When you start your car, you may hear a loud, high-pitched squeal. This noise may get louder when you accelerate or turn. A bad serpentine belt is the most common reason for this noise. This belt is also called a drive belt, and it helps run many of the engine’s essential parts, such as the alternator and power steering pump. If the belt is not working properly, it can cause these parts to stop working and make a squealing noise.
How can I tell if my serpentine belt needs to be replaced?
A bad serpentine belt is easy to spot. You’ll hear a loud, persistent squealing noise as soon as you start the engine. The noise may be more audible when you accelerate or turn. You may also notice other problems, like trouble steering, a light that says “low battery,” an overheating engine, or problems with your air conditioning.
Common problems with serpentine belts
Serpentine belts are strong and durable, but over time they can wear out or crack. Belts that are worn or cracked, pulleys that don’t work, and belts that are out of place or not tight enough are all common problems. These problems can cause the belt to slip, leading to a squealing noise.
What if the noise goes away after the engine warms up?
Sometimes, the squealing noise may disappear after the engine warms up, especially in cold weather. However, this does not mean the problem is fixed. The noise may come back, or other problems may arise. If there is a problem with the serpentine belt, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible to avoid more damage or other problems.
Chris Miller is an auto journalist who specializes in reviewing new cars and providing helpful advice on family vehicles. He has a passion for cars and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.