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View Full Version : How long do you think an auto serpentine belt last?


Dr. Tweedbucket
07-08-2011, 05:00 AM
:confused:

I have 126K and 10 years on mine and was thinking, wow! :eeks maybe it's time to replace it!

So I looked at it and it looks to be in good shape yet :huh

Maybe I'll let her go until 150K :red

Curt
07-08-2011, 05:05 AM
http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/maintenance/4311197
http://www.aa1car.com/library/serpentine_belt.htm
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070606151711AADYYfo
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/11938-how-long-should-serpentine-belt-last.html
http://www.car-forums.com/talk/showthread.php?t=6590
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_does_serpentine_belt_last

Amp360
07-08-2011, 05:10 AM
I changed the one in my old Volvo V70 T5 (which was standard - awesome car) at something like 180k, probably waited too long but it wasn't that bad when I took it off.

On the other hand it's cheap to do so I would probably do it. There is a hole for a special bar usually. If you have the bar it's easy. I still have the Volvo one but I doubt it would fit your car. They're about $20.00.

niersbach
07-08-2011, 05:26 AM
belts are under 20 bux at autozone....you just take a wrench to the tensioner pulley, take the old one off (make note of how it was on...but if you forget there is a diagram on the fan shroud right by your hood latch) and slap the new one on. Its not like they wear out....they break...and when they do you will be bent over by the man for being stupid and not replacing it sooner. I replace mine probably every 3-4 years or so...

art_z
07-08-2011, 07:08 AM
if you have a non-interference engine, if the belt breaks, the valves will be bent by the cylinders, and your looking at a new engine.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Some things you can let go with maintenance (3k mile oil changes anyone?. if you're using synthetic no point changing more than 10k) but I would not let a serpentine/drive belt go much past its recommended change interval. little upside with major downside.

YMMV

RCM78
07-08-2011, 07:10 AM
if you have a non-interference engine, if the belt breaks, the valves will be bent by the cylinders, and your looking at a new engine.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Some things you can let go with maintenance (3k mile oil changes anyone?. if you're using synthetic no point changing more than 10k) but I would not let a serpentine/drive belt go much past its recommended change interval. little upside with major downside.

YMMV

Actually, a NON-Interferance engine will not bend the valves.

Trout
07-08-2011, 07:15 AM
Actually, a NON-Interferance engine will not bend the valves.


Yes and No,

I have a Chrysler PT cruiser, 2001, and though it is a non-interference motor it is common to have bent valves if the timing belt breaks at highway speeds.

blues junkie
07-08-2011, 07:18 AM
if you have a non-interference engine, if the belt breaks, the valves will be bent by the cylinders, and your looking at a new engine.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Some things you can let go with maintenance (3k mile oil changes anyone?. if you're using synthetic no point changing more than 10k) but I would not let a serpentine/drive belt go much past its recommended change interval. little upside with major downside.

YMMV

The serpentine belt is just a drive belt ( alt, A/C etc.) The timing belt if breaks could damage the engine.

If the Serpentine belt does'nt have any chunks out of it... I'd let it go. On every serpentine belt you'll see little hairline cracks on the belt... that is normal, when little chunks start appearing thats when you need to replace the belt. When I worked for a Dealership we sold A BUNCH of serpentine belts because of those little cracks.

Blues Power
07-08-2011, 08:17 AM
i never went more than 60,000 on belts or hoses.

call me a worry weaver if you may but i call it cheap insurance

PVH5150
07-08-2011, 08:23 AM
belts are under 20 bux at autozone....you just take a wrench to the tensioner pulley, take the old one off (make note of how it was on...but if you forget there is a diagram on the fan shroud right by your hood latch) and slap the new one on. Its not like they wear out....they break...and when they do you will be bent over by the man for being stupid and not replacing it sooner. I replace mine probably every 3-4 years or so...

Depends on the vehicle. If it's a non-spring loaded tensioner, it can be a pain in the ass locating and loosening the release bolt.

Of course they wear out. Take a flashlight & look at the ribs of any belt that's been driven a significant amount. When there's small horizontal cracks on the ribs, that's a sign that it's wearing out & a replacement would be a good idea in the near future.

twinrider1
07-08-2011, 09:17 AM
Help me out, I'm trying to picture a tensioner that isn't spring-loaded.

The belt on my '88 Beretta was a pain to change. The belt went through the upper motor mount. And that motor mount is tied into an bracket for the alternator, so the alternator had to come off too. To change the tensioner you had to remove the inner fender. I stared at that thing for 30 minutes before I could mentally accept that they designed it that way. All that, for a belt!

woL2ISQDE4Y

PVH5150
07-08-2011, 11:00 AM
Help me out, I'm trying to picture a tensioner that isn't spring-loaded.

The belt on my '88 Beretta was a pain to change. The belt went through the upper motor mount. And that motor mount is tied into an bracket for the alternator, so the alternator had to come off too. To change the tensioner you had to remove the inner fender. I stared at that thing for 30 minutes before I could mentally accept that they designed it that way. All that, for a belt!

woL2ISQDE4Y

The old Ford 5.0 302 engine in the 80s until 1991 or so. Crown Vic/Town Car/Grand Marquis/etc.

sixstring531
07-08-2011, 11:06 AM
The belt on my 2002 CRV was the biggest pain the rump roast. The area where the tensioner pulley was so small/compact, the special tool designed for it couldn't even get in there. It required a shortened socket of a certain size, which didn't come with any of the tool kits. Regardless, it is done -- never again !

tiktok
07-08-2011, 12:00 PM
:confused:

I have 126K and 10 years on mine and was thinking, wow! :eeks maybe it's time to replace it!

So I looked at it and it looks to be in good shape yet :huh

Maybe I'll let her go until 150K :red

The last until they break, and then the schadenfreude laugh track goes to 11.

Peteyvee
07-08-2011, 12:14 PM
i never went more than 60,000 on belts or hoses.

call me a worry weaver if you may but i call it cheap insurance

You and me both. 60,000 is about it. Cheap insurance is good insurance.
FWIW: Standing by the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere with a busted fan belt in 100+ degree heat when you're 17 and have very little money (and cells hadn't been invented yet) is not much fun. If you're lucky, a cop shows up and calls a tow truck for you. Ask me how I know...

tiktok
07-08-2011, 12:22 PM
You and me both. 60,000 is about it. Cheap insurance is good insurance.
FWIW: Standing by the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere with a busted fan belt in 100+ degree heat when you're 17 and have very little money (and cells hadn't been invented yet) is not much fun. If you're lucky, a cop shows up and calls a tow truck for you. Ask me how I know...

I had to go pick up a friend in the middle of the night, a hundred miles away, who'd just bought a used car and the serpentine belt had gone out on him. Then he had to pay to get the car towed. It was at that point that I became fastidious about having everything replaced according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Cuts down on that 'Oh shit....' sinking feeling at the worst possible time.

deluxeman
07-08-2011, 12:31 PM
if you have a non-interference engine, if the belt breaks, the valves will be bent by the cylinders, and your looking at a new engine.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Some things you can let go with maintenance (3k mile oil changes anyone?. if you're using synthetic no point changing more than 10k) but I would not let a serpentine/drive belt go much past its recommended change interval. little upside with major downside.

YMMV

That is not the serpentine belt thais the timing belt two different things.

Structo
07-08-2011, 12:48 PM
Serpentine belts are good and all but, the problem is one belt runs EVERYTHING!
No hillbilly quick fix on the road will get you to a parts store.

I don't really go by mileage because it depends whether it is town driving or all freeway.

I look at the belt and look for checking and other signs of age.

If it shows signs of deterioration, I replace it.

Then I keep that old belt for an emergency repair, I just throw it in the trunk near the spare.

Timing belts are a whole other game.

Some of you mentioned interference and non-interference engines.

My brother has a 90's VW Passat.
It is a inner cooled turbocharged four cylinder.
It has 5 valves per cylinder!
AND, it is an interference engine.

He broke a timing belt and it was $3,500 to repair it.
Then he got it fixed, a week later it made a terrible noise and quit running.

Turns out one of the camshafts had a crack in it from the belt breaking and it broke in half.
The mechanic said he has never seen that before and he is a VW mechanic.
Another $3,000 to fix it.
When my brother bought the car I looked at the engine and told him not to buy it.
It has one of those shroud time engine covers that looks like a space ship in there.
I couldn't even see where the spark plugs were.....
But, he is unemployed and can't afford car payments.
He had to cash in a 401K to fix it as it was......

So CHANGE YOUR TIMING BELTS AT THE RECOMMENDED MILEAGES!!!!:Devil

tjmicsak
07-08-2011, 08:20 PM
A belt is bad long before it breaks. Valves and interference are not an issue with the serpentine belts- thats your timing chain or belt that is inside behind your water pump.
The best advise is to change it when you see cracks where the belt makes it's way around a pully with the ribbed side out. Those cracks mean it is drying out and possibly beginning to glaze which can cause it to slip and not work effeciently.
They are cheap and easy to change.