There are various devices inside of a car that is key to having your engine work correctly. Cars have several accessories that allow internal combustion engines to work correctly. Some of these main accessories include the driving belt, the power steering compressor, the alternator, air conditioning compressor, and the water pump.
But what you might not know, is that these devices require a certain epic in order to get power and run correctly – they require the driving belt, also known as the serpentine belt. This belt is one long and continuous belt that drives many of the engine’s accessories and peripheral devices. This timing belt usually includes a belt tensioner or idler pulley to move the belt and guide the direction of the driving belt. Without this working properly, you will have a higher driving belt replacement cost.
This driving belt, also known as the serpentine belt or drive belt, is the belt in your car engine that works in tandem with the idler, tensioner, and pulleys inside the accessory system. It provides the power necessary for the air conditioning, alternator, power steering, and the cooling system water pump. The average driving belt replacement cost is generally between $120 and $160 for the placement job, with the parts costing about $60 and the labor costing around $80.
What is the driving belt?
The driving belt, also known as the serpentine or accessory belt, is the main engine belt that you see when you open up the hood of your car and look near your engine to see what drives the internal combustion. These belts are usually identifiable by their ridges that run along one side of the driving belt. These ridges are there in purpose, in order to keep grip when the accessories are turning and moving with the pulleys.
Engine accessories have to gain their power from somewhere- and that somewhere is the diving belt. You might think somewhere is the battery, but the driving belt is key to providing energy and power to the engine, meaning that if this is not working, the driving belt replacement cost will be much higher. As your engine runs, the spinning motion of the crankshaft is given to each one of the accessory pulleys by means of the serpentine or driving belt.
Older engines, or you have an older car that you can’t seem to get rid of, might have something called a v-belt instead of a driving belt or serpentine belt. These are thinner and are smaller in size when compared to serpentine or driving belts, and usually connect just one accessory to the crankshaft. You will usually find multiple v-belts in the engine system, but only one driving belt.
What happens if my driving belt breaks in the car?
If the driving belt breaks in your car, the car will not be able to drive properly and will have to be towed to a local mechanic. If the engine runs without the driving belt, it might overheat in the engine, since the water pump will no longer be working correctly. A broken timing belt can also cause damage to other parts, like radiator shrouds and ripped coolant hoses resulting from the driving belt in need of replacement. These additional problems that can creep up from a bad driving belt can increase the driving belt replacement cost.
Top bad driving belt symptoms
A bad driving belt is not just something that you can ignore and wait to fix on its own. This is something you need to deal with right away. The entire function of your vehicle in the performance might be compromised if your driving belt is worn or damaged causing a high driving belt replacement cost.
You will be able to tell as the driver or passenger when the driving belt is getting in bad shape because you will notice several signs and symptoms that are easy to distinguish in your vehicle. We have gone over some of the most common symptoms of a damaged driving belt and what can influence the driving belt replacement cost.
No air conditioning
A bad or damaged air conditioner can be attributed to various aspects in your car. Since the driving belt keeps the air conditioning working correctly, a poor serpentine belt or driving belt will remove that function from the car and prevent the air conditioning from blowing cold air. If you turn on the AC system in your vehicle and notice that it is not able to blow out cool air from the air vents, then this could be due to a bad timing belt and cause a higher driving belt replacement cost.
Another common sign of a bad timing belt in your car is that you hear squealing noises coming from under the hood. If the front of your car is making a high pitched noise when you are driving, then the driving belt might be misaligned or slipping. Sometimes it could just be fixed by a realignment or proper tensioning of your serpentine belt to fix this problem and have a lower driving belt replacement cost. In some other and more severe cases, the belt might be damaged and need replacing.
No power steering
The driving belt allows the power steering system to function correctly and smoothly. Power steering is what allows the drivers to smoothly steer your car without having to give too much thought or arm strength in your wheel. If you have a bad timing belt or driving belt, then it will be harder to move the steering wheel to steer your vehicle and keep it in control, causing an overall driving belt replacement cost. This issue could be caused by lower steering fluid, so make sure the power steering reservoir has the right amount of fluid set forth by your manual or mechanic.
The driving belt is what is in charge of turning on and activating the water pump, which is functioning in order to cool the engine and prevent overheating. If you have a damaged driving belt and you realize that you need to determine the overall driving belt replacement cost, then the driving belt will not be able to activate and turn on the water pump. This means that your engine will have more friction and overheat, since it cannot be cooled down anymore.
This will happen even more when the temperature gauge on the dash shows the needle going too high and towards the red zone, meaning the engine temperature is getting too high to function correctly. If you let this go for too long, the entire engine could be damaged and you could need a complete engine replacement.
Visible cracks on belt
The serpentine belt or the driving belt is usually pretty easy to access and find in most modern cars. If you want to know if your timing belt is bad and need to determine the overall driving belt replacement cost, then simply open the front hood and look at her belt near the engine on your own. If you notice any visible damage, like cracks or holes in the tubes, to anywhere in the belt, then this means the driving belt is bad and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
If you are driving along and suddenly lose power in your engine and you can’t drive our car, then this is another sign when you need to determine if your battery is dead and your timing belt needs replacing. Check under the hood to see if your driving belt is still attached. If you are able to turn on the car and rev the key in the ignition, then a snapped serpentine belt or driving belt won't allow the alternator to provide enough charge to the battery to power the vehicle.
If you do not have the alternator’s charge, then your car will eventually die and not be able to turn due to electricity used by various appliances, like the spark plugs, the car’s radio, and the headlights. A vehicle can usually run without a working alternator for a short period of time, since it will have enough reserve battery power, but not for too long.
The belt is usually too loose to keep the right amount of grip and tension on the alternator pulley, so you might experience a snapped belt, something which can increase the driving belt replacement cost.
The final symptom of a bad driving belt in your car is the pulley whine. If you start to notice a whine from the engine that changes with the speed of the engine, you might want to have the tension of the serpentine belt or driving belt checked by a mechanic. A belt that is too tight and has too much tension will put too much stress and load on the bearings in each of the accessory pulleys, causing premature failure of the components and causing an enhanced driving belt replacement cost.
Driving belt replacement cost
Luckily for car owners, unlike other engine problems, it is very inexpensive in the grand scheme of car repairs to replace a driving belt, whether it is completely broken or just loose. The driving belt replacement cost is usually just between $100 and $200 in most cases, with the belt and part itself costing between $28 and $80, while the labor costs will be between $75 and $120 total.
The labor of the fix is reduced in terms of price since it is usually quite easy to access the driving belt in every kind of car. The ease of accessing the driving belt will determine how much the labor costs area. Some modern vehicles have a more easily accessible driving belt, while other older cars have a difficult to find driving belt and could cause the labor costs to increase to around 2 hours of work.
Easy to reach driving belts can actually be changed by yourself at home with minimal knowledge and tools of cars and their parts. Some belts can be removed by just loosening one bolt, while others might require that you use a belt tensioner to give the belt extra slack. If you are not sure what you need to do in your specific make and mode,, check your repair manual for your specific vehicle to see if you can do this on your own.
No matter what the repair is, it is certainly cheaper to do the repair on your own when determining the overall driving belt replacement cost. It is better if you replace this driving belt immediately instead of waiting for more expensive parts to get damaged and have a higher replacement cost.
Sample driving belt replacement cost
In order to give you an idea of how much you might spend on your specific car for a driving belt replacement cost, we have some sample costs for popular cars on the market today. The least expensive choices for a complete driving belt replacement cost deal with the Ford Focus and the Ford Fusion, with the total cost coming out of between $75 and $!45, with the labor being between $44 and $56, and the parts costing just $85 and $125.
The middle of the road options involve the Honda cars – the Honda CR-V, the Honda Accord, and the Honda Civic, with all three of these car models coming out to between $101 and $126 for the driving belt replacement cost. The parts cost is very minimal being just between $31 and $37, while the labor ranges from $70 to $89.
The more expensive choices for the driving belt replacement cost deal with the Ford F-Series, and the Toyota cars – the Camry and the Toyota Corolla. These three models have a total driving belt replacement cost of between $122 and $!56, with the parts cost being between $70 and $89, and the labor cost being between $52 and $67 for all three of these cars.