When you think about your car’s engine, you probably think about all of the power that it produces in order to keep your vehicle moving in the right direction. But what you might not always realize is that your engine is responsible for doing more than just that. It’s also in charge of supplying a lot of the systems within your car with the power that they need to do their jobs. And it uses parts like your driving belt—also commonly called a drive belt or a serpentine belt—to do it. It’s important for you to know how your driving belt works and to be familiar with the driving belt replacement cost just in case you ever have problems with it. Find out more about driving belts below.
What Is a Driving Belt?
The driving belt in your car is one of the many parts that you’ll find connected to your engine. It’s a relatively inexpensive part in the grand scheme of things, which is why you won’t have to worry about the driving belt replacement cost too much (more on that in a few moments!). But at the same time, it’s a very important part that needs to be functioning at a high level at all times to keep your car in good condition.
Your car’s driving belt is used to “drive” several of the systems that are hooked up to your engine. First and foremost, it drives your car’s alternator and makes sure that it’s able to provide power to your electrical system and keep your battery charged up. It also drives things like your power steering pump, your water pump, and your air conditioning compressor at the same time. This should give you some indication of how essential it is for your driving belt to be up and running the way it’s supposed to.
In many older cars, there used to be several driving belts that were used to perform each of these tasks. But nowadays, most cars only have one driving belt that does all of them. You’ll need to inspect your car to see how many driving belts it has in it. If it has more than just one, you’re going to have a bigger job on your hands when it comes to keeping all your driving belts working properly.
How Does a Driving Belt Work?
Now that you know what a driving belt is and what it’s in charge of in your car, let’s speak a little bit about how it actually works. It doesn’t seem like one small part should be able to do so much, but your car is set up to give your driving belt a chance to shine every time your car is turned on. The driving belt is hooked up to a crankshaft pulley in your engine that drives the belt and keeps it moving.
As your driving belt turns, it drives the pulleys that are set up in other spots for many of the systems that we just mentioned. By simply moving, it’s able to provide power to your alternator, your AC, your water pump, and more. This means that, if your driving belt ever gives out on you, you’ll need to replace it right away to prevent it from taking a toll on the parts we just touched on. You’ll gladly pay the driving belt replacement cost to get your driving belt working like normal again.
How Long Does a Driving Belt Last?
If you ever pop the hood on your car and take a good, long look at your driving belt, you might not guess that it’s designed to last for very long. It doesn’t appear as though it would last for years and years. But believe it or not, it’s a whole lot more durable than you might think. In fact, the average driving belt should only have to be replaced about once every 100,000 miles or so, meaning you may never have to worry about paying the driving belt replacement cost if you don’t keep your car for that long.
That being said, it’s not that uncommon for some driving belts to give out much sooner than that. Depending on what kind of car you have and how you drive it, you may have to get into the habit of replacing your driving belt well before the 100,000-mile mark. If nothing else, you should try to keep an eye on it for any signs of trouble and shoulder the driving belt replacement cost right away if you see anything suspicious.
What Are the Warning Signs of a Bad Driving Belt?
So, how can you tell if your car’s driving belt is going bad on you? It’s actually not that difficult to do as long as you know what to look and listen out for. In many cases, it’ll be painfully obvious that you have a bad driving belt on your hands and that you need to put a new driving belt into place after paying the driving belt replacement cost.
If you pop your car’s hood and see that your driving belt has cracks and other signs of wear and tear on it, that’s one indication that you need to replace it right away. But that’s far from the only sign that’ll show you it’s time for a new driving belt. You should also consider replacing your driving belt if you notice:
- Your vehicle making a very loud squealing sound when you start your car up and begin driving it
- Your car’s power steering giving out on you
- Your car’s AC not blowing cold air and working the way it usually does
- Your car’s engine overheating on a regular basis despite having plenty of coolant in it
In a worst-case scenario, your car could even break down on you altogether and refuse to turn on. You’re not going to be able to get it going again if you don’t pay the driving belt replacement cost ASAP.
Can You Drive a Car If the Driving Belt in It Goes Bad?
Let’s say that you take a look at your car’s driving belt one day and see that it is starting to show some serious signs of cracking. It might look like it’s going to break on you any day now. But despite this, you might still decide to drive it. It’s tempting to overlook the signs of a bad driving belt, especially if you don’t think you have enough money to pay the driving belt replacement cost.
You should not do this under any circumstances. You might get away with driving around in a car with a bad driving belt for a little while. As long as you don’t mind a little bit of squeaking, you might think that driving with a bad driving belt isn’t that big of a deal. But eventually, your driving belt is going to break on you, and it could potentially put you into a really tough spot.
Once your bad driving belt breaks, you won’t be able to drive your car at all. It could leave you stranded at work, at the mall, or, worse, on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service. You’ll wish that you had gone out of your way to replace your bad driving belt at that point, but it’ll be too late. It’s why you should deal with the driving belt replacement cost now to avoid these kinds of scenarios.
What Should You Do If Your Driving Belt Breaks?
As we’ve talked about a few times at this point, your car is going to be worthless to you if the driving belt in it ever breaks. You’re not going to be able to drive around in it without a working driving belt. You’ll have no choice but to take your car to a mechanic and pay the driving belt replacement cost.
You should try to find a mechanic that has plenty of experience when it comes to replacing driving belts. Most mechanics will be up for the job, but you shouldn’t trust just anyone to do it. You want someone who knows what they’re doing if they’re going to be working anywhere close to your engine. You should hire them to help you out with your driving belt replacement rather than hiring someone without much experience. You should also abstain from attempting to replace a driving belt on your own unless you’re fully confident that you know what you’re doing.
How Much Does a Driving Belt Replacement Cost?
When you think about just how essential a driving belt is to your vehicle, you might guess that the driving belt replacement cost would be well over $1,000. But in reality, the driving belt replacement cost won’t come anywhere even remotely close to this. You can actually have a new driving belt installed in your vehicle for—get this—a little over $100 in most cases. The driving belt replacement cost tends to fall somewhere between $100 and $140 with the cost evenly split between parts and labor.
If you happen to have an older car with multiple driving belts in it, the cost could be higher than that. This is going to be a more advanced job that will take most mechanics more time than it would otherwise. It’s also going to call for a mechanic to use more parts when replacing your driving belt. But generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about the driving belt replacement cost breaking the bank.
How Long Does a Driving Belt Replacement Take?
In addition to the fact that the driving belt replacement cost is usually on the lower side, replacing a driving belt is also one of the least complicated jobs that a mechanic will be asked to do. While it might take you several hours to do driving belt replacement, a decent mechanic can get the job done in under a half-hour for you. Unless the mechanic runs into any issues with the tensioner bolt while replacing your driving belt, they should be all finished with your car in almost less time than it takes to do an oil change.
Is the Driving Belt Replacement Cost Worth It?
It almost goes without saying that the driving belt replacement cost is 100 percent worth it. You can keep everything from the power steering system to the AC system in your car running by simply paying about $100 to have your driving belt replaced. It’s arguably one of the most worthwhile auto repair jobs around.
But at the same time, it’s also not really a job that you can put off, especially if you have a broken driving belt in your car. You’re going to have to find a way to suck it up and pay the driving belt replacement cost to ensure that you’re able to continue driving your car. You should call around to a few different auto repair shops in your general area when you’re having trouble with a driving belt and see which one can offer you the most affordable driving belt replacement cost.
Can You Get Rid of a Car With a Broken Driving Belt in It?
There might be some instances in which you don’t want to get a broken driving belt fixed. If your car is really old and has a million and one problems in addition to a broken driving belt, that might be reason enough for you to get rid of it rather than making repairs to it. But is it even possible for you to sell a car in that kind of condition?
You might have issues selling it to private buyers. But junk car buyers will gladly take your broken down car off your hands. They’ll let you avoid paying the driving belt replacement cost by paying you top dollar for your vehicle and towing it away from your property. Cash Cars Buyer is one company that can help you collect cash for your old car. Touch base with us today to see how simple we make it for you to steer clear of paying the driving belt replacement cost.