, a ‘glaze’ or shine to the belts surface, or peeling of the rubber. If you or your mechanic notice signs of this, even small, then it is generally better to err on the side of caution, and replace the belt as soon as possible.
Come to the Mechanics You Can Trust
While a serpentine belt replacement is a relatively simple procedure, it is still important to have a mechanic you can trust handle the repair. Having a shop you go to regularly can also help when it comes to spotting any potential problems early to prevent an inconvenient break-down.
That’s why Master Mechanics Auto Repair is here for you. Serving Battle Creek, Portage, and Kalamazoo, MI, we are dedicated to treating our customers right and fixing your car’s problem the first time. And with a specialization in European vehicles, we know Land Rovers better than anyone else. If you suspect a problem with your serpentine belt or just want to get started on a good routine maintenance schedule, call or stop by today!
* Land Rover Discovery 4 image credit goes to: teddyleung.