Don’t you hate it when you hear that squeal from under the hood when you’re zipping down a busy Conway road? It usually means there is a problem with the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt powers a lot of engine accessories. 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. It is called a serpentine belt because it snakes around a bunch of engine components.
Serpentine belts are amazingly tough. They can last for years and go long distances. Like all moving parts, however, they eventually wear out. If your belt breaks while you are driving around Conway, everything will come to a halt within minutes. You need to stop the vehicle immediately or 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 Hines Service Center. It’s no wonder that vehicle manufacturer’s recommend a belt replacement on schedule. It’s one of those “have-to’s.”
Conway drivers who hear a squeal when accelerating, or a slow, slapping sound at idle, should have their serpentine belt looked at. The pros at Hines Service Center in Conway will visually inspect your belt to see if it needs to be changed sooner than scheduled. If the belt has more than three or four cracks every inch or couple of 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 replaced regardless of age or mileage.
Serpentine belt replacement is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with the cost and inconvenience of being stranded or getting a disabled vehicle back to Hines Service Center for repairs.
You’re mom was right: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.