The fan belt, also referred to as a drive belt or serpentine belt, is powered by the crankshaft and functions to drive various components that all work together to enable the car to move.
Situated in the engine compartment, the fan belt is a long piece of rubber which coils through a series of pulleys which contain bearings, usually operating with a spring mechanism. The pulleys function to enable the fan belt to smoothly spin around, allowing the belt to propel or drive various components in the engine compartment, such as the alternator, air pump and power steering pump.
The pulley mechanism allows the fan belt to run along the inside of the tensioner, which enables it to apply tension to the belt as it spins around its path of pulleys and generates the mechanism and power needed to drive the components it serves.
If the fan belt comes loose it can deviate from its position. A sure sign of a loose fan belt is a nasty screeching noise. A slipped fan belt will lead to extremes of temperature as the belt struggles, eventually leading to a damaged belt. A slipped fan belt can also affect the proper performance of the components powered by the belt. Often the cause of a slipped fan belt is the spring inside the tensioner has become worn and is unable to apply the right amount of tension to the fan belt. The fan belt can crack and warp and eventually break, due to the high temperatures and friction it has to withstand. When replacing this part, choosing to fit the fan belt will give you perfect compatibility with the make and model of your vehicle.