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Drive belts are also called auxiliary belts or serpentine belts.

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Want to learn more about Drive Belt replacements?

Read our short guide with information on costs, symptoms and more.

What is an auxiliary drive belt?

The auxiliary drive belt or serpentine belt drives the range of ancillary components used by the vehicle, which can include the alternator, power steering, air conditioning compressor, water pump and still in some rare cases, the cooling fan.

This belt is often mistaken for the timing belt. The essential thing is, if you can see the belt, it's not the timing belt, it's the auxiliary drive belt.

What does a drive belt replacement involve?

As there are a number of different processes that are required for different engines, some or all of the following procedures will apply;

  • Mechanic will check for an unusual noise coming from the engine.
  • Mechanic will inspect the auxiliary drive tensioner and other belt pulleys.
  • If necessary, the mechanic will then replace the serpentine belt tensioner.
  • Mechanic will advise if any other parts need to be replaced, like the auxiliary belt itself.
  • Mechanic will test the auxiliary drive belt system.
  • Mechanic will make any adjustments if necessary.

Can I replace a serpentine belt myself?

Unless you are a qualified mechanic with the required skills, training and equipment to do the job, we strongly recommend an auxiliary drive belt or serpentine belt replacement is only carried out by a professional mechanic. ClickMechanic can help get you a vetted and local mechanic to carry out the work. Just enter your postcode and your car's registration number at the top of this page and select the work needed to get an instant fixed price up front.

What are the signs of a bad serpentine belt?

Typical symptoms of a problematic drive belt include;

  • When there is a squeaking noise coming from the engine bay.
  • When the steering becomes heavy (PAS pump is not being turned).
  • When the battery warning light is on (alternator is not being turned).
  • When the engine temperature light is on (water pump is not being turned).
  • Any combination of the above!

How long will an auxiliary drive belt or serpentine belt replacement take?

An auxiliary drive belt or serpentine belt replacement usually takes under 1 hour, but can take more time. Ultimately, the time that the job will take will depend on a number of factors, like your vehicle's make and model, year, as well as other factors. Select your car at the top of this page for information on job time and cost for your vehicle through ClickMechanic.

How often should engine auxiliary belts be replaced?

Auxiliary belts or serpentine belts will need replacing as per the manufacturer's guidelines. Unfortunately it is one of the most common causes of roadside breakdowns and mechanics are constantly being called out to replace them.

Can I drive with a bad serpentine belt?

If you suspect there is any issue with your serpentine or there are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with a professional mechanic immediate effect and do not drive the vehicle. There is a risk that a bad serpentine belt will snap, ultimately leaving you stranded and potentially causing harm to the engine.

When should drive belt be replaced?

Auxiliary drive belts or serpentine belts should be replaced as per the manufacturer's guidelines, this can vary depending on your vehicle's make and model. Auxiliary drive belts are expected to last several years, and can last as long as 100,000 miles.

If you experience an issue with the auxiliary drive belt and are not sure whether it needs replacing then it is advisable to get help from a professional mechanic. They can identify exactly which part is at fault and advise on next steps.

Can you drive with a broken alternator belt?

If your alternator belt is broken, then do not drive the vehicle as it lead to further engine damage and will leave you stranded. Book with a professional mechanic immediate effect to check the issue and get advise on next steps.

What happens when the auxiliary belt breaks?

If the auxiliary belt breaks the components that are run off the belt will not be able to turn. Depending on your vehicle make and model it can be that alternator is no longer turned, the PAS pump will not be turned, the water pump and air con compressor will not be turned.

How do you know if a pulley is misaligned?

Often a chirping noise can point to a misaligned pulley, however can be tricky to distinguish a misaligned pulley from other related problems like a misaligned belt as the symptoms and accompanying sounds are very similar. If you suspect there is any issue with a pulley or there are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with a professional mechanic as soon as possible, driving the vehicle may lead to further complications or damage.

When should a power steering belt be replaced?

Power steering belts (or serpentine belts) are expected to last several years, and as can last as long as 100,000 miles. Power steering belts are nowadays in most cases not a separate belt, but are known as a serpentine belt which also drives various other ancillary components used by the vehicle. The belt should be replaced as per the manufacturer's guidelines, this can vary depending on your vehicle's make and model.

How do I know if my alternator belt is bad?

Alternator belts (or serpentine belts) are expected to last several years, and as can last as long as 100,000 miles. Alternator belts are nowadays known as a serpentine belt which also drives various other ancillary components used by the vehicle and is not a separate belt. The belt should be replaced as per the manufacturer's guidelines, this can vary depending on your vehicle's make and model.

How do I know if my fan belt is bad?

Fan belts (nowadays alternator are driven by a serpentine belt) are expected to last several years, and as can last as long as 100,000 miles. The belt that drives the alternator nowadays also drives various other ancillary components used by the vehicle and is not a separate belt and is known as a serpentine belt. The belt should be replaced as per the manufacturer's guidelines, this can vary depending on your vehicle's make and model.

How long can you drive with a bad idler pulley?

If you suspect there is any issue with your idley pulley or there are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with a professional mechanic immediate effect and do not drive the vehicle. Driving with a faulty idler pulley is not advisable as it can lead to lead further complications on your vehicle and potentially further damage.

How much does it cost to replace a drive belt?

Cost for an auxiliary drive belt or serpentine belt replacement is on average £80, with prices ranging from £70 to £110. Ultimately, the cost of an auxiliary drive belt replacement depends on your car and what parts your car's manufacturer recommends using for the replacement. Find out what you could save by having your tensioner replaced by ClickMechanic by selecting your car at the top of this page!

Want to know how much you'd pay at a franchise dealer or independent garage?

Check out the ClickMechanic price for a Drive Belt replacement. We use industry standard data & millions of data points so you know what you should be paying

These estimates may include Alternator drive/serpentine belt tensioner, Alternator drive/serpentine belt, Auxiliary drive belt/s, Auxiliary drive belt tensioner, Power steering drive belt/s, Fan drive/serpentine belt tensioner, Power steering drive/serpentine belt tensioner, Power steering drive/serpentine belt idler/guide pulley and/or Fan drive/serpentine belt.

55 manufacturers for Drive Belt Replacement

Name ClickMechanic Click Mechanic average Franchise dealer estimate

Alfa Romeo

£81 £87 - £156 Get exact price

Audi

£97 £95 - £170 Get exact price

Austin

£57 £107 - £109 Get exact price

Bentley

£105 £89 - £144 Get exact price

BMW

£97 £97 - £176 Get exact price

Chevrolet

£74 £81 - £153 Get exact price

Chrysler

£76 £80 - £147 Get exact price

Citroen

£81 £98 - £147 Get exact price

Dacia

£69 £104 - £124 Get exact price

Daewoo

£62 £76 - £121 Get exact price

Daihatsu

£62 £75 - £121 Get exact price

Daimler

£102 £148 - £148 Get exact price

Dodge

£64 £77 - £130 Get exact price

DS

£74 £107 - £125 Get exact price

Fiat

£67 £65 - £140 Get exact price

Ford

£81 £82 - £157 Get exact price

Honda

£108 £97 - £185 Get exact price

Hyundai

£58 £55 - £133 Get exact price

Infiniti

£113 £158 - £158 Get exact price

Isuzu

£51 £59 - £81 Get exact price

Iveco

£90 £106 - £177 Get exact price

Jaguar

£113 £125 - £185 Get exact price

Jeep

£94 £106 - £172 Get exact price

Kia

£66 £58 - £144 Get exact price

Lada

£20 £38 - £38 Get exact price

Land Rover

£93 £89 - £171 Get exact price

LDV

£67 £77 - £127 Get exact price

Lexus

£73 £67 - £140 Get exact price

Lotus

£108 £149 - £149 Get exact price

Maserati

£94 £110 - £126 Get exact price

Mazda

£83 £72 - £170 Get exact price

Mercedes-Benz

£115 £109 - £229 Get exact price

MG

£64 £76 - £137 Get exact price

MINI

£86 £95 - £157 Get exact price

Mitsubishi

£53 £58 - £122 Get exact price

Nissan

£73 £75 - £143 Get exact price

Perodua

£76 £113 - £113 Get exact price

Peugeot

£76 £76 - £145 Get exact price

Peugeot Talbot

£42 £74 - £109 Get exact price

Piaggio

£47 £72 - £98 Get exact price

Porsche

£108 £120 - £190 Get exact price

Proton

£39 £61 - £61 Get exact price

Renault

£86 £106 - £151 Get exact price

Rover

£74 £84 - £163 Get exact price

Saab

£77 £75 - £153 Get exact price

SEAT

£76 £90 - £145 Get exact price

Skoda

£78 £89 - £147 Get exact price

Smart

£64 £69 - £129 Get exact price

Ssangyong

£103 £142 - £176 Get exact price

Subaru

£60 £62 - £123 Get exact price

Suzuki

£68 £83 - £129 Get exact price

Toyota

£79 £72 - £151 Get exact price

Vauxhall

£84 £85 - £152 Get exact price

Volkswagen

£79 £88 - £144 Get exact price

Volvo

£74 £65 - £157 Get exact price

Prices could not be created for 26 models. Show ∨

  • Microcar
  • Metrocab
  • Hummer
  • Reva
  • Asia
  • TVR
  • Ferrari
  • Morgan
  • Buick
  • Lamborghini
  • Pontiac
  • Carbodies
  • Mitsubishi Fuso
  • Moskvich
  • Cadillac
  • Ford US
  • Aixam
  • FSO
  • Maybach
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Santana
  • Tata
  • Great Wall
  • Aston Martin
  • Lancia
  • London Taxi's International

Estimates on repair costs, such as the above results for a drive belt replacement, are created by combining data from multiple third-party sources. The actual cost of using your local repair providers may be outside of the estimated range. We provide estimates on repair costs for information only and accept no liability for any inaccuracies or errors. If you think an estimate is incorrect, please contact us to let us know.

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Recent Drive Belt replacement quotes

These recent quotes were taken from our quote engine which uses third-party industry standard data on repair times, along with a live parts retailer, and a regional labour rate to build an accurate free quote. We are constantly improving our quote engine, so please let us know if a price seems incorrect.

£66.24

Alternator belt replacement

Renault Clio
Horley
£85.51

Fan belt replacement

Audi allroad
Milton Keynes
£68.42

Fan belt replacement

Fiat Scudo
Liverpool
£78.53

Alternator belt replacement

Volkswagen Golf
Wirral