Whenever you are having a periodic maintenance, the drive belt of your car should be a part of the routine check . This part is important to be in near perfect condition because it runs the alternator, water pump, air conditioner, power steering and, sometimes, the cooling fan. Here are the steps to do it.

  1. Off the engine before getting in contact with the belt. There are times that you can’t see the whole length of the belt, you just need to bump the ignition switch a couple of times to get the engine to turn just enough to get all of the section of the belt exposed for you to inspect each part.
  2. Look at the outside length of the belt to check for cracks or tears in the surface. It is important to check the entire surface.
  3. Then view the underside of the belt. It should feel flexible and supple. A hard, shiny surface indicates the belt is old and brittle.
  4. Inspect the entire inner surface carefully. Most belts have treads across the underside to help grip the pulleys. Look for frayed spots, cracks, tears or areas where the tread is worn or broken off.

In cases that you have discovered damage in the belt, it should be replaced immediately. For sure you don’t want to compromise yourself having a poor engine performance due to this deteriorating belt.

[credit: eHow.com]