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Old 12-27-2016, 02:31 PM   #1
TXSaturn02
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Default Serpentine Belt Image Request

Anybody have a serpentine picture of a worn vs new serpentine belt? My current OEM (from the dealership) has about 70K miles on it. I guess it is time, but wondering if I could press it some more. The guy at the oil change place said it needed it 'bad', but they always say stuff like that. I guess I could take my own picture and post here and you guys can tell me what you think.
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

Attached are pictures
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1397 - Resized.jpg (184.2 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1396 - Resized.jpg (143.0 KB, 28 views)
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
As of 11/12/20: 78,895 Miles
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

I got 250K miles (21 years) out of my OEM, it looked a lot worse than that before it finally started to shred and I replaced it. Frankly, yours doesn't look bad at all to me, but you have to decide how inconvenient it will be if it fails out on the road (I assume you would notice right away and not over-heat the engine). Belts do suffer from just years of age, and many folks will, rightfully, replace based on that alone.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

The serpentine belt has grooves on the underside. It's the condition of those grooves that is more important than the top side. Check this link out:

https://www.gatestechzone.com/en/pro...-wear-symptoms
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

Pretty neat, they now have an App for your phone to check your belt's condition

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...picgauge&hl=en

A while back there was a link where they sent you plastic wear gauges free, now it's an App.
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyg View Post
Pretty neat, they now have an App for your phone to check your belt's condition

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...picgauge&hl=en

A while back there was a link where they sent you plastic wear gauges free, now it's an App.
Gates will still send you a free gauge for checking wear (thickness), links here
http://www.gates.com/products/automo...wear-diagnosis

FWIW, I changed what I assumed was the original belt at 102k miles when I bought the SL2, then just replaced it recently at around 200k miles (remembered this time to throw it in the trunk as an emergency spare) - so I am going roughly 100k miles on each belt. My belts don't see the Texas heat, though
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

My wife's saturn (2000 SL1) had the OEM serpentine belt when we sold it. I forget the exact mileage, but in the neighborhood of 230,000 miles.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

Neoprene belts, in use since the late 80's, can't be checked the way older belts can. Only way is to check the grove profile with a tool like that Gates one. They generally don't crack like the early belts did until they're about to snap in 2, and the S-Series belt driven accessories require little enough effort even a well worn belt usually works fine (though, higher risk of breaking the older it is).
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

Thanks for all the input. I don't take her out of town much anymore. I'll risk it.
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
As of 11/12/20: 78,895 Miles
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
I got 250K miles (21 years) out of my OEM, it looked a lot worse than that before it finally started to shred and I replaced it. Frankly, yours doesn't look bad at all to me, but you have to decide how inconvenient it will be if it fails out on the road (I assume you would notice right away and not over-heat the engine). Belts do suffer from just years of age, and many folks will, rightfully, replace based on that alone.
Quote:
(I assume you would notice right away and not over-heat the engine)
When mine snapped, I noticed right away because the power steering went out... while I was on the Huey P. Long bridge. (Google it; it was after the expansion but it was still plenty unpleasant.)

IIRC, the belts themselves aren't that expensive, although replacing it yourself might be a bit of an adventure. My $0.02 would be to replace it if you can afford it, but it sounds like you might be fine for a while with the one you have.

(I am not an expert here by any means... I just know that mine held on until it was literally shredded and then broke at the worst possible moment.)
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

Most things get replaced by either time or distance.

For most cars used daily, then it's probably distance, ie fluids/filters.

However, when cars aren't used very much time kicks in. Belts are made of rubber. Rubber hardens with age. Age = time.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:57 AM   #12
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Default Re: Serpentine Belt Image Request

So, I did save my previous belt and it looks to be in pretty good condition. This is why I'm so hesitant to replace the current one. As many of you stated, they last MUCH longer than recommended life. Anyway, I'll just be sure to keep the old one in the trunk.
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
As of 11/12/20: 78,895 Miles
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