A serpentine belt is a belt with different attachments to different engine parts. It is connected to the power steering and water pump, the air conditioning compressor, and the alternator.
The serpentine belt can be steered by an idler or a belt tensioner. Can this belt cause rough idle if it is old?
Can a bad serpentine belt cause rough idle?
A serpentine belt is one of the most crucial parts of the engine. This one belt is like a snake attached with many parts inside the engine. If the serpentine belt somehow loses, it will cause various problems, including rough idle. A bad serpentine belt can damage the whole vehicle’s performance.
As for being only loose can cau the car to idle. So check your serpentine belt regularly to ensure your cars health.
Bad serpentine belt:
The broken or faded serpentine belt is called a bad serpentine belt. A serpentine belt can support the engine for 50000 to 100000 miles, which takes four to ten years. Before that, a serpentine belt works perfectly.
A good serpentine belt is a must for smooth and relentless engine performance. A poor performing serpentine belt will instantly lose the power steering. The A/C compressor and water pump will also lose power. And it will cause rough idle too.
Worn serpentine belt:
After using the serpentine belt for a longer period, the serpentine belt might have some crack in it. Serpentine belts have some dented pattern in them. When the dented part slowly starts to fade, the belt becomes slippery.
When the serpentine belt becomes slippery, it loses its grip, and the ability to control all the different parts decreases. In this situation, anything can happen. A worn serpentine belt may cause the power steering not to work properly.
It might cause rough idle. As the driving will not going to be as smooth as expected.
Loose serpentine belt:
A loose serpentine belt will create loud screechy noises at the ignition time and while using the steering wheel. It may happen for a few reasons.
Firstly, the belt itself becomes slippery or worn out. Secondly, the pulleys and the tensioner don’t work properly.
The water pump, pulleys, and overheating problems will arise when these problems occur. The speed will not be going to be smooth. It will create a rough idling problem.
How does a bad serpentine belt cause rough idle?
Rough idling is the initial symptom of some major problems in the engine. Rough idling is the reason for the engine RPM’s ups and downs in a short period.
Different things may turn the rough idle problem to occur. A bad serpentine belt may cause the engine to rough idle. It might not happen directly, but a bad serpentine belt will increase the chance of rough idle.
For example, suppose the water pump does not work because of a serpentine belt malfunction. In that case, the engine will face an overheating issue. Scratchy noise may come out of the engine and drag down the engine efficiency.
And these things, along with engine alternators and A/C compressors malfunction, will cause rough idle.
What problems can a bad or loose serpentine belt cause?
There can be problems sue to bad or loose serpentine belt. Lets get to know what are those.
Power Steering Systems Problem:
A power steering system is a mechanical technology that helps vehicle drivers to turn the steering wheel effortlessly. It decreases the manual force and increases efficiency and driving smoothness.
This power steering system is directly related to the serpentine belt. The power steering system doesn’t work properly when the belt is worn out, torn apart, or loose.
Harsh Irritating Sound:
When the serpentine belt becomes loose, or the belt breaks, some irritating squealing sound often comes from the engine. This sound starts throughout the driving session. Mainly, this sound starts after the ignition.
When the serpentine belt is not working properly, the water pump attached to the serpentine belt is not working properly.
The water pump pumps water to the engine and keeps the engine cool. So, a bad serpentine belt will cause heating issues.
Battery Drains Faster:
The serpentine belt is directly involved with many active mechanical components of an engine.
But, if the engine cannot perform accordingly for a bad or loose serpentine belt, it will cause the power to drain faster. Moreover, the fuel efficiency will fall as well.
Air Compressors Problem:
The serpentine belt is attached to the Air conditioning compressor. The belt helps the compressor to work correctly. If the belt loses or breaks, the compressor doesn’t work at all. So, it creates some air conditioning issues.
What happens when the serpentine belt breaks while driving?
The serpentine belt is the driver of many different parts of the engine. Driving smoothness literally depends on the serpentine belt. If the serpentine belts during the driving, the smoothness will perish suddenly.
When the serpentine belt breaks, it immediately takes away the power steering system. It creates the steering to difficult to turn. The water pump will not circulate enough water to the engine and causes the engine to overheat.
Also, immediate breaks of a serpentine belt may trigger the car’s alternator from generating enough power for the electrical systems. And eventually, the battery will drain down, and the vehicle will lose power.
Is it safe to drive your car if the serpentine belt is loose?
If you love your vehicle, then show a little mercy to it. Unfortunately, you will not enjoy driving without a serpentine belt or a loose serpentine belt.
A loose serpentine belt will make a squealing sound from your engine. The heating issues will arise, and the battery will drain along with the fuel efficiency.
It is not safe to drive your car, and in the middle of the road, the car starts to lose all its energy and everything. It is quite unsafe. The consequences of driving a car without or a loose serpentine belt are huge.
What to do if your serpentine belt breaks?
When the serpentine belt is broken. You should not run the vehicle at all. Or it will cost you an engine, a battery, and other components attached to the belt. It will take $100 to $195.
And check the serpentine belt after 50 to 60 thousand miles. Don’t bother to repair the serpentine belt and don’t bother to check the vehicle’s engine after a certain period.
The snake-like belt that drives a vehicle so smoothly can cause a problem if the belt is not proper in shape. The serpentine belt is a crucial element for the engine. If the smoothness falls, it causes rough idle. The smoothness of the engine lies in the serpentine belt.
I am an automotive enthusiast and have been interested in cars since I was a little kid. I have worked in the automotive industry for many years and have extensive knowledge of vehicles and their engines. I am a father of two and I love spending time with my family.
Read more about the author here.