Question: What Causes The Alternator Belt To Break?

Why does my alternator belt keep breaking?

Serpentine belt problems usually result from one of three causes: a defective belt tensioner; misalignment of a pulley; or, defective bearings in the tensioner, idler, or one of accessories driven by the belt (including the water pump).

Excessive cracking: Other than severe old age, defective tensioner..

How do I know if my alternator belt is broken?

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Alternator BeltBattery light is on. When the battery light on your instrument cluster comes on, you will need to pay attention. … Dimming or flickering interior lights. The lights on the inside of your car are used primarily during the nighttime hours. … Engine stalls.

What does a broken alternator belt sound like?

Symptoms of a broken serpentine belt include loud slapping, squealing or knocking noises coming from under the hood. The battery-shaped charging system warning light might also come on because the alternator will stop charging the battery. If a car has a hydraulic power steering pump, the steering will become stiff.

How far can a car run with a bad alternator?

25 miles25 miles should be fine. Theoretically, on an older car, you can drive forever once the engine is running, you’ll just be without any electrical amenities in the vehicle. Newer cars are much more reliant on the battery/charging system, and many won’t even stay running with a dead battery.

Is it easy to replace alternator belt?

Replacing an alternator belt is fairly easy; all you need to get started are the right tools. As always, when starting on a project, it is always a good idea to practice precaution. Make sure that the key is out of the ignition and that the negative battery cable is disconnected before you start.

Can a car run without alternator belt?

You can drive your car without either of those belts. However, you won’t get very far without the belt that turns your alternator. … If the alternator isn’t operating, while the car is running, all this juice comes from the battery. As the battery dies, the components start losing power.

How much does it cost to replace an alternator belt?

The replacement cost of an alternator belt is typically between $100 and $200. The part cost is between $25 and $80 while the labor cost is between $75 and $120. The true replacement cost will depend on how long it takes the mechanic to access your alternator belt.

Is alternator belt same as timing belt?

A drive belt (also can be called accessory drive belt, serpentine belt, alternator belt, or fan belt) is a rubber belt that powers the engines accessories. This always includes the alternator and AC compressor. … The timing belt drives the cam shafts of the engine and thus, the valves and timing of the engine.

When should I replace alternator belt?

How often does a serpentine belt need to be replaced? Serpentine belts are built to last—much longer than before because of advancements in rubber technology. Under ideal conditions, a belt should stick with you for an average of 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Pretty impressive.

How far can you drive without a alternator belt?

Eight miles may be OK, but your battery only has at most 35-45 AH (amp hours) of reserve capacity when fully charged. It’s using about 15-20 amps when running; while in theory you could drive for about two hours, if the battery is weak or not fully charged it could be a lot less.

What happens if your alternator belt breaks while driving?

This can lead to a sudden lost of power assist for the steering system, leading to the steering wheel all-of-a-sudden becoming very hard to turn. A broken serpentine belt may stop the water pump from circulating coolant through the cooling system, causing the engine can overheat.

How long should an alternator belt last?

4 yearsA simple rule of thumb for the lifespan of an alternator belt is around 3–4 years. It should be inspected at your vehicle service or whenever you have an oil change.

What happens when the alternator goes out?

The alternator provides power to the spark plugs that ignite the gasoline in your engine. When the alternator is failing, there might not be enough power in the spark plugs to keep the engine alive, which can cause it to stall for no reason while running, or to have trouble starting.

What belt is attached to the alternator?

serpentine beltThe serpentine belt – is used to drive several components attached to the engine. It drives the alternator that powers the electrical system and recharges the battery. It also drives the power steering pump, the air conditioning compressor, and the water pump.

What does a bad alternator sound like?

If you’re hearing a grinding sound in your car, this could indicate that the alternator is going bad. The grinding sound may be caused by a worn-out bearing. … If you hear any type of whining or grinding sound that’s a good indication that your alternator needs to be checked.