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Time to Replace Your Belts?

Time to replace your belts? You’ve been warned…..if you postpone your belt replacements, you can almost always count on inconvenience. For some strange reason, belts have this way of breaking at the worst possible time in the worst possible place! And when a belt does break, it can result in a domino effect that ends in a loss of drive power.

Serpentine belt replacement - a routine auto repair in MissoulaAlthough auto makers typically don’t specify a replacement interval for V-belts or serpentine (flat, multi-ribbed) belts, most belt manufacturers do suggest periodic replacement. The incidence of belt failure rises sharply in the fourth year of service for the typical V-belt, and the fifth year for serpentine belts.

It’s also a known fact that eight out of ten broken V-belts and ten out of ten broken serpentine belts will result in breakdown. And just ask everyone you know where they’ve been when a belt broke – invariably it’s not a pretty story. The odds are it will happen when you’re heading out of town on that long-awaited vacation or on your way to a second interview for the job you’re hoping to land.

When a belt breaks, all drive power to whatever it turns is lost. The water pump quits circulating coolant through the engine. The alternator quits producing amps. The power steering pump no longer assists steering. The air conditioner quits cooling. Many of the newer model vehicles even have a single serpentine belt that drives virtually all of the engine’s accessories. When this belt fails, everything stops working!

The good news is that replacing the belts from time to time can dramatically reduce the risk of a breakdown caused by a broken belt. It’s a lot easier to replace a belt at your convenience than having the belt break out in the boonies or at an inconvenience time.

Most experts suggest replacing v-belts each 38,000 to 46,000 miles. Recommended replacement on serpentine belts is every 50,000 miles or so.

Another good things about belts is that they usually provide warning that they’re about to fail. This warning typically comes by way of one of several different strange sounds described below:

  • Squealing
  • Grinding
  • Rattling
  • Rumbling
  • Hissing

If you notice any of these types of noises, it’s probably time to have Roemer’s Tire Factory check out your belts and replace them if they’re looking worn.

Remember Roemer’s for all of your auto repairs in Missoula and surrounding area. Celebrating our service to Missoulians for 60 years!

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