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Foals Errand

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My Serpentine belt · 9:57pm Aug 11th, 2021

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Comments ( 10 )

Damn that will not be cheap.

Already paid 200ish for a tow and another 200ish for a mechanic who will be here tomorrow morning... So yeah no Everfree for me >.<

I wish I could bring my car into my air-conditioned bedroom to do routine maintenance!

My cell phone is with the husband thus laptop had to do!

Comment posted by Eurvos Morgenbrise deleted Aug 12th, 2021


So... for someone who's never seen that before...?

That's the belt that winds its way across the front of your engine around all the pulleys, driving your water pump, power steering, AC compressor and alternator. When they die, it can get expensive, depending on the belt and the model of engine.

Nothing works in the car without it.

Ooh, that does NOT look good.

A serpentine belt connects multiple mechanical systems that need to be driven to the engine’s crankshaft. It’s more energy and mass efficient from a mechanical standpoint to use a single belt instead of multiple independent belts and gears, but there’s a resulting loss of redundancy. Put it this way; depending upon what systems are tied together by the serpentine belt, you may only have minutes to do the following if it snaps:

  1. Pull your car over to the side of the road -- without hydraulic assist to your power steering, because the hydraulic pump is out.
  2. Bring it to a stop -- without hydraulic assist to your main brakes (see #1), possibly necessitating use of the emergency brake.
  3. Shut the engine off before the radiator emergency pressure relief valve blows because the water pump isn’t pumping the hot coolant from the engine through the radiator for it to cool off. On older cars, the radiator fan isn’t electric and is also driven by the serpentine belt, so the radiator overheats even faster.

If you haven’t shut the engine off by this point, it’s a race between the engine dying for lack of fuel (if the fuel pump isn’t electric) and seizing up because:

  • The water pump isn’t pumping coolant through the engine block to keep it cool. Once the radiator emergency valve blows, it’s only a matter of minutes before most of the coolant boils off and the metal parts in the engine start to deform under overheat and stress.
  • The oil pump isn’t circulating oil through the crankcase (thus the cylinders) and the oil cooler.

That’s not to mention that the battery is discharging while everything electrical is still running (because the alternator is no longer being driven to charge the battery), and the air conditioning is no longer cooling (because the refrigerant pump and compressor aren’t being driven).

So, yes, losing a serpentine belt on an internal combustion vehicle is a big deal, and not shutting the engine off as soon as possible when it happens can quickly compound the damage.

Looks more like a Brittle Star than a Serpent to me...

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