The Serpentine Belt is that long belt that snakes around the front of your
engine. It is driven by the engine as it turns. The Serpentine Belt powers
your air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, and alternator.
On some cars and light trucks, the serpentine belt also runs the water
pump, power brakes, and radiator fan. The serpentine belt takes care of a lot of important engine components.
If your serpentine belt were to break on one of your trips to Howard Lake, Waverly, or Lester Prairie, your battery would die
within a few miles. If your serpentine belt
runs your water pump and/or fan, your engine could over-heat, and steering and your braking system could be more difficult
to control. Ideally,
the best thing you could do is to replace your serpentine belt before it causes you these problem.
VIDEO INSET - Your
vehicle won't run if your serpentine belt breaks
Over 20% of cars and light trucks on the road today need a
serpentine belt replacement. A worn serpentine belt can not only snap without warning, it can slip
and damage important engine components. Have your belt inspected and replaced if it is
worn or damaged. At Bryan's Service in Winsted, Minnesota we
install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 320-495-2228 and let us help
keep your vehicle safe and on the road.
Your owner’s manual should inform you of recommended factory maintenance for you belts and hoses, and/or
recommended intervals of when to replace your serpentine belt – or just ask
us at Bryan's Service in Winsted for assistance. We can inspect your belts and hoses and advise you if they are in
need of service..
What we look here at Bryan's Service is the thickness of the belt.
In the old days we use to look for cracks in your belt. Although cracking is still a concern, modern belt material
doesn't show signs of cracking as often. At Bryan's Service in Winsted MN., we have a special tool that measures the depth of the
belts grooves to see if it needs replacing.
A worn belt can slip or be misaligned, putting stress on the components it runs.
VIDEO INSERT - worn, loose, or misaligned belt causes harm to accessories
The video above is a (silent) animation video showing key
components that rely on the serpentine belt, such as the
alternator, power steering pump, & air conditioner compressor. The
belt tensioner will also be checked for wear by our staff at Bryan's Service along with
all belts and hoses. Other components such as any tension
idler pulleys, or the decoupler pulley on the alternator, will be checked for any seizing. The video-animation will give you a great
indication how Bryan's Service checks for wear on the belts, which involves more than just inspecting
them for cracks.
What's A Serpentine Belt?
All of us from Howard Lake, Waverly and Winsted to Lester Prairie, Minnesota have those days when we've got a bunch of errands to run around the
Suppose on your day off you need to get gas, pick up some groceries, swing by your local Winsted ATM and get the
kids from school.
Now you could make four trips, but that would be a waste of time and money – totally inefficient.
Instead you get organized and hit the ATM first and get some gas next. Then you go to your favorite market
out in Lester Prairie and pick up the kids on the way home. Way better use of your time.
Now you may wonder what this has to do with your vehicle. Well, back in the day, each of your engine's accessories,
like the alternator and air conditioner, were powered by separate automotive belts. A car or light truck may have had 5 or 6 belts.
In modern times, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories. It's called the serpentine belt because it snakes around
everything, efficiently connecting the accessories – like bundling your errands.
A pulley attached to the vehicle engine's crank provides the power to turn the serpentine belt. The belt may provide
the power for the power steering pump, which makes it easier to steer your vehicle. Next comes the alternator which
generates electricity to run the vehicle's electrical system and charge the battery. On to the air conditioning
compressor; This helps make cold air to keep you comfortable all summer long.
On some vehicles the water pump, radiator fan or the power brakes are also run by the serpentine belt. Some even
have two serpentine belts. No matter how your engine is arranged, you aren't going far without a serpentine belt. Your
vehicle has a recommended interval for inspecting your belt and your technician at Bryan's Service can
inspect it for damage or wear.
Finally, there is the belt tensioner. Its job is to apply pressure on the belt to keep it tight. Several years ago,
started making serpentine belts out of a new material. It's much more durable, but it's harder to tell when the belt
needs to be replaced. The old style belts would crack and chunks would fall off so you could easily see when you
needed a new one.
On the new style belts, if the ribs wear too deep, it's time to replace. Your uses a simple gauge to tell when the
belt is worn and you need a serpentine belt replacement. A worn belt stresses your vehicle engine's expensive
accessories and causes them to wear prematurely.
So, change your serpentine belt and belt tensioner as recommended by your friendly and knowledgeable pros at
Bryan's Service to extend the life of your accessories and to prevent future breakdowns.
Bryan's Service LLC is a NAPA AutoCare
Repair Shop for Cars and Light Trucks in Winsted Minnesota,
approx. 45-miles West of Minneapolis. Bryan's proudly provides
automotive services for Cokato, Howard Lake, Waverly, Montrose,
Watertown, Mayer, New Germany, Silver Lake, Lester Prairie, MN.
and surrounding communities.