Replacement of Your Land Rover’s Serpentine Belt in Planoby europewpadmin March 28, 2019
No longer now solely reserved for work or utilitarian use, Land Rovers are now just as common as a popular choice for family cars due to their spacious, versatile design and hardy, reliable engineering. While Land Rovers are built with longevity in mind, with time and use, parts naturally will start to degrade and may need replacing.
In this article we’ll be taking a closer look under the hood at the serpentine belt, finding out what it is, what it does, when it might need replacing, and how best to replace it when it’s past its prime.
The Serpentine Belt: What is it, and what does it do?
Sometimes referred to by more traditional mechanics as the ‘fan belt’ or ‘drive belt’, the serpentine belt is an essential component for the smooth running of your Land Rover. Depending on the model of your vehicle, the serpentine belt is typically located either along one side of the engine, or at the front of the engine bay.
Named due to its resemblance to a snake, the serpentine belt is a loop of strengthened rubber, which helps to power most of, if not, in the case of more recent cars, all of, the vehicle’s accessories. Without the serpentine belt, you’d find that your water pump, alternator, power steering pump, air pump, and air conditioning pump wouldn’t work. It really is quite amazing to think that the rotation of a single coil of rubber could have such a dramatic effect upon your vehicle!
When Should the Serpentine Belt be Replaced?
On the whole, as it is made out of high quality, reinforced rubber, the serpentine belt is a hardy mechanism that is built to last many years. On average, mechanics recommend that a serpentine should be replaced every 90,000-110,000 miles, so if the main purpose of your Land Rover is day to day errands, the belt should stay strong for a good while.
However, if you buy your vehicle second hand, and you do not have a thorough background check or parts history for your new car, then it may be worth checking with a professional mechanic that a substandard or imperfect belt wasn’t installed in the car at some point in the vehicle’s history. In general, as long as you have your car serviced regularly, any qualified mechanic will be able to monitor the status of your car’s serpentine belt.
Of course, sudden failures or unexpected deteriorations can happen, so it is still important to know the signs of a declining or failed serpentine belt. Luckily, these signs are quite easy to notice for even the most inexperienced drivers, meaning total belt failure is rare.
1) Fraying, Glazing, or Cracking
When you pop the hood as part of your own regular maintenance, take a quick glance at the serpentine belt. If you notice any fraying to the edges of the belt or any cracking upon the surface, then it is likely your belt has met its lifespan and needs replacing. You may also find the reverse is the case for your belt; it may look shiny, as though a glaze has been applied. This is a sign that over time the belt’s ridges have been completely worn down, and will also require you to seek replacement.
2) Squeaking and Squealing
If you notice an unsightly noise emitting from your vehicle when you drive, then the most likely cause is the slipping or loosening of the serpentine belt. This not only will mean the belt isn’t working efficiently, but also that the belt is being placed under incorrect strain, which can result in the sudden snapping of the belt.
3) Battery Warning Light
A battery warning light on the dashboard is typically a clear sign of problems with the alternator. However, as the alternator is directly powered by the serpentine belt, this could be an early indicator of belt failure.
Repairing the Belt
While some more savvy DIY’ers may be able to replace the serpentine belt themselves, because it is a mechanism not only so close to the engine, but instrumental in the smooth running of your car, it is best to seek the help of a trained professional. If you’re a Land Rover owner in the Allen, Dallas, Flower Mound, Frisco, Highland Park, McKinney, Park Cities, Richardson, Southlake, University Park, or Plano, Tx areas and you’re worried about the condition of your serpentine belt, then European Auto Tech will soon wash your worries away with our many years of expertise and excellent customer service.