Does serpentine belt affect air conditioner

Can a serpentine belt cause AC not to work? The answer is yes if your serpentine belt is broken or has failed to some extent. That’s why you should pay attention to the signs of bad serpentine belts.

This occurs for the AC in your vehicles. But, before we answer the question, “Can a serpentine belt cause AC not to work?”, we’ll have a look first at what is a serpentine belt.

What is a serpentine belt?

Also referred to as an AC belt, a serpentine belt is a belt that connects the AC’s compressor clutches to the engine crankshafts. When activated, the compressors can be turned through the engine’s powers. 

It’s common to find a serpentine belt in vehicles’ AC. A serpentine belt is different from the V-belt, another connective belt type that is attached to the AC on vehicles. A serpentine belt has flat and ribbed surfaces, while the V-belt has narrow, V-shaped surfaces that only connect to two components.

Just as V-belts and other AC components have ideal times to perform well, a serpentine belt is optimal to be used at certain times before they can cause AC not to work. So, the next thing we’re going to cover is a serpentine belt’s ideal ages.

What are the ideal ages for a serpentine belt?

Ideally, a serpentine belt’s age depends on the materials used to form the serpentine belt. A serpentine belt that is formed by older materials can last around 50,000 miles, while the ones that are formed by synthetic rubbers as EPDM can last around 100,000 miles.

That makes a serpentine belt’s ideal age ranges around 50,000-100,000 miles. As a result, a serpentine belt can age faster if you ride on your vehicles on regular basis. An aged serpentine belt needs to be replaced. Else, they will suffer from symptoms of bad serpentine belts.

In the next points, we’ll cover up the red flag signs that you should pay extra attention to your serpentine belts, especially when they’re old.

What are the signs of a bad serpentine belt?

The main cause of a serpentine belt going bad is that they have reached the maximum limits of their ages. Yet, there can also be other causes, such as a broken serpentine belt due to accidents, one (or more) of the related components are broken, and more.

Whatever the causes are, pay attention to these signs. If your serpentine belt suffers from even one of these red flag signs, it is a tell-tale sign that yours need replacements as soon as possible:

Squealing Noises From Around Your Serpentine Belt

Loud, squealing noises from around your serpentine belt are one of the most evident signs that your serpentine belt needs extra attention, especially if you hear the noises after you turn on your AC.

There can be many causes to this. Either the serpentine belt has been severely worn out that it can no longer grip the pulleys, the serpentine belt has been contaminated with water and/or oil, or, the aged serpentine belt has been too stretched.

Your Serpentine Belt Is Cracking, Breaking, Or Snapping

Cracking or snapping is also the signs that require your attention on your serpentine belt. As a result of your serpentine belt gets older and thus can’t grip properly, cracks begin to form all over your serpentine belt.

The same also goes for cuts and tears on your serpentine belt. In addition to those cracking problems, your old serpentine belt will also begin to snap. 

Accessing The Power And Battery Systems Are Impossible

You can inspect the power and battery systems when your cars are running. If your serpentine belt has serious problems, you may experience signs such as the power steering assists that don’t work.

The battery levels may also remain on the dash, even though you have recharged your vehicles a thousand times before. This includes the times when you use electric vehicles. 

Defrosting The Windshield Is Not Possible As Well

An ideal-performing serpentine belt should be able to defrost the windshield. So, if your serpentine belt can’t do this, there should be problems in your serpentine belt that need your attention.

This is because the windshield defroster is connected to the AC system, which involves the AC compressors and the serpentine belt that connects it with other AC components. If your serpentine belt is snapping, slipping, breaking down, or cracking for whatever reasons, your windshield defroster won’t work as well.

Apart from needing replacements, if your serpentine belt has even one of the above’s symptoms, it is also possible for your serpentine belt to cause the AC in your vehicle to not work as it should be.

Can a serpentine belt cause AC not to work?

No matter the types and specifications of your AC, serpentine belt, and other AC components, as long as your serpentine belt suffers from the red flag signs mentioned in the previous point in this article and you don’t replace them, it can always cause AC not to work.

You will suffer from consequences when your vehicle’s AC’s not working. For example, you may sweat a lot that will impact your body’s odor and the other passengers’ safety. Or worse, the vehicles may burn inside.

So, to avoid the AC from not working due to the bad serpentine belt, the serpentine belt should be replaced. Knowing the places to get replacements helps a lot in replacing your serpentine belt. Then, you should also master the step-by-steps in replacing your serpentine belt so your serpentine belt can make your AC works once again.

So, Now What?

A serpentine belt can cause AC not to work if the serpentine belt suffers from the symptoms of a bad serpentine belt, even when they only suffer one of them, and if you don’t take any actions to seek an immediate replacement from the right places.

The most common cause for a bad serpentine belt is an aged serpentine belt. The older your serpentine belt, the more cracks formed around it, and the more likely it will snap and cause other components, including the windshield defrosters and the AC, to not work. 

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