While the serpentine belt doesn’t usually falter, when it does, it needs to be addressed immediately.
So, how much does a serpentine belt replacement cost?
And what affects that price?
This Article Contains:
- How Much Does A Serpentine Belt Replacement Cost?
- 6 Serpentine Belt Replacement FAQs
Let’s get started!
How Much Does A Serpentine Belt Replacement Cost?
It’s very inexpensive to replace a serpentine belt, especially when compared to other vehicle parts.
A typical serpentine belt generally starts at around $15 and goes up to $80 at most.
Add to that the labor costs that can range from $75 and $120.
Altogether, you’re looking at around $90 to $200 (plus taxes and fees) to replace your serpentine belt.
But what influences the serpentine belt replacement cost?
A. What Factors Influence The Serpentine Belt Replacement Cost?
Here are some common factors a repair shop considers when setting the cost for a drive belt replacement:
- Labor costs
- Location (rural or urban)
- Car model and make (mainstream, sports, or luxury/exotic)
- Type of auto repair shop (dealership, independent, etc.)
- Facility overhead (rent, maintenance, utilities, etc.)
- Business overhead (equipment, auto repair mechanic training, advertising, taxes, etc.)
- Expertise, such as only employing ASE certified technicians
B. Will There Be Any Additional Costs?
When you go in for an accessory belt replacement, a mechanic may find other repairs that may be needed.
These repairs can include:
- Other damaged or worn parts like the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, etc.
- Any essential factory-recommended maintenance
- Any pulley adjustments such as the idler pulley replacement
C. Replacement Cost Estimates For Different Car Models
For better understanding, here’s a quick look at some car models and their serpentine belt replacement cost estimates:
- Audi A4: $81 – $160
- Honda Accord: $60 – $150
- Mini Cooper: $87 – $140
- Toyota Prius: $64 – $210
- Nissan Rogue: $87 – $195
- Ford Explorer: $57 – $212
Now that you know how much a serpentine or drive belt replacement may cost you, let’s answer some FAQs.
6 Common Serpentine Belt Replacement FAQs
Here are the answers to some questions you may have regarding your serpentine belt replacement:
1. Can I Replace The Serpentine Belt On My Own?
Some repairs should always be done by professionals, especially if you don’t know your way around cars.
And it’s even more important when they’re essential engine components like a serpentine belt, responsible for smoothly running some important car engine components.
The engine components include the alternator, power steering pump, air conditioner, and water pump (in some cases).
That’s why it’s always better to get help from a professional mechanic when you need a serpentine belt replacement.
Note: Since the drive belt is responsible for running the vital car engine components we mentioned earlier, it’s often referred to as an alternator belt, fan belt, or power steering belt.
2. Can I Continue To Drive My Car With A Bad Serpentine Belt?
There are certain cases where you might be able to drive your car with a bad accessory drive belt, but we don’t recommend doing so.
It’s best to get your drive belt fixed before you resume driving because you never know what can go wrong with a bad serpentine belt.
If the belt starts to tear, it won’t be long before it snaps, so it’s better to replace it before it becomes a completely broken serpentine belt.
If the belt snaps, steering the car won’t be easy, and the steering wheel will feel heavy. Additionally, any loss of power in the steering mechanism can be dangerous and scary.
Call a mechanic right away so that other important engine components don’t get damaged, leaving you with a large car repair bill.
For example, if the car’s serpentine belt or accessory drive belt can’t drive the power needed by the water pump, your car’s engine will overheat rapidly and can even self-destruct.
What if you suffer a broken belt while you’re on the freeway?
In the case of a broken belt, it’s best to pull over to a safe spot and call a mobile mechanic or car repair service to bring you help.
3. How Can You Tell If You Have Serpentine Belt Issues?
Here are some bad serpentine belt or drive belt symptoms to keep an eye on:
- Your air conditioner may not be in a functioning condition and might make a squealing noise
- You may hear a squealing noise or screeching sounds from under the hood
- There’s a lack of power steering, making it hard to turn the steering wheel
- Your engine may keep overheating
- You can see cracks on the belt
Fortunately, replacing the belt with the help of a professional mechanic should resolve most of these serpentine belt issues.
4. What Is The Serpentine Belt Repair Process Like?
A mechanic will first conduct a visual inspection of the old belt (present belt) for any wear, tear, or cracks. They’ll find these damages often within the grooves of the belt.
If you have a newer car model with an automatic belt tensioner, it should have a gauge that shows your mechanic how much of the belt has been stretched due to belt tension.
After your mechanic is sure that the car’s serpentine belt is the problem, they’ll loosen the belt tensioner using a serpentine belt tool kit.
FYI, a tensioner is a vehicle part that maintains the right belt tension.
Loosening this tensioner allows the belt to loosen, and the mechanic can easily remove the old belt.
After the removal, the new belt is routed over the engine accessories and tensioner pulley, and the tensioner is released back to its original form. This way, it can hold the new belt in place with the proper belt tension.
Then, your mechanic will start the car to ensure the belt runs the way it should and make the necessary adjustments.
Note: Before removing the drive belt, your mechanic will run the engine to see if the idler pulley and the belt tensioner are noise-free. These rotating components have grease-filled bearings and can wear out.
In addition, your mechanic will check if each pulley and all the engine accessories are turning in the same plane. This will help ensure your new belt operates trouble-free for a long time.
5. How Long Does It Take For A Serpentine Belt Replacement?
The belt replacement time depends on your car model and how accessible the belt is.
It can take anything from 15 minutes to an hour (two at the most) to repair or replace a bad serpentine belt with a new belt.
6. What’s The Easiest Way To Replace a Serpentine Belt?
If you notice any of the bad serpentine belt symptoms, whether it’s the screeching or squealing sound, engine overheating, lack of power steering, or failed air conditioner, it’s best to call a mechanic over.
This way, it’ll save you the trouble of towing your vehicle to a car repair shop!
That’s why you should contact RepairSmith, a convenient mobile mechanic and car repair solution.
They’ll send their best ASE-certified technicians wherever you are and quickly replace your car’s serpentine belt with a brand new belt.
With RepairSmith, you also get the following benefits:
- Quick online booking for all your car repair and service needs
- Experienced, ASE-certified technicians inspect, service, and repair your vehicle
- Upfront and competitive prices
- Mobile mechanic service
- Most advanced equipment and high-quality replacement parts are used for your vehicle
- 12-month | 12,000-mile warranty on all car repair and maintenance services
Get a cost estimate for your serpentine belt replacement here.
While the serpentine belt usually lasts a long time, things can go wrong with it.
You don’t want to risk your safety and your vehicle for such a small repair, so if you have a bad accessory drive belt, get it replaced as soon as possible by a professional mobile mechanic like RepairSmith.
Just contact them, and their ASE-certified technicians will be at your doorstep, ready to address any issues you have!