All of us have those days when we’ve got a bunch of errands to run. Suppose on your day off you need to get gas, pick up some groceries, swing by your ATM and get the kids from school. Now you could make four trips, but that would be a waste of time and money – totally inefficient. Instead, you get organized and hit the ATM first and get some gas next. Then you go to the supermarket and pick up the kids on the way home. Way better use of your time.
Now you may wonder what this has to do with your automotive repairs. Well, back in the day, each of your engine’s accessories, like the alternator and air conditioner, were powered by separate belts. A vehicle might have 5 or 6 belts. These days, vehicles have a single belt to run all the accessories. It’s called the serpentine belt because it snakes around everything, efficiently connecting the accessories – like bundling your errands.
A pulley attached to the vehicle engine’s crank provides the power to turn the serpentine belt. The belt may provide the power for the power steering pump, which makes it easier to steer your vehicle. Next comes the alternator which generates electricity to run the vehicle’s electrical system and charge the battery. On to the air conditioning compressor. This helps make cold air to keep you comfortable all summer long.