What you don’t know about your car CAN affect you–most of us detest the thought of walking into a car repair shop and getting a quote on repairs and maintenance, for it’s almost always more than what we were expecting to or planning on spending.
Unfortunately, there are car repair businesses that make a “killing” on people who are uneducated about the simplest of repairs, and they will upsell a routine maintenance procedure, adding charge after charge to your bill and demanding that you pay their fees before releasing your vehicle.
There are things that you should know about the basic inner workings of your car that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars on your next repair bill if you know what to expect when you go in. It is also important to realize that the language you use when communicating with car care professionals will brand you as educated or uneducated. Dealerships are far less likely to try to upsell repair charges on customers who are informed and educated; in this case, knowledge is power.
Your Serpentine Timing Belt Will Make Or Break Your Next Drive
One of the most important inner workings of your vehicle is the serpentine belt or timing belt. This little piece of hardware is responsible for the “timing” of many other reactions within the engine, so it is essential that you are aware of what it does, how it works, and what is affected if this belt no longer works. Here are a few things you need to know about your serpentine belt:
What Is A Serpentine Belt?
A serpentine belt, or timing belt, is a continuous belt used to drive many peripheral processes within the engine of the car–the power steering pump, alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, and air pump might potentially all be affected if this belt fails to perform its function.
How Does A Serpentine Belt Work?
A serpentine belt lends power to every critical process in your engine by curling around different pulleys. It is also responsible for powering your crankshaft which causes the pistons in your engine to move up and down. The serpentine belt also supplies power to your car’s alternator, which is responsible for supplying electrical power to all other systems in your engine.
Not only does a serpentine belt supply electrical power to all systems in the engine, but it also cools off your engine by performing functions with the water pump and coolant system. What may seem to be an unassuming piece of rubber in an otherwise complicated sea of metal inside your car is a vital piece of hardware and essential to its proper function.
What Happens If My Serpentine Belt Fails?
If your serpentine belt slips or snaps off when you are driving, many critical parts of the engine will fail, causing a total breakdown. If you suspect that your belt may be worn or cracked, it is best to get it replaced immediately, or you will find yourself in need of far more expensive repairs.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Serpentine Belt?
While it varies from car to car, dealership to dealership, there is a standard price range for replacement of serpentine belts. If you feel that you are being overcharged, it is best to get several quotes and shop around for a deal and a dealership that you are comfortable working with. Going into your dealer with knowledge of what to expect on this repair will allow you to feel more comfortable investing time and money into your vehicle, and it will communicate to your mechanic that you mean business. Here’s to a smooth road trip this summer!