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Today’s STAR Automotive article focuses on your serpentine belt. Your serpentine belt is a long belt that’s driven by your engine. It winds around several accessories that power important automotive systems. Let’s take a look at them.

First, the serpentine belt drives your alternator. Next, the belt powers the air conditioning system.

The serpentine belt may also run the pumps for both the power steering and power brakes. In some SUVs, power steering may have an electrical drive and power brakes can be vacuum driven.

And, on many vehicles, the serpentine belt powers the water pump (on some cars, the water pump is powered by the timing belt).

Your STAR Automotive service professional can perform a visual inspection of the belt to see if it has any cracks that signal the belt could fail soon. We do this every time we perform an oil change or routine maintenance. Of course, we will look at it upon your request.

Rogue Valley drivers should be aware that there is a special, spring loaded pulley attached to the engine called the tensioner pulley and sometimes an additional extra pulley called an idler pulley. Their job is to make sure that there is constant tension on the serpentine belt so that the belt does not slip. The spring can become worn and no longer provide the necessary pressure to keep the belt tight. Often both the tensioner and idler pulley also have bearings which can wear out. This is why it is often recommended that the tensioner and the idler pulley (if so equipped) be replaced at the same time as the serpentine belt.

The serpentine belt is an important part for the function of your car or truck. It’s not that expensive to replace at STAR Automotive, so it’s a good idea to replace it prior to failure. By the way, if the serpentine belt fails, you will be stranded wherever you may be.

At STAR Automotive we use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or Genuine replacement parts when servicing your vehicles.

Call STAR Automotive at (541) 476-9646 for additional information or to set up an appointment for our service professionals to take a look at your vehicle!