If a V-belt is full of tiny cracks, frayed, has pieces of
rubber missing, is peeling or otherwise damaged, it needs
to be replaced -- NOW. Also, if a belt is oil soaked or "glazed"
(hard shiny appearance on the sides of the belt) it also needs
to be replaced. Either of these two conditions can cause the
belt to run hot, which can weaken it and increase the danger
of it breaking.
One of the most important factors that affects belt life
is making sure it is properly tensioned when it is installed
and that the proper tension is maintained throughout its service
Symptoms of improper belt tension
- Belt squeal.
- Excessive sidewall wear on a V-belt.
- Severe cracking along the underside of a V-belt.
- Noisy alternator, power steering pump or A/C compressor
bearings (from excessive belt tension).
When installing a new belt, do not attempt to "stretch" it
over pulleys. Doing so can break the internal cords causing
the belt to fail. Always loosen the pulleys so there is adequate
clearance to slip the belt over the pulleys.