2 Signs The Serpentine Belt In Your Car's Engine Needs Replaced

Posted on: 27 August 2020

While driving your car the past few days, you may have noticed an intermittent, high-pitched squealing noise coming from your engine. While the sound could be caused by a faulty water pump, another likely culprit is a loose serpentine belt. If you suspect that the latter is the case, you may also be experiencing a couple of other issues whenever you get behind the wheel.

1.  Interior Lights Dim and Flicker When You Start the Car

One problem you may be having when you have a stretched serpentine belt is that you may start noticing that the interior lights are dimming while starting it. As soon as you turn the key in the ignition, the lights flicker off and on rapidly until the engine turns over and starts.

If this is happening to you, the belt driving the alternator may be loose. While the initial spark needed to start your vehicle comes from the battery, the alternator is what completes the charge to get the engine going. 

Since the alternator works when the belt turns on the pulley, if the belt is loose, it will not give off a consistent charge. Thus, the lights will flicker as it has to draw electricity from the battery for brief moments. 

While this may seem to be only a mild annoyance, a loose belt could damage the alternator if the inconsistent charges continue. And, if the belt breaks, your alternator will not work at all.

2.  Car Has Issues with Maneuverability as You Steer It 

Another potential issue you could be having is that you find it difficult to steer your car, especially while making sharp turns. If this is happening and you know your power steering fluid is leveled off, the fan belt may be loose.

While the fan belt sounds as though it is only operating the fan, it is also a key moving part for your power steering mechanism. If the belt is loose, the power steering will intermittently stop working, making it feel as though you do not have it at all when you turn the steering wheel.

After checking the belt and finding that it is loose, you should replace it before it breaks potentially leaves you stranded. To keep this from happening, visit a car parts store with your car's make, model, year, and engine size so that they can recommend a belt that will fit your car. 

To learn more, contact a car parts supplier.