Ever wonder exactly what it means when your “Automotive Expert” tells you that your Serpentine Belt needs replacing? Well the answer is very simple. A Serpentine Belt is the belt that connects all the accessories of your car to the engine crankshaft: the heart of the engine. A typical serpentine belt may drive components such as the cooling fan, power steering pump, air conditioner compressor, alternator and in some cases the water pump. When you look under the hood, you will see the belt located behind the radiator [in many car types, but not all] that ties all the accessory components together in synchronous harmony as the engine spins.
Newer belts are constructed mainly of EPDM [ethylene propylene diene M-class rubber] as opposed to older belt construction using neoprene. EPDM constructed belts tend to outlast the older neoprene type by nearly twice the service life of a standard neoprene constructed belt. Neoprene type belts usually last 30,000 to 60,000 miles [at best] while the EPDM constructed belt has been documented to last well over 100,000 miles.
A typical neoprene belt will loose some of it’s tension in as little as 10% of it’s life span. What that relates to in terms we can understand is that in 5,000 to 6,000 miles after replacement, the neoprene belt may begin to loose it’ elasticity and rubber deterioration may begin. Serpentine belts are constantly subjected to hot and cold temperatures which aid in the deterioration process. Symptoms you may experience might be a noticeable squeak or squeal, sometimes referred to as “chirp”.
As the belt further deteriorates, tell-tale signs of problems begin to appear visually. Visual indicators such as “Cracking, Splitting, Glazing, Fraying and/or Pilling” may occur. These are signs requiring attention, which your “Technician” may advise you of when you have routine maintenance performed on your vehicle. Regularly scheduled maintenance is necessary in order to identify problems before they might otherwise occur.
So what’s the big deal about purchasing a really inexpensive “budget” friendly belt instead of the $85.00 [or more] premium manufactured belt that your “Auto Repair Facility” may be suggesting you purchase? Well. the answer may surprise you! Believe it or not, we recommend premium manufactured belts because, quite honestly, we want to save you money, time and provide you the safest belt for your vehicle.We recommend this because when you leave our shop, we want your piece-of-mind knowing that we have provided you with a quality product, professionally installed. Further more, we don’t want you returning to our shop 6,000 to 12,000 miles later with the same issue. Our technicians have plenty of work and to have you come back for a similar repair in such a short period of time creates unnecessary work for them and, frankly, gives our facility a less than desirable reputation.
We work with supply warehouses from across the country. Years of training and experience allow us to choose quality parts for your vehicle. We know which parts are quality made and, likewise, know which of them are problematic. If I sell you an inexpensive, low quality part, you will forever remember the “junk” part/s we sold you and our reputation will be jeopardized.
Safety is of highest consideration when we choose quality parts for your vehicle. We have no clue as to how or where that vehicle will be driven when it leaves our repair facility. For some people, it may be just across town. For others, it may be deep in the back forty! How happy with us would you be if your were 50 miles deep in desert country, off-road with no help for the same amount of miles and your serpentine belt was to fail? One of it’s many duties, such as spinning your water pump, would no longer occur, possibly creating a catastrophic over-heat situation where potential damage may have begun or already occurred? Not only are you without a functioning vehicle, but you are also stranded in country that is less than ideal to spend an overnight, or worse, several days. Needless to say, you will have less than kind words for me, should you return safely. With that scenario in mind, we ALWAYS install quality lasting parts in your vehicle. There is no compromise when it comes to safety.
Our reputation is established by you, our customer, and we strive to provide top-notch service and sell you quality parts. Please stop by and say “Hello” to us anytime. We are a shop with the highest principals and we believe, you too, will like our courteous and friendly employees. We’d love to hear about your experience at Tierra Del Sol and invite you to leave honest feed-back, either in person, on the phone of via this website.