Can A Bad Serpentine Belt Cause Rough Idle?

Can A Bad Serpentine Belt Cause Rough Idle

A rough idling car is when your car engine is running, and its wheels are not moving, but you can notice disturbing vibrations or shaking. The RPMs are also inconsistent, and you can hear a slipping sound from your car’s engine.

Your car engine has a serpentine belt that turns the pulleys to work together with other accessories as a part of the machinery to move the vehicle along. A bad serpentine belt may prevent the pulley from turning correctly and consistently. 

So, you can hear the slipping sound and the unusual vibrations of the auto parts, as they are not held properly by the worn-off serpentine belt.

Serpentine Belt And How To Inspect Damage

The serpentine belt turns the car parts, such as the alternator, power steering pump, and AC compressor. Of course, the belt consists of other parts for it to run smoothly. 

For most vehicles, the pulley at the end of the crankshaft causes the belt to turn and affects all the parts that it holds. Normally, it has a tensioner that keeps the belt tight. 

It may consist of an idler pulley that provides tension and guides the belt along with the engine. Also, it was mentioned that you should consider a maintenance check-up when you reach up to 100,000 mileage or depending on your vehicle or the serpentine belt. 

Here’s how you can inspect your serpentine belt:

  1. Check for any visible scratches or cracks along the belt as well as its edges.
  2. You can also use a serpentine rib tool on the ribbed part of the belt to see any further damage.
  3. Remains of oil or coolant saturation can mean that your serpentine belt has been used up enough to get it replaced.
  4. The belt may be misaligned, which results in not holding the pulleys, such as the power steering pump or AC compressor, in place enough to turn them.
Read More:  What Gauge Wire To Use For 1000 Watt Amp?

Such the belt being misaligned causes these accessories to exert more power as the belt is not turning, which can cause the engine to overheat. The worn-out belt, together with the accessories, may cause squeaks but can also result from a dysfunctioning tensioner or the bearings in any of the pulleys.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are belt pulleys?

Belt pulleys are the ones that the serpentine belt turns, to which these pulleys have a cylindrical mechanism and bearings that help them spin. The main crank pulley on the crankshaft drives all the other pulleys (alternator pulley, power steering pump pulley, and AC compressor pulley) using the serpentine belt. 

With the pulleys in motion, it activates the accessories. The alternator pulley is involved in forming a magnetic field and converting it to electricity for the alternator to work. 

Generally, the power steering pump pulley makes the hydraulic fluid pressurized and circulates for easier turning of the steering wheel.

What is considered a bad serpentine belt?

A bad serpentine belt may be worn out, have some missing chunks, shed on its surfaces or edges, be misaligned, have loose tension, or have already been torn apart. Also, a bad serpentine belt indicates that you should fix or even replace it.

Can you drive without a serpentine belt?

No, the serpentine belt is important in turning the pulleys involved with activating the accessories, the alternator, and the power steering pump.

The serpentine causes the power steering pump pulley to activate the power steering pump, which plays a part in the motion and control of the steering wheel.

Read More:  How Much Frame Rust Is Too Much

Without the serpentine belt, these pulleys won’t be able to activate the accessories. So, the vehicle won’t function normally.