Here’s why the serpentine belt keeps coming off

Constant tension is essential for your vehicle’s serpentine belt to stay in place. Various factors can contribute to continuous slipping off of the serpentine belt.

One of the factors can be loss of belt tension, in some instances, pulley misalignment, defective bearings on the tensioner, or a generally defective tensioner.

Knowing what your vehicle requires to deal effectively with the serpentine belt issue is vital in restoring some of the belt-driven vehicle functions. 

You can assess the belt’s state based on how well you know your vehicle or consult with s professional mechanic to evaluate the serpentine belt’s performance and highlight possible issues.

The most recommended solution for dealing with a serpentine belt that keeps coming off is the continuous mechanical inspection of your vehicle and taking immediate action the moment you notice some symptoms associated with belt issues. 

What causes the serpentine belt to keep coming off?

A defective belt tensioner

This is one of the reasons for a serpentine belt to keep coming off. One symptom of a failing belt tensioner is a lot of noise from the belts.

These noises can alert the driver of the impending serpent belt issue to prevent further damage. The driver can hear the noises when the engine is first started especially suppose the tensioner is loose, which could lead to the belts squeaking when the engine first starts.

Belt wear

Another cause of the serpentine belt coming off. The material used by this belt is usually reinforced rubber with functions such as delivering power to the alternator, the cooling system, power steering, and air conditioning.

All these functions may lead to the belt eventually wearing off. The belt should not undergo maintenance often because it can last up to 150,000 miles.

However, this does not mean the belts are always perfect, and the driver must ensure regular inspection for serpent belt function maintenance. 

How to fix a falling serpentine belt?

One way to fix this issue is constant servicing of the tensioner and the pulleys. The driver should always ensure that the serpentine belt is in its best working condition.

Continuous servicing ensures that any issues with the tensioners and pulleys are handled early enough to ensure the belt fits and functions as required.

The second solution is replacing the serpentine belt if it is worn out. Sometimes, the belt might be too old, resulting in slipping issues. It requires a keen driver to notice the possible problems associated with the serpentine belt and deal with them correctly.

Additionally, drivers must ensure that the most suitable belt is used for their vehicle. When the wrong belt is used, for example, when the size is too large than required, it will occasionally slip off, causing issues in your vehicle.

You can also try to physically remove the belt, then push the pulley and locate the issue’s source after spinning it by hand. A constantly slipping serpentine belt could be a sign of a bad tensioner, assess the tensioner and replace it for improved performance. 

What happens if your serpentine belt comes off while driving?

Suppose the serpentine belt comes off while you are driving, there is a high possibility that your vehicle will break down. First, it may result in the coolant not circulating because the water pump fails to function, which negatively impacts the engine’s cooling system leading to overheating.

Secondly, your automotive may have sudden power loss, particularly steering-related. Suppose this happens on a busy road; it might result in detrimental impacts, including loss of lives due to lack of control.

Lastly, if the belt comes off while driving, your car’s alternator might stop generating power, which is vital in the operations of electrical and electronic systems. 

Further, the alternator power facilitates battery recharge. Suppose your vehicle’s headlights dim, the dash lights go off, or the radio lacks functionality, then you know your battery is drained, and this could be due to the broken belt while driving, which hinders the alternator’s functions.

However, this does not mean there will be problems each time the serpentine belt comes off. Sometimes, it might come off but not have adverse effects, but the driver must ensure it undergoes assessment to prevent similar cases. 

Can a car run without the serpentine belt?

Absolutely not, you cannot run a car without the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt is responsible for several functions in the vehicle; without it, several issues can negatively affect the engine performance.

However, you can start the car without the serpentine belt, but you cannot run the vehicle without it. The belt drives the water pump, and the engine is likely to overheat if it is not there.

Your vehicle’s dashboard lights are also expected not to function, and the radio, too, because the battery might go off. 

Take away

All vehicle owners should always consider having their vehicles inspected as frequently as possible to ensure early handling of the serpent belt issues.

After the car hits every 30k miles, inspection is essential for routine maintenance. However, like any other vehicle art, the serpent belt will wear out with time but ensuring constant preventative maintenance plays a crucial role in facilitating safe driving.

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