Serpentine Belts, Timing Belts and More
What Is Squeaking Under The Hood?
The serpentine belt, or accessory drive belt, in your car is the key component that transfers energy from the crankshaft to other crucial systems like the alternator and A/C compressor. It will usually need to be replaced every 80,000 miles. Since it's made of rubber material, it starts to wear down with age, and will slip on the metal pulley, causing a squeak or loud whine. If a belt is not tensioned properly, it can be too loose and slip, which can also cause squealing.
You should approach any do-it-yourself vehicle project with the right tools and a little NAPA Know-How . Because the serpentine belt connects to so many different components, make sure you note the route the belt takes over and through all these parts before you get started. You can also check the vehicle's manual many manufacturer websites provide online manuals depending on the year, make and model.
Many vehicles like a Jeep Grand Cherokee feature belts that operate the power steering, heating, cooling and A/C systems, so it's a good idea to check the pumps, fluid levels and hoses for these components as well. NAPA AUTO PARTS offers a variety of power steering hoses, heater hoses and radiator hoses.
How To Replace A Serpentine Belt
Serpentine belt replacement starts with releasing the belt tensioner. Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, you will use a belt tensioner tool, socket or breaker bar . NAPA AUTO PARTS also offers belts & tensioner kits and belt tensioner kits for popular models like the Toyota Camry and Chevy Silverado .
Once the belt is no longer taut, it can be carefully unwound from the various components, and checked for any cracking or smoothing on the ribbed side of the belt's surface. The tensioner and idler pulleys should be checked for rattling, sticking, alignment or any play in their rotation, which could indicate excessive wear and require replacement.
Check your vehicle manual or online reference images, and carefully guide the new serpentine belt into place. Once it is aligned on all the pulleys and threaded correctly, readjust the tensioner if it is not automatic, and start your vehicle to make sure the belt is positioned and running properly.
Check out your local NAPA AUTO PARTS locations for all the parts and tools for belt, pulley and hose replacement today!