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The Drive Belt To Wear Faster Q&A


Here are some of the common questions I've collected ab […]

Here are some of the common questions I've collected about the Drive Belt to wear faster :

Q: My mechanic says that I need a new serpentine belt, but I don't see any cracks. How do I know that it really needs to be replaced?

A: You always can ask your mechanic to show you why the belt needs to be replaced; usually when you compare an old and new belt, it's easy to see. Another thing, look at the mileage, when have you had your drive belt(s) done last time? If it's more than 40,000 miles or 3-4 years ago, it is safe to say that your belt will have some signs of wear and tear.

Q: What do I need to change the serpentine belt on my own and how difficult is it?

A: First, you'd have to have more than basic mechanical skills, proper tools and the belt diagram. In many front-wheel drive cars with a transversely-mounted engine, the space between the engine and the frame is very limited. To gain access to the drive belt, you might have to jack up the car, take the front wheel out and remove the engine side cover. In some cars it's easy to release the tensioner; in others it might be very tricky. In many cases a special tool is needed to release the belt tensioner. Often, when replacing a belt, you might find out that the tensioner is seized or the belt that you got doesn't fit, so be prepared to visit your parts store again. All in all, we would recommend getting the quote from a local repair shop or your dealer first. If you think it's still worth a try, start by finding the correct repair procedure with pictures or a how-to video that explains how to do it for your car make and model.

Q: Is a"cam belt" the same as a drive belt?

A: No, a "cam belt" is another name for a timing belt, which is the one that drives engine camshafts. A timing belt has teeth on one side and is hidden under the covers, while a drive belt is visible from the outside. Read more about the timing belt.

Q: After my alternator was changed, my drive belt started making a chirping noise. I have changed the belt with a new one recently but it still makes the same noise, although it's not as loud as before.

A: If you said that the noise started after the alternator has been replaced, we would recommend to recheck the alternator installation. The noise you described could happen when the belt pulleys are not aligned properly. Maybe the alternator was not installed correctly or the belt pulley on the alternator is not seated properly.

Q: In my 2003 Corolla I can hear a rattling noise from the passenger side of the car when I start it cold. I have changed my drive belt a year ago, could it be bad again?

A: It could be a failing belt tensioner which was a fairly common problem in this car. Have it checked out.