Everything You Need to Know About Belt Maintenance and Repair

The drive belt, also termed the serpentine belt, is accountable for connecting the alternator, AC, power steering, and other major components to the crankshaft. 

Since the crankshaft is a part of the engine and empowers the alternator and water pump (only in a few cars), it develops wear and tear due to its exposure to engine heat. 

Its prolonged exposure leads to breakage of the belt, making it difficult to steer. At the same time, in cars, where the crankshaft also regulates the water pump, such breakage of the beat can lead to serious problems in the automobile. 

But with sufficient maintenance, you can protect the car from serious damage and save some money required for repairs. For more additional information on how to maintain your car be sure to visit

Basic Belt Maintenance

Apart from installing a quality v belt from, here are a few basic tips for maintenance you can follow;

  1. Check the belt’s tensioner

The tensioner regulates the pressure placed on the belt to ensure its placement on the pulleys. If the tension is weak, the belt might slip off the pulleys and cause other units attached to it to lose their power. 

  1. Knowing the location of the belt

You need to know where the belt is located as it varies highly depending on the car model. Since the belt is located on the front of the engine most of the time, make sure you switch off the engine and let it cool down before beginning the scrutinizing process. 

  1. Ensure the belt is correctly aligned to the pulleys

Ensuring that your belt is correctly aligned on the pulleys is important for the proper functioning of the components attached and hence the automobile

  1. Understanding the rule of thumb is important

It is a basic but most important rule that can help you avoid various problems. And the rule is, if you observe three or more cracks within one inch of the belt, it is time to replace them. Don’t make the mistake of considering this thumb rule to be vague.  

  1. Scrutinizing the belt each time you change the oil 

To ensure proper functioning, it is important to scan the belt. Although mechanics normally check the belt while oil changes to ensure no significant damage has occurred. But if you are doing it all by yourself, make sure you keep an eye on it. 

  1. A standard belt lasts 60000 to 100000 miles

It is the standard durability of a standard belt bought from a reliable store like boodmo. Belts usually don’t require a replacement unless they are old or have damage. 

Alarming Signs

Before calling a mechanic or changing the belt, make sure you know what the alarming signs are. Here are a few warning signs that certainly mean the belt needs a repair.

  • The screeching sound coming from the engine
  • Indications of engine overheating
  • Scraping off the rubbers from the belt
  • Fraud, cracks, or grooves on the belt
  • Checking if the battery light is on
  • Radiation of steam or vapour underneath the hood
  • Slick or weak spots on the belt

Replacing A Broken Belt

Automobile experts say that it isn’t possible to repair a worn or damaged belt, and it is better to get them replaced to prevent the occurrence of foreseen. 

Though it’s better to reach out to an automotive expert to get the belt replaced, you can follow the steps if you are planning to do things all by yourself;

  • Switch off the engine and let it cool down.
  • Go through the common diagram of the belt mentioned under the hood or the car manual.
  • Employ a sprain or special serpentine belt tool available on boodmo to discharge the tensioner. 
  • Pull out the belt from the pulleys and ensure the pulleys are spinning freely.
  • Measure the length of your old belt with the new one to ensure they are of the same size.
  • Reading out the manual, install the new belt in place.
  • Attach the belt by squeezing the tensioner.
  • After compressing the tensioner, stretch the belt to check its tension. If the belt stretches more than an inch, compress the tensioner more. 
  • Before starting your car, double-check it to ensure it is in the right place and has enough tension. 

That’s it!


Once done with the replacement work, try starting the car while leaving the hood open to ensure all components are working well. Though replacing the belt is relatively easier than replacing other auto parts, you can consult a mechanic if you have any doubts. 


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