The Simple Guide to Drive Belts

Timing belt

If you’ve ever noticed a loud screeching noise coming from your car it is probably caused by the drive belt. But what is the drive belt, you may wonder and what is its function in your vehicle? Below we’ve listed everything you need to know!


What is a drive belt?

Drive belts are vital for the performance and maintenance of your car. Its main function is to spin the power steering pump, the AC compressor, and the alternator, among other accessories of the vehicle. Drive belts are also known as the ‘V-belt’ because of its ‘V’ shaped design that rides in the pulley groove


Why do I need it?

If your drive belt breaks, your air conditioner will stop blowing cold air, you’ll lose the power steering functionality of your vehicle, and your alternator will stop charging the battery. Without the help of the driving belt your engine could also start to overheat. All those considered, the drive belt is a necessary accessory for the performance of your vehicle and should be properly taken care of.

When do I need a drive belt replacement?

Identifying wear or impending breakage of your drive belt and replacing them will help save money on potentially more severe problems. Here are things that you should look out for:

  • You have cooling issues with your car AC
  • There is no power steering in the vehicle
  • There is visible wear or fraying of the belt
  • The belt is noisy, and your car makes squealing noises


What happens if I don’t get it replaced?

It’s recommended that drive belts are replaced after every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. The good news is that replacing drive belts is an inexpensive repair. It can be helpful to have a mechanic check the drive belts whenever you take your car in for repairs. Driving with a worn out drive belt is not recommended because it is responsible for most of the engine’s accessories.

If the belt were to completely break, it can cause great damage to several engine components. Breakage will cause your vehicle to be undrivable and prove to be expensive in repairs. A worn out belt is an annoying repair, but a damaged engine is a severe and expensive one. Ultimately, it is smartest to play it safe and get your drive belt replaced as soon as it shows signs of wear. An average cost of drive belt replacement is $80.00 -130.00


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