Many people don’t ever think about their car’s belts until they hear one squealing loudly at start-up or when turning corners. The belts on your car are very important, they power the alternator, power steering pump, water pump and air conditioning system. Many cars only have one belt, while some others have two. But either way, they perform a very important function and should be checked on a regular basis.

When checking your belts you should check for condition as well as tension. Most of today’s modern cars have an automatic belt tensioner but you should still check the tension every now and then. If the belt is too tight is can wear out pulleys and bearing as well as the belt itself. If your belts are too loose, the components that they power may not run as they should or the belt could be thrown off the pulleys. You should be able to press the belt down about ½-1 inch, any more or less could be a bad sign.

When checking the condition of your belts, you should be looking for any signs of obvious wear or damage including deep cracks, splits and frayed edges. Replace the belt if it looks glossy or there are missing segments across two or more ribs.

If you see any damage when checking your belts, bring it in to GIC Car Clinic in San Jose, California right away and have one of our expert mechanics replace it for you before it is too late.

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