Serpentine belts are important

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By now you may have heard about the mechanical issues we’re facing with the busted serpentine belt. I thought I’d share what I learned in the moment and afterwards…

The serpentine belt runs everything that matters in a vehicle. If it goes, the click starts ticking on a few things…

– power, because you’re running purely on the charge in your battery. The alternator isn’t recharging without the belt! If your battery is old, the second you do t have enough juice to spark the spark plugs, you stop.

– heat buildup, because your water pump doesn’t cycle coolant into the engine. This is the number one issue because an whine that gets progressively hotter will eventually damage beyond reasonable repair. Pay attention to your heat guages!

– some things go away right away – power steering, AC… All the good stuff.

So, you hear a flutter and a snap like we did? You can drive a bit further… But I wouldn’t recommend it. We had 4 miles coming off the highway and getting “home” to the campground was such a compelling thing we risked it. If you’re not in a similar super close place, pull the heck over. Call AAA or roadside service of your choice… The belt is pretty easy to get and replace. Some savvy car types (cough cough not me) carry an extra one and are skilled enough to put one on. The things the belt loops around (tensioner and pulleys) are often to blame though, so a new belt can only get you so far.

Driving a vintage RV means parts aren’t always on hand – the dealer near here can get them all tomorrow but first appointment is Wednesday… So, we wait.

Super close to NYC.

Boo hoo, right?