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Replace Belts Before They Break: Tips for Fairhaven Car Owners

When you take a look at the manufacturer’s recommendations for vehicle maintenance and repairs, you will likely see information about replacing your car’s belts. The more you know about how these belts work, what they do, and what can happen if you don’t replace them in a timely manner, the better equipped you will be to properly take care of your vehicle with Fairhaven car repair and preventive maintenance services. If you suspect something is wrong with the performance of your vehicle, car diagnostic services through a professional provider can help to identify the issue before it becomes a big and expensive problem.

What You Need to Know
There are different types of belts that perform different functions. There’s the timing belt, which keeps the pistons and valves moving and working together properly. It drives the camshaft and the crankshaft, telling the valves when to open to pistons when to rise and fall inside of your engine’s cylinders. There’s also the serpentine belt, which is a very long snake-like belt that winds around your car’s engine to keep your air conditioning, power steering pump, alternator and sometimes even the water pump, all running efficiently and effectively. Older vehicles may have more than just one serpentine belt, instead having multiple belts to perform all of these functions.

The problem comes when these belts wear out over time. If they are not replaced via repair services in Fairhaven according to the recommendations of the manufacturer, they could break and cause major damage to the engine. Replacing the timing belt or serpentine belt before they break, you could save yourself a lot of time, money and trouble. At minimum you would need a tow, as your vehicle would not be able to drive; and at the worst case scenario, you would need thousands of dollars in repairs to your engine. Check your owner’s manual or contact your local dealer to learn the recommended schedule for vehicle maintenance and repairs for your particular year, make and model.

Why Belts Cause So Much Damage
Timing belts won’t show any warning signs before they break. When their time runs out, they simply break and you will find yourself waiting on a tow truck. There are two types of engines: an interference and a free-running or free-wheeling design. Engines that are of the latter, the free-running or free-wheeling design, have enough clearance space built-in through design to prevent damage if the belts fail. That doesn’t mean that you can ignore the recommendations of the manufacturer, but it does give you a bit more protection in a belt break situation than with other types of engines.

However, when it comes to the interference engine, which is what more than 70 percent of all the vehicles on the road are built with today, there is no clearance space built-in between the pistons and the valves. If your timing belt breaks, the valves and pistons will continue moving until they run out of steam or collide inside the engine. A collision can cause bent valves, broken pistons or worse. If your serpentine belt breaks, all of the components that it drives will stop. In most cases, this means a breakdown, but in some circumstances, this type of breakdown can lead to major engine damage.

Investing in Your Future
When you seek out professional repair services in Fairhaven to provide general vehicle maintenance and repairs, you are investing in the future of your car or truck. While it may cost you several hundred dollars to replace certain belts at your local Fairhaven car repair shop, the savings compared to a belt break that causes damage to your engine will be in the thousands. Regular oil changes, car diagnostic services if you suspect something is wrong or get a check engine light, and consistent vehicle maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, can help to keep your vehicle running at its very best for many years to come.

If you look at vehicle maintenance and repairs as investing in the longevity and efficiency of your car or truck, the money spent is well worth it. When you think about how much it would cost to repair your vehicle, get a rental car while the work is being done, or possibly have to purchase a new vehicle if the damage is extensive, it is worth it to resign yourself to getting the work done ahead of time for preventive purposes. If you are interested in getting your belts replaced or need any other type of services, maintenance or repairs, contact All Pro Quick Oil at 508-992-3033 and speak with one of our technicians.