Everything You Need To Know About The Drive Belt

auto technician working under the hood of a vehicle

Did you know that your car uses three types of drive belts? The serpentine belt, V-belt, and timing belt keep your vehicle running at optimal levels. Thus, the belts must always be in working order. Find out everything you need to know about drive belts so you can monitor them. Then you can replace your drive belts as needed.

Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt received its strange name because it snakes its way through accessories and pulleys. Most cars manufactured after 1990 use the serpentine belt to transmit power between the steering pump, alternator, water pump, and air conditioner compressor. That’s why the belt snakes its way around the car. It has a lot of work to do and numerous components to reach.

Because this belt is so important, you need to check for signs that indicate it’s time to replace it. When the belt is bad, you’ll hear a squealing noise that originates from the front of the car. Your power steering and air conditioner will also stop working, and the engine will be prone to overheating. You’ll also notice that the belt is cracked when visually examining it. If you see one or more of the signs, visit a mechanic immediately.


V-belts use a crank and pulley system to run the belt through one or two engine accessories. Cars often use numerous V-belts to transmit power to operating essentials like the air conditioner and power steering system.

If your V-belt goes bad, you can expect the same signs that appear when the serpentine belt is damaged. Address the problem quickly before you have a bigger issue.

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The Timing Belt

The timing belt might be the most important of all the drive belts. It connects the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft. The camshaft is responsible for opening and closing valves, while the crankshaft helps rotate the pistons. Because it keeps the engine running as it should, ignoring timing belt issues can turn into an expensive mistake. You might even have to rebuild your engine if you wait too long to replace the timing belt.

You’ll notice a ticking noise that originates from the engine if the timing belt is going bad. Also, the engine will frequently misfire or might not turn over. Finally, you might notice oil leaking out of the front of the motor.

If you think your drive belts are worn and need to be replaced, schedule service at Barbour-Hendrick Honda Greenville in Greenville, North Carolina. We will look over your vehicle and make recommendations as needed.

However, if your car needs more than new belts, it might be time to upgrade your wheels. You can browse our massive inventory of new Hondas and pre-owned vehicles. Let us know what you’re looking for in a new car, and we’ll match you up to the ideal vehicle.

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