Ask Ray's Certified Auto Repair: What Happens When a Serpentine Belt Breaks?
Posted April 25, 2017 3:55 AM
The serpentine belt is aptly named since it snakes around under your hood. It may lack its namesake's fangs, but it sure packs a wallop when it breaks.
The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine systems. It runs the alternator, which charges the battery; the water pump (on some vehicles), which cools the engine; the air conditioning, which cools the driver and passengers; and the power steering pump, which allows for easier steering. When the belt breaks, all of these systems shut down.
Okay, so maybe you can live without air conditioning and power steering for a while, but your battery can't live very long without an alternator, and when the cooling system goes down, your vehicle engine will overheat. That's why Moorhead drivers should never wait to get a serpentine belt replaced.
Serpentine belts are fairly inexpensive at Ray's Certified Auto Repair in Moorhead. And they look downright cheap when you compare them to the cost of an overheated vehicle engine, a tow truck, time lost on the road, inconvenience, and the potential safety consequences of being stranded.
Good car care means never putting off preventive maintenance. Do yourself a favor. Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Ray's Certified Auto Repair technician to glance under your hood and give that serpentine belt a quick look-over.
According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)
Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual, or more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, or more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires cool down first. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.
Check your owner's manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it.
Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used.
Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph) rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent.
Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
Inspect the engine's belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect the engine performance.
Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle's tires.
What our clients say about us?
Reviews and comments from our satisfied customers
Quick friendly service. Brought my truck in and I didn't get the run around. Will be definitely be coming back. Great service!
Fair and reasonably priced! They were able to make the repairs right on the spot and gave me a loaner car to use. Everyone was so friendly, they truly understand good customer service! I would highly recommend them.
Vehicle repairs are done quickly with very fair prices. They also double check their work, after it's done with a road test. An added bonus is the mechanic thoughtfully wiping all surfaces down, that he may have touched, so I don't get my hands oily and dirty. Nice people, good solid work, very fair prices = best place in Fargo/Moorhead for car repairs!
They are amazing and the ONLY shop in town I trust to do mechanical work on my vehicles!!! They turned the fix Corwin told me I needed that would have been $350 into an 80 dollar repair on my last visit!! And every other repair they have ever done had been fine, correctly the first time. I've been going there for years now. I would recommend them to everyone!!! Their service is easy, awesome as well, and they are very friendly and helpful.
These people are the best. They are friendly, honest and upfront. Just how it should be. Once you try them you won't go anywhere else. My son was their first car sale and we are all extremely happy!!!
The only place a trust with my vehicle! Everyone that works there is so kind and I trust them!
Seem to be very honest people! They keep my vehicle going when I'm away from home. I am very happy with the service here! I've brought two vehicles to them now and they did excellent work on both of them!
Very happy with the service work! The extras like cleaning the floor mat on the driver side was very much appreciated! It is nice to have a shop that you can bring your car to with people that you can trust!
I received your newsletter today and thought it would be a good time to thank you for the outstanding service I received back in July. I was traveling back to Ohio from Montana when we lost the A/C
compressor pulley while driving through Moorhead. I am grateful for the fast, professional service I received, at what I consider to be a very fair
Thank you, again.