The Importance of Serpentine Belts
For may models of vehicles a great deal is operated by the serpentine belt. This is a very simple process that we often take for granted. That is until that belt breaks and nothing seems to work. When you lose the support of the serpentine belt you won’t be able to adequately steer your vehicle or have access to air conditioning. In many vehicles this particular belt is also linked to the alternator, the water pump, and to the air pump.
The use of a serpentine belt has been in use on vehicles since 1979. It was first introduced on the Ford Mustang. The idea was to offer one belt that had multiple uses so that there wasn’t as much room being taken up under the hood for a separate belt to operate all of these elements. Over time the design of a serpentine belt has improved too so that there are less problems with them.
For example this belt is wider than others under the hood of a vehicle. As a result it is going to last longer. It can handle a great deal of tension too without being stretched out in that process. At the same time the serpentine belt allows for vehicles to be more fuel efficient. This also enables the vehicle to have more overall power.
Due to all that the serpentine belt is responsible for, it is easily the most important of all belts under the hood of your car. Therefore, you need to become familiar with where it is. You should make sure you don’t overlook the important of inspecting it now and then. Many vehicles go for years at a time though before a new one is needed.
It is important to note that there are different sizes of serpentine belts. Look in your owner’s manual to be sure of the right size for your vehicle. It can be very dangerous to have one in place that is too big. You won’t be able to secure one that is too small in place due to the amount of tension that has to be there in order to secure it to the pulley.
There are several different brands too of serpentine belts. It is a good idea to get one that the manufacturer for your particular vehicle recommends. You need something that is high quality and durable. This belt is much to important to take any risks with.
A new serpentine belt is very affordable and you can get one online or from a local part store. It is a good idea to check this belt each time you change your oil. If you see any signs of wear from it then you should replace it. There are grooves in this type of belt and you will be able to examine them. The belt will continue to work if some of them are worn, but it will only be a matter of time until it breaks.
You may want to keep a spare in your trunk just in case. They do fit on tightly so there is a special tool you can buy to put one on. It will allow you to have the right amount of tension going through this belt and the pulley. Should this particular belt break, it won’t take long at all to fix it and then you are easily on your way again.