cracked belt on car

Posted on 2013-01-23
Last Modified: 2013-01-29
accidently i opened the hood today and i saw that there is a small crack on the belt.. i called the mechanic and he said he can give an appointment next wednesday.. and he said the belt will be ok till then.

would you say that a cracked belt can be driven without consequence for 6 days?
Question by:25112
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

michaelgoldsmith earned 56 total points
ID: 38812282
Depends on what your definition of a "crack" is. Hairline crack you will be fine. If you can see through the "crack" then no.

Assisted Solution

anotherjallen earned 56 total points
ID: 38812292
I agree, however if the belt snaps you could be facing even more repair work than just replacing the belt.  Is there another mechanic that can get you in sooner?
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 56 total points
ID: 38812453
Here's an old trick. Always keep a old pair of pantyhose in your car. If your belt breaks, you can use this as a replacement until you get to the garage. It WORKS!

In any case, if the belt is not slipping (i.e. you can't hear any screeching noise) you're goof to go for some time still.
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LVL 25

Assisted Solution

nickg5 earned 167 total points
ID: 38812621
Which belt is it?

If it is the belt that is related to the water pump, then if the belt breaks your car could overheat. If it is the belt for the alternator and it breaks, then your alternator won't charge the battery, your lights could go dim and your radio sound will be distorted. I've had an alternator belt break before. If yours breaks, you'll be able to drive a few miles to get to your mechanic before your battery might go dead.

Any photo of under the hood to see which belt?

Assisted Solution

FeMaster earned 55 total points
ID: 38812696
Odds are you will be fine.  I've attached an image to give you a better idea. Most likely you have what is known as a serpentine belt.  These are common is nearly every automobile since the mid '80s.

If it's not like any of the images, let us know what it looks like, where, or better yet, attach a photo if you can.  If you can't, search Google images for "cracks in belts" and choose an image that looks closest to the problem you have.

Image of Belt Cracks
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

Michael-Best earned 55 total points
ID: 38813890
"would you say that a cracked belt can be driven without consequence for 6 days? "

Yes it should be good for weeks (or months) if its just a "crack" and not a "split"

Some cracks if on the inner side of the belt are normal wear and tear which do not need immediate service / replacement, see:

The key infomation (" i saw that there is a small crack on the belt") that you have provided in your question eliminates any need to doubt your mechanics advice.

If you are still concerned then inspect the crack each day for a possible increased crack size.
I doubt it will worsen in such a short period of only 6 days.

Author Comment

ID: 38819204
thanks- all these are helpful to know...

serpentine belt, is it.
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

nickg5 earned 167 total points
ID: 38819224
The serpentine belt is a single belt used to drive multiple devices such as an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, a/c compressor, etc.

It's not a belt to fool around with if, it needs to be replaced.
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

compfixer101 earned 55 total points
ID: 38824277
I had a serpentine belt that was cracked all over the belt last a few years before wearing out and finally it lost a rib causing replacement, i wouldn't be over worried about it, unless it goes down the belt and not across it.
LVL 25

Accepted Solution

nickg5 earned 167 total points
ID: 38824300
I know a mechanic who works for Honda. I talked to him about a serpentine belt.

They suggest you considering replacing it around the 4th or 5th year of car ownership.  Belt failure, often due to wear and tear increases greatly around that time in a car's life.
Ignoring the belt system could cause you trouble and result in breakdowns if it breaks.
You can have your belt inspected on a regular basis once your car is around age 4-5.
A bad or deteriorating belt can cause a squealing noise when you start the engine.
The belt can vibrate too.

 Other symptoms that might say your belt may need to be replaced includes a draining battery, a cracked V-belt on the underside, or a noisy alternator.

Author Comment

ID: 38831690
thanks- getting the second opinion from you helped and good to know
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 38832554
nice comment " I know a mechanic..."
Gets the reply  "thanks- getting the second opinion from you helped and good to know"
Should I have mentioned in my comment : ( by: Michael-BestPosted on 2013-01-24 at 21:05:31ID: 38813890 ) that I not only know a mechanical maintainence engineer, but that I am a mechanical maintainence engineer?

Well anyway, my third opinion still all of us were recognised as giving valuable infomation to the question asker.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 38832586
I can give the name and phone number of the mechanic, to the asker and the guy will be glad to accept the phone call.
I posted a link or on another thread and someone seems to have complained and got it deleted. However, the people who may have complained, posted links as well. (?????)

If answers can not contain links, I'll share my experiences and ask my friends and neighbors and relatives and service people in my community for anything, that might benefit the person asking the question.

I've received 0 points on questions where my contribution was more than the accepted answer. Some askers only award the "first" answer as the "accepted" answer. That is part of this site. The person asking the question makes the decisions, right or wrong, or in the middle.
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 38832726
You have got the wrong impression of my comment...
Great for you, if you can get points for your original content (right or wrong) however...
You also claimed:
"I posted a link or on another thread and someone seems to have complained and got it deleted."
The copy and paste of other comments is not acceptable by EE rules
Criticism of moderators decions can only lead to your demise, so take care with your comments.
The infomation you wish to give by a link is acceptable with your own short description of that link.

This question has been closed by the question asker and points have been assigned... right or wrong this question and its answers are closed unless the question asker wishes to re-open this question no further comments are needed.

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