Our cars previously had multiple fan belts to drive devices such as an alternator and power steering pump. The fan belts were replaced with a single serpentine belt in most cases. Cool, fewer parts to fail!
But how do you know if it’s time to replace this all-important belt? Actually, it’s not too difficult. After a few years and fifty thousand miles or so, the belt typically develops a crack here and there; that’s normal. As time and miles pike up, more cracks will form, again normal. It’s time to replace the belt when it appears glazed, squeals consistently, and/or the cracks have multiplied to every four or five inches.
Take note; the serpentine belt fails more frequently on extended trips on hot days. So if in doubt, replace the belt before a trip.
Here at Corny’s Sales & Service, our Auto Technicians inspect the drive belt each time the oil change service is performed.