Land Rovers are rough and tough cars. They’re designed and built to standards and specifications that allow them to withstand even the most difficult terrain to drive a car on. It’s because of this that the Land Rover brand is synonymous with off-roading. Many Land Rover drivers don’t utilize them to their fullest potential—they might simply use them for everyday errands, highway travel, or road trips. Nonetheless, they tend to perform well and remain reliable.
Unfortunately, despite their incredible design and engineering specs, Land Rovers can run into many of the same issues that all drivers tend to experience at one point or another—especially with ongoing, normal wear and tear that eventually leads to high mileage. As your Land Rover ages and accrues wear, certain parts require replacement. The accessory drive belt is prone to failure in these cars, which can occur for any number of reasons. However, before accessory drive belt failure occurs in your Land Rover, it’s important to know the early signs and symptoms of wear to remain proactive and prevent the problem from occurring all together. Here is a bit more information to help you get a better understanding of why the accessory drive belt is important to your Land Rover’s function and performance and what you can do about maintaining it before it fails.
What is a Drive Belt?
An accessory drive belt, also called the serpentine belt, entails several parts that work in tandem with one another to deliver power to several parts of your Land Rover for optimal functioning. Land Rovers require a lot of power to run well, and if the drive belt seizes to function properly, it will certainly affect other systems of your car, including the ability to start. Some of the systems that it fuels with power include: the cooling system, the power steering system, and the in-cabin cooling system, or the air conditioning unit. Drive belts also power the alternator in your vehicle. Land Rover drive belts can last for a significant chunk of time; however, the rate at which your drive belt wears out will depend upon your own unique driving habits and the typical conditions you drive under. For instance, if you routinely go off-roading in your Land Rover as well as use it for your main mode of transportation, it might experience wear faster than if you only drove it short distances each day. Furthermore, the environmental conditions can also take a toll on the condition of the belt and its elasticity—especially frequent or extreme changes in heat and cold.
The signs and symptoms of accessory drive belt wear are important to look out for, as if the drive belt snaps or stretches too much it can cause your Land Rover to be rendered undriveable.
Power Steering Issues
Power steering issues due to drive belt issues usually occur when the car goes into limp mode to protect the engine from further damage. This makes it extremely difficult to utilize the vehicle’s steering adequately and can create dangerous conditions to drive under.
Concerning Noises Coming from Engine
The belt doesn’t have to snap or break to seize functioning; it could simply become misaligned or come off its track. However, once this occurs, your engine won’t function, and the problem must be addressed immediately before the belt snaps all together.
The accessory drive belt powers the engine cooling system in your Land Rover. Of course, this affects your engine’s ability to remain a stable, optimal temperature, which can lead to severe engine overheating. Engine overheating is dangerous, as the high temperatures take a toll on other engine components and diminish overall functioning.
Visible Belt Wear
As previously mentioned, it’s normal for a serpentine belt to wear out over time and require replacement. Again, the rate at which this occurs is subjective and individualized, so it’s important to have an automotive specialist keep an eye on its wear over time and recommend replacement as-needed.
How We Can Help
Here at Auto Europa, located in San Francisco, CA, we focus our automotive maintenance and repair efforts on preventive measures that keep problems from occurring or recurring. This saves our clients money and stress in that they know they have a team of professionals on their side to help them keep their vehicles running optimally at an affordable rate. Since 1992 we’ve grown our expertise in Land Rover care and maintenance, making us one of the leading specialists in the area. For more information about our shop, or to schedule a belt inspection, please contact us directly.
Land Rover Discovery 4 image credit goes to: teddyleung.