Fan Belts

What are Fan Belts?

Aside from the engine itself, there are various accessories that run off it, such as the generator and air conditioning compressor. These are usually driven by V-belts, multi-V-belts, or serpentine belts, though some are driven via an electric motor. Most modern vehicles use electric cooling fans for the radiator, but most older vehicles had a belt-driven fan and usually a belt-driven water pump, often on the same pulley.

Strictly-speaking, “fan belts” should only refer to the belts that drive the fan, just like “alternator belts” and “power steering belts” should only refer to the belts that drive the alternator and power steering pump. Still, “fan belts” is often understood to refer to any one of them – some vehicles could have up to a half-dozen “fan belts,” not all of them driving just the fan!

Why are Fan Belts Important?

Via a series of pulleys, fan belts enable to engine to do more, such as running accessories to provide electricity, air conditioning, power steering, and engine cooling. Depending on engine and accessory design, fan belts could be absolutely critical to engine function and longevity. in such cases, a broken fan belt could lead to engine overheating and possible engine damage or a dead battery and dead engine. Other fan belt failures might result in difficult steering or inoperative air conditioning, for example.

Fan belts can fail in a several ways, slipping, squeaking, squealing, or chirping. Loose fan belts might slip, but adjusting the tension should fix this issue. Old fan belts might deteriorate and simply fall apart under the stress. Dirty fan belts, perhaps contaminated by an oil or coolant leak, could slip no matter how tight they are. Cleaning may help, but replacement and repair of the offending leak is usually the best solution.

What can Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers Do for You?

No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, you can probably appreciate how nice it is when everything just works the way it’s supposed to. Still, over time, things loosen up, wear out, or simply break down. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your fan belts checked at every service, both for tension and for condition. If you’re hearing belt-slipping under the hood, maybe now is a good time to pull in the driveway of one of Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers’ 43 locations in the St. Louis area. Our experienced ASE certified technicians are well-versed in fan belts of every size and vintage, keeping them tight and clean to keep you rolling.

“You Can Depend on Dobbs” – Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers, Home of the Fixed Forever Service Warranty. Locally and Family Owned Since 1976