Land Rover vehicles are powerful, and therefore require a high level of care as time progresses. Accessory drive belt failure is only one of the many issues that may arise in your Land Rover if ongoing maintenance is not attended to properly, especially if you tend to go a little harder on your car than most. Common scenarios that add strain to the drive belt include: off-roading, frequent stop-and-go traffic, traveling for long distances at a time, or traveling uphill for long periods of time.
Without a functioning accessory drive belt, your Land Rover wouldn’t be able to perform; therefore, it’s essential to make sure you are aware of the importance of the accessory drive belt and stay on top of your maintenance plan. In this article, we’ll go over why the part is so important, how to spot failure, and what you can do about it.
The accessory drive belt: purpose and function
The accessory drive belt is a component of your Land Rover that gives power to the vehicle’s engine and other important systems including:
• The air compressor for air conditioning unit
• The water pump
• The power-steering pump
• And the alternator
Just to name a few. The accessory drive belt, also referred to as the serpentine belt in newer vehicles, delivers power in order to allow your car to move, steer, and cool itself. When the accessory drive belt fails, it’s common to experience a range of symptoms in your Land Rover – all of which are inconvenient for the driving experience.
What causes the accessory drive belt to fail?
Land Rover accessory drive belts are prone to failure for a number of reasons, and in recent years cases of premature wear have reach a spike. The reason for this isn’t totally clear, but one could guess it has something to do with design of the smaller components of the drive belt and their vulnerability to warping under certain engine conditions over time. Here are a few other reasons why an accessory drive belt may wear out quicker than average:
Quality of drive
Commonly driving short distances, in highly congested traffic conditions, driving up mountainous terrain, or transporting heavy materials will add more strain to your accessory drive belt, causing it to wear faster.
Unique driving style
There’s a continuum on which each of our driving habits land; some of us drive fast, some of us drive slow, and some of us drive somewhere in the middle. In this case, accelerating quickly adds unnecessary stress to your drive belt, and driving habits should be monitored.
The process of engineering and executing the perfect vehicle design doesn’t yet exist, as there are thousands of parts and pieces that make a vehicle work properly. Some pieces of the accessory drive belt may not be able to withstand the constant heat of the engine, and warp under these adverse conditions – but don’t feel too special; your Land Rover isn’t unique in this respect.
Symptoms of failure to be aware of
Paying close attention to how your Land Rover performs on a daily basis is a good place to start when it comes to detecting accessory drive belt failure early on. There are certainly a few telltale signs of belt failure:
You may notice that your engine is making weird sounds if the drive belt is misaligned or not in the right position. This can not only lead to drive belt failure, but can seriously diminish your vehicle’s performance in several ways.
If your car is troublesome to handle, or sporadically enters limp mode, it may be an issue of accessory drive belt failure.
There are a number of reasons why engine overheating occurs; however, if the drive belt fails then the water pump has difficulty performing the task of cooling. Ruling out the drive belt as a possible source of overheating is an important first step.
How we can help
The Land Rover experts here at European Motor Cars have attended to accessory drive belt issues for clients efficiently, affordably, and successfully for over 30 years. Residents of Summerlin, Spring Valley, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, NV, trust us with their luxury European imports, and we hope you’ll give us the privilege of attending to your Land Rover’s needs as well. To learn more about our shop or to schedule a diagnostic appointment, please contact us right away.
* Range Rover Evoque image credit goes to: teddyleung.