While Land Rovers are inherently reliable, they are not without their faults. Since they work hard off-road and through cityscapes, Land Rovers tend to be prone to issues related to age, such as a worn out serpentine belt. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at this issue, learn about the belt itself, how you can tell the belt needs replacing, and why you should never delay in seeking repairs.
Serpentine Belt, Drive Belt, Fan Belt
The serpentine belt is one of those parts that, depending on who you ask, will have a variety of different names. From fan belt to drive belt to serpentine belt, no matter what you call it, the part is the same. The serpentine belt replaced the dual system of the drive and accessory belt. By rotating, it is able to power both the vehicle and the accessory systems.
The serpentine belt is a loop of strong rubber that has various grooves in it. But turning, it is able to help your Land Rover move and also power various accessory systems, such as air conditioning, power steering, the steering pump, the compressor, air pump, and most importantly, the alternator and water pump.
When the serpentine belt fails, none of these vital parts will have power. You may find that you and your Land Rover is going nowhere fast. So, let’s look at how we can prevent this from happening.
When to Replace your Serpentine Belt
There are three main warning signs that your Land Rover will give you if there is a problem with the serpentine belt. First, you’ll likely notice the battery warning light will illuminate on your dashboard. This indicates that the battery is either low on charge or not charging correctly, as the serpentine belt powers the alternator which, in turn, charges the battery. Therefore, an issue with the belt will mean the alternator won’t work. This means that the battery will not charge, and ultimately, the warning light will be triggered.
Next, you’re likely to notice some pretty uncomfortable sounds coming from under the hood of your Land Rover. These noises sound like nails-down-a-chalkboard screeches or high-pitched squeals. So, it’s almost impossible for you not to notice. These nasty noises indicate issues with the tension or the alignment of the belt. They should be investigated immediately to stop the belt from suddenly giving out and snapping, which can cause catastrophic damage to your engine.
If you look at your temperature gauge and notice high engine temperatures, you should definitely investigate. If it is caused by the belt, this will only get worse and lead to frequent overheating. Problems with the serpentine belt can cause overheating because the belt powers the water pump, which is essential for keeping your engine cool. It stands to reason that if the serpentine belt malfunctions. your water pump will underperform, so overheating becomes a much more likely eventuality.
If you Suspect a Serpentine Belt Issue
You should not ignore a serpentine belt problem or put off seeking repairs. If you like getting your hands dirty, you can confirm your suspicions by popping the hood and examining the appearance of the belt. Signs of wear or damage are a strong indicator that it is time to have a new belt installed.
The condition of your belt can also speak of other issues your Land Rover might be having, too. For example, cracking to the surface of the belt indicates that your car is dealing with internal temperatures that are higher than advised, where as oil contamination suggests that somewhere within your vehicle, there is an internal oil leak.
Of course, if you’re not the mechanical type, you can most certainly let an experienced technician do the hard work for you.
Avoid a Snapped Belt with Mark Douglas Motorworks
When a damaged serpentine belt is ignored, it can be prone to suddenly snapping. This can cause a lot of damage and also be a nightmare to remediate, as chunks of the belt will slam throughout the engine system. Don’t let this happen to you.
Call our team at Mark Douglas Motorworks as soon as you suspect an issue. We are based in Orange County, meaning that areas such as Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills and Laguna Nigel, CA can come to us whenever a problem starts to occur. Call us today or stop by to speak to one of our expert technicians.