Is There More Than One Belt on My Car That Needs Replacing?

Posted on January 25th, 2018

Cars are designed with an accessory belt that drives features like the AC compressor. Typically, the belt is mounted so that car owners and mechanics can see it when they pop their hood. On most front wheel drive cars, the engine mounting is transversely, and the belt is typically a serpentine belt that is somewhat like it sounds. It slithers around various pulleys. When it is worn, cracked, damaged, or stretching it will need to be replaced.
 

Cars with One Belt

 
Some cars do have more than one belt. For instance, some engines have a timing belt that is not visible but is used to connect the crankshaft at the engine’s bottom to the cylinder head on the top, controlling the opening and closing motion of the valves. Some engines have a chain instead of a timing belt, and the timing chain will require replacement over time. However, a timing belt does not need to be replaced likely until 150K miles, varying on the manufacturer.
 

If the Belt Breaks

 
If either the timing belt or the accessory belt breaks, it will be necessary to replace the belts as the car will stop running. When starting the engine, it will shut off. With some cars, the engine may start after an accessory drive belt breaks, but if it drives the alternator, the car won’t make it far as the car will rely on electrical power from the battery. Accessory belts should be inspected regularly.
 

Replacing Costs

 
When replacing the belts, the costs will vary. Typically, an accessory belt costs between $75 to $150 to replace. One sign that it is at the end of its life is that it will start to squeal. When the timing belt needs to be replaced it is much more expensive. Typically, the replacement cost for a timing belt is between $500 and $1000. When the timing belt breaks, depending on the car’s engine, the pistons can move up and down, and the valves can become bent, which is another big cost as the replacement could cost $3K or more. In some cases it might be better to sell your car instead of paying for replacement parts. Consider car removals Brisbane for quick and easy removals.
With the timing belt not being visible, it does need to be inspected periodically. Get out the owner’s manual for your car and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
 
In some engines, the timing belt is also responsible for driving the water pump, so some mechanics suggest replacing the water pump when the belt is replaced.
 
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