Your vehicle may have any number of belts under the hood, especially if it's an older car. You may remember seeing a tangle of the things in your family car growing up. Most newer cars, however, have simplified the whole mess down to two belts: the serpentine belt, or S-belt, and the timing belt. The serpentine belt provides power to almost everything in your engine: the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, cooling fan, and air injection pump, to name a few. Serpentine belts can fail as they age, particularly as they approach 50,000 miles, so if you haven't had yours seen to, there's no time like the present. The serpentine belt is about an inch wide, black, and has little ridges running along the side. Your technician will look for little cracks in the belt--those happen naturally as the belt wears, and can weaken it. Replacing it is easy and a pretty affordable piece of preventative maintenance that could save you a bundle down the road.
Einstein's inspects serpentine belts FREE of charge and offers replacements when needed starting at $69.99 installed.
The above was written by Kaeli Gardner and was published in the Spring 2012 edition of Vehicle MD.