Don’t you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you’re zipping down a busy Reno road? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. Many engine accessories are powered by the serpentine belt. It runs the alternator – which charges the battery; the water pump – which cools the engine; the air conditioning; and the power steering pump. All are pretty important parts. The serpentine belt gets its name from the way it snakes around a bunch of engine components.
Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go long distances. However, like all moving parts, they eventually wear out. And if your belt breaks while you are driving around Reno, everything will come to a halt within minutes. If you don’t stop your vehicle immediately it will overheat, potentially causing engine damage. You can be sure that it won’t happen at a convenient time or place. (As if there was a convenient time or place!) You might even need to get your vehicle towed to Wayne’s Automotive Center. It’s no wonder the vehicle’s manufacturer recommend a belt replacement on schedule. It’s one of those “have to’s.”
Reno drivers who hear a squeal when accelerating or a slow, slapping sound at idle, should have their serpentine belt looked at. The pros at Wayne’s Automotive Center in Reno will visually inspect your belt to see if it needs to be changed sooner than scheduled. Regardless of age or mileage, if the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch or couple centimeters, has deep cracks that penetrate half the depth of the belt, is frayed, is missing pieces, or has a shiny, glazed look, it needs to be changed.
Compared with the cost and inconvenience of being stranded or getting a disabled vehicle back to Wayne’s Automotive Center for repairs, replacing a serpentine belt is relatively inexpensive.
Your mom was right: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.