Cart is Empty

Contact Us: 888-MOR-VW38
Mon – Fri 8:00am – 5:00pm, Sat 8:00am - 12:00pm
My Cart

Cart is Empty

What Is A Serpentine Belt And Why Is It Important?

If you have a newer Volkswagen, its engine has a serpentine belt. It's a part that needs replacement every now and then. So it's important for you as a car owner to understand what a serpentine belt is and how it works.

Below, you'll find the most common questions we get about serpentine belts.

What Does A Serpentine Belt Look Like?

A serpentine belt is a long, flat belt that's built in a closed loop. It's made out of reinforced rubber or a synthetic blend. On the outside, the belt is smooth. On the inside, it has grooves so the belt can grip onto the pulleys better.

Where Is The Serpentine Belt Located?

The serpentine belt's location depends on which Volkswagen engine you have. Most commonly, the serpentine belt is located on the front of the engine or on the side.

You'll find the serpentine belt snaked through a set of pulleys. That's why this part is called a serpentine belt. It goes over a pulley that's connected to the crankshaft. It then loops around all of the accessory pulleys, such as:

  • Power steering pump
  • Alternator
  • Air conditioning compressor
  • Water pump

How Does The Serpentine Belt Work?

Image Credit: AutoRepairGuys

The belt's job is to transfer power from the crankshaft to all of the accessory pulleys. When you start up your engine, the crankshaft rotates. The serpentine belt is driven by the crankshaft pulley. So when the crankshaft rotates, the belt rotates too. By doing this, the belt transfers this energy to all of the accessory pulleys. When the accessory pulleys rotate, the accessories receive power.

Why Does My Car Have A Serpentine Belt?

The serpentine belt is important because it operates your Volkswagen engine's accessories. Without the serpentine belt, your car would not function properly. For example:

  • The air conditioning wouldn't work
  • The power steering system wouldn't work
  • Your engine would overheat
  • The alternator wouldn't power the battery, which wouldn't power the vehicle's electrical system

The serpentine belt is a simple, inexpensive part, but it plays a very important part to the functioning of your vehicle.

How Often Should You Change A Serpentine Belt?

You should expect to change your serpentine belt every 60,000-100,000 miles. Serpentine belts may fail early due to a variety of reasons. So it's a good idea to check your serpentine belt every now and then.