As part of our CAR CARE SAFETY series, we will be sharing some quick Information and DIY articles to help you get on the road quickly and keep you and your family safe while you are on holiday!
You are driving along and suddenly you hear a squealing noise from the from of the vehicle! Or the power steering and AC stops working or the engine overheats! What could it be??
All the above issues could be a result of fan belt failure. The fan belt can also be referred to as a serpentine belt, drive belt or v-belt.
It is critical to engine operating as it provides power to the drive accessories, such as the alternator, power steering, cooling system water pump and air conditioning.
The fan belt should be replaced every 80 000 km (or as specified in your Owners Manual). Should you hear or see any of the issues below, its advisable to immediately stop your car for your safety and not damage your engine any further.
- It is a good idea to visually inspect your fan belt from time to time, to check for physical damage such as cracks and wear from heat and friction it’s subjected to on a daily basis. Check for cracks, chunks missing, abrasions, rib separation, uneven rib wear, and damaged ribs.
- Oil on the belt will also lead to cracking and wear of the belt. If you notice any of these, it is time to get a replace qualified mechanic to replace the belt.
- If you hear squealing noise from the front of the vehicle, it could be due to slippage or misalignment of the fan belt. To alleviate this issues a qualified mechanic will need to diagnose and replace the belt.
- The belt tensioner keeps the proper spinning of the belts’ in the car’s engine. If you notice rust forming or bleeding between the belt tensioner are and base, it is a sign that the tensioner needs to be immediately replaced. This often arises from the excess wear in the internal components of the tensioner, which will affect the performance of the drive accessories!
- Since the fan belt provides power to the drive accessories, its failure can cause, most critically, the alternator and power steering to stop functioning. This is dangerous as the car will loose electrical power and correct steering control. Find safe place to stop the car as soon as possible. The air conditioning and water pump can also fail, which will result in the engine not being cooled correctly.
We hope this series keeps you safe this holiday season! If you need assistance just click here and a mechanic will come to you.