Land Rovers are 4×4 icons suited to off-road fun, military use, utility purposes, and more recently, a practical solution to the regimens of suburban family life. Because they were designed with action in mind, Land Rovers are incredible long lasting and can be passed down from parent to child. In this lengthy lifespan, there may be times when your Rover needs some TLC. With ongoing maintenance, some of the more severe issues can be completely avoided, but sometimes parts simply reach the end of their usefulness. With this in mind, let’s look at a common issue found in seasoned Land Rovers: When to replace the serpentine belt.
The serpentine belt is a long flat rubber belt that is found under the hood of your Land Rover. It is also known as the drive belt and/or fan belt. It has many grooves on its surface and is powered by the engine’s crankshaft. Older vehicles needed multiple belts to power primary systems as well as accessories. Modern cars will use only one to power both the engine and the accessories.
When the serpentine belt rotates, the alternator, A/C, power steering pump, water pump, and air pump all receive power. However, when the belt becomes worn out, it isn’t able to function correctly, meaning one or more of these systems will not receive power. When the belt is on its last legs, it needs to be addressed swiftly, as a sudden break or snap can cause severe or catastrophic engine damage.
Signs that your serpentine belt is reaching the end of its life and needs replacement include:
When the battery isn’t charging correctly, the battery warning light will illuminate. When the serpentine belt is to blame, this issue is caused by the belt not turning correctly, meaning the alternator isn’t driven properly.
If your belt becomes loose or misaligned, you’ll be hard-pressed not to notice the intense squealing or screeching sounds which are produced because the belt is under strain.
When the serpentine belt fails entirely, it can cause your engine to fail. This is because it powers your engine’s water pump, which is an essential part of the cooling system. You can preempt this issue by paying attention to high engine temperatures or temperature spikes.
You can often see problems with your serpentine belt just by looking at it. Learning how to interpret different wear patterns is essential knowledge for Land Rover drivers. We’ve created a handy guide below to help you assess your problem.
|Wear Pattern||What Caused It||What To Do|
|The ribbing is cracked.||The belt has been exposed to high temperatures.||The belt will need to be replaced.|
|Chunks are missing from the belt.||This can be caused by either heat, age, or stress on the belt.||The belt will need to be replaced.|
|Pilling on the belt's surface.||The belt is likely misaligned or is loose. The pulleys may be worn.||Check the status of the pulleys. If the issue persists, you’ll need to replace the belt.|
|Abrasion of the belt.||The belt has come into contact with a foreign object.||Check for any foreign objects. Check the belt tension, replace the belt if problems continue.|
|The ribs have separated.||The belt is in the wrong position.||Replace the belt, making sure it is installed correctly.|
|Uneven wear patterns across the ribs.||The belt has come into contact with a foreign object.||Replace the belt and consider installing an engine protection shield.|
|Gravel has penetrated the belt.||Your Land Rover doesn’t have an engine protection shield.||Replace the belt, and consider installing an engine protection shield.|
|The outside ribs are damaged.||The pulleys are misaligned.||Align the pulleys and replace the belt.|
|The belt is covered in oil.||There is an oil leak.||Clean the belt and repair the leak.|
|The belt is broken.||Impact with a large object or the belt is old, has suffered severe shock loads, or has a blocked pulley.||Replace the belt and undertake diagnostic work to locate the source of the issue.|
If you live in Green Bay, Manitowoc, and Sturgeon Bay, WI, and are looking for repairs you can trust, then look no further than Dell’s Service Center for all your motoring needs. We will inspect, diagnose, and repair your serpentine belt quickly and affordably. Call us today for an appointment.