How to Check your Car Belts

How to Check your Car Belts
How to Check your Car Belts
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When we enjoy a car ride, do we think about the mechanisms that are making the car move? Unless there is a professional who has a passion for these mechanisms working behind, we all would make a poker face and indicate a big ‘No’. But if you are driving your own car and feel a knack towards fixing up things on the first level, before to take the vehicle to the repair shop, there are a few things you need to be in the know-how. One of those is knowing ‘how to check your car belts’. If you are new to this, then here’s a helpful set of tips we could manage to collect from the expert mechanics who serve at the Poway GMC dealership.

Types of Car Belts

Since the era of 1990, almost all the cars are built with serpentine belts, that are seen winding along the pulleys powering various other related components like the alternator and power-steering pump, the water pump and in certain models, even the air conditioner. Later on the cars started having  timing, and V-belts. But just like the previous serpentine belts, even these belts are equally subject to time bound wear and replacement.

So, it is quite understandable how important it is for any car owner to know how to check these belts on the car, to avoid any untoward hazard like a breakdown while driving, at the middle of the road.

Finding Out the Belt

After popping up the hood look at the the side of the engine. There you will get to see a serpentine like belt weaving its way between a series of pulleys. It will be securely held in a place with the help of a tensioner tightened with a bolt. In some vehicles you can find on the edge of the engine bay a belt symbol engraved as a diagram. Otherwise, you can take the help of your user manual, to locate the belt quickly.

Identifying the Problem

Like any other component the car belts will eventually age. The first sign they will exhibit of ageing is wear that may also include fraying up or cracking at the smoother side of the belt. On the other hand, at the bottom or ribbed side of the belt, there can be other signs of issues like rib damage, uneven rib wear, and sometimes separation from its base. The experts at the GMC dealer serving Poway suggest putting on work gloves and take the help of a flashlight for easing out the detecting procedure.

Replacement of the Spent Belts

If you find any of these issues in the car belt, and needs a replacement, refer to a routing diagram of the car belts from your user manual before you start of. After purchasing a new belt, you can next see how the current one can be wrapped around the existing pulleys. Then you need to locate the tensioner that will fortunately be self-adjusting. Then with the help of a removal tool hold on the tensioner to separate and release the belt. Now take out the old belt. Now tighten back the tensioner before trying to start the engine.

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