LaCava Auto Supply: The Ins and Outs of Serpentine Belts

serpentine-beltsOne of the worst parts that could break on your vehicle is the serpentine belt. Not only is this one belt responsible for controlling the most essential parts of your engine, but it can also cause a lot of internal damage when it breaks. Like most other car parts and accessories that are vital to the running of your vehicle, the serpentine belt is also most likely to break at the most inconvenient time. LaCava Brothers Auto Supply in Fall River can help you get the parts you need.

You can get ahead of the situation by inspecting your belts on a regular basis to make sure that they are in good shape. Your engine has two types of belts – the serpentine and belts that are known as v-belts. Made from a reinforced rubber, most serpentine belts should be changed after about four years of use. Learning when to change this belt and how to avoid unexpected breakage will help you to save time and money, while avoiding a lot of expensive frustration.

5 Signs That Your Serpentine Belt is Going to Break
Fortunately, these rubber belts like to give you a warning that they are about to break. It’s a good idea to open up the hood to your engine every now and again to look for any signs of fraying or wear and tear. Check out the five warning signs below and keep your eyes and ears alert to the condition of your engine.

Sign #1 – Worn Belts
If your belts have cracks, edges that are frayed or are beginning to look brittle, you should replace them. While one or two cracks shouldn’t hurt, keep an eye out for clusters of cracks and breaks in the same area. That is a definite sign of heavy wear. Frayed edges are a really bad sign and should tell you to get your belts replaced right away. LaCava Brothers Auto Supply in Fall River can help you find the right belt for the make, model and year of your vehicle and can recommend the best product for your needs.

Sign #2 – Rust
You might not think that rust inside your engine has anything to do with your belts, but this really is a common sign. If there is any rust forming around a pulley or the tensioner, you will want to get it checked out professionally. If the pulley rusts and won’t turn, it can cause the belt to break. If you aren’t sure, bring it by our auto parts store – we even offer services like free battery testing in Fall River.

Sign #3 – Squeaks and Squeals
If you begin to hear noises coming from your engine, such as squeaks and squeals, chances are one of your belts is beginning to slip or there is a problem with your pulley. If the pulley does not turn properly, your belt could break way before its time. If there are no obvious signs of wear and tear on your belts, you will want to watch the way the belt moves when the car is idling so you can see what is happening. For a wide variety of auto parts in Fall River, MA, bring your vehicle to LaCava Brothers Auto Supply.

Sign #4 – Shaking
Believe it or not, if the belt is shaking you might not need to replace it. However, it could be a sign that the tensioner needs to be adjusted. However, if you cannot get the tensioner to tighten your belt and stop shaking, you might have to replace it. This can be due to the tensioner not being set properly during installation or from using the wrong car parts and accessories. The team at your local auto parts store can help you make sure that you buy the right belt for your vehicle.

Sign #5 – Hissing and Grinding
Two other noises that can signal a problem with your belts, if you hear any type of hissing or grinding, it might be that your belts are trying to tell you something. If you aren’t sure what to do, bring your vehicle by the LaCava Brothers Auto Supply in Fall River. We can help you figure out what needs to be done. We also offer a variety of automotive services, so it pays to ask.

What Makes Serpentine Belts Break?
In most cases, it is just time that causes your engine belts to break. Normal wear and tear, combined with the heat underneath the hood, causes them to just wear down and eventually break. Once a belt breaks, it immediately stops everything that it was connected to inside your engine. The best way to avoid this scenario from ever happening to you is to check your belts regularly.

A good habit to get into is to check the belts every time you get an oil change and every time you check your fluids. Make it part of your routine. Also check the tension of the belts to make sure they are making proper contact with the pulley. If you decide to visit LaCava Brothers auto parts store in Fall River, MA to change your belts, make sure to study the way that the belt runs through your engine or take a picture of it. Because it winds around throughout your engine, it can be easy to forget what goes where unless you have some sort of guide.

Where to Get Car Parts and Accessories in Southeastern Massachusetts
If you are in need of parts or services for your vehicle, look no further than LaCava Brothers Auto Supply in Fall River. We offer a wide selection of car parts and accessories. We even provide a variety of services, such as hydraulic hose, rotor turning and free battery testing in Fall River. For more information on the services, car parts and accessories we provide, give us a call at 508-676-1951 or stop by our Fall River location on Bedford Street.