Driving on an old, worn belt is a disaster waiting to happen. A serpentine belt is located under the hood of a car, and it “snakes” its way between various pulleys and accessories, controlling and driving all of these items to keep your car running smoothly. That means when your belt breaks, slips, and, ultimately, wears out, everything—from the power steering pump to the alternator and air conditioner—stops working. This can cause catastrophic damage to so many things in your vehicle. A timing belt links your car engine’s crankshaft to its camshaft. The crankshaft rotates the engine’s pistons, while the camshaft opens and closes engine valves. The timing belt should not be ignored; if the timing belt wears down and malfunctions, it may result in a costly, time-intensive engine rebuild or even a replacement.
There are many signs that your car’s serpentine belt may need to be replaced, including:
Squealing noise from the front of your car
Power steering stops working
Air conditioning stops working
Cracking on the belt
There are common signs of a failing timing belt that you can also look for, including:
Ticking noise comes from the engine
Engine will not start
Engine frequently misfires
Oil leaks from the front of the motor
Hoses are just as essential to your vehicle as belts. If hoses are neglected, a series of problems may arise with the cooling and heating systems of the car, which can lead to the breakdown or failure of the engine. Most radiator hoses, when they are old or hardened, will begin to slowly leak coolant, particularly around the ends. Coolant loss will cause the engine to run hot and affect efficiency. If lost coolant is not replaced, the car will overheat to the point where the plastic parts start to melt, and friction between moving metal parts negates any oil lubrication. The engine will seize, resulting in total engine failure and a very expensive repair.