Newer Honda models are equipped with a serpentine belt which is also known as a multi-vee, poly-v, or a multi-rib belt. Called serpentine because it “snakes” around the various pulleys, the serpentine belt can be used to drive different components of the engine including the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor, or air pump. The serpentine belt is more efficient and cost effective than using multiple belts to do the same job and it’s also simpler to install and replace when the time comes.
When to Replace
Serpentine belts typically last around five years or up to 100,000 miles. Obviously, if signs of wear and tear are clearly visible on the belt, it should be replaced immediately. But sometimes even excessive wear is difficult to see just by peering under the hood and examining the belt. Cars.com explains that the belts are made with a synthetic rubber called EPDM and “are less likely to crack or lose chunks of rubber than other types.” A trained technician will be able to measure the depth of the grooves on the underside of the belt to determine whether it’s still in working order or not. If the grooves have worn down, the belt will slip around the pulleys and operate the engine components intermittently or at reduced power.
- After five years or 100,000 miles
- If there are visible signs of wear
- If the grooves on the underside of the belt have worn down
Effects of Wear
There are some signs to look out for that may arise when the belt is not working as efficiently as it should be. Look for issues with the engine cooling, battery charging, power steering, and air conditioning. Another sign that your belt needs replacing is a high-pitched whistling or squealing sound when you start the engine or when you’re accelerating.