You are currently viewing Why My Car Fan Belt Broke While Driving?

Why My Car Fan Belt Broke While Driving?

  1. Going on a vacation is the best thing ever. It recharges, calms and relaxes us. We all love the feel of a soothing and peaceful atmosphere. But what if it ruins because of our car. My fan belt broke while driving, thus very well aware of this irritating and exhausting situation. Most of us might be aware that the fan belt performs multiple functions, and its failure means almost a breakdown of the car. Hence, our article would guide you to the best of your knowledge so you could deal with the situation anytime.

What Is A Fan Belt?

A fan belt is also known as a serpentine belt, an accessory drive belt or an alternator belt. A serpentine belt is a continuous belt used to drive multiple devices in an automotive engine like the alternator, power, water pump, air pump, etc.Modern vehicles usually have a single serpentine belt that winds around the multiple pulleys to power all the accessory parts. So, you can imagine the failure of the fan belt may lead to the cessation of most of the necessary functions.

Thus, most things stop working as you will lose power steering, the battery will die, the air conditioner stops working, the engine might overheat and many more. Hence, whenever your fan belt broke while driving, follow the possible instruction discussed in the article further.

What Are The Symptoms Of a Bad Serpentine Belt?

Generally, the serpentine belt may last for about five years or, in some cases, six years even. After which the belt needs to be replaced. For proper guidance, one must go through the manual of the vehicle.

Yet, over time, the fan belt fails due to the heat and friction it is subjected to every day and thus needsss replacement. There could be various signs, but the most significant are listed below:

1. Squealing Noise From The Front Of The Wheel

Whenever you notice the unusual squealing noises from the car’s front wheels, a possible cause is the failure of the fan belt. This sound produced is mainly due to belt slippage or misalignment.

The only way to this problem is to consult the professionals and replace them as soon as possible.

2. Power Steering And AC Not Working

The fan belt performs and manages most of the devices in the vehicle, so its failure could result in a significant concern. Thus, it may cause your car almost to break down.

In addition, it may result in loss of power of the steering wheel, the air conditioning may fail, and the engine no longer continues to cool as it must be. So again, prevention is the only cure to this problem.

3. Overheating Of Engine

The fan belt is responsible for cooling the engine while working. Thus, its failure may lead to overheating of the engine because of the water pump’s inability to run the broken belt.

Hence, the broken belt may result in engine overheating, which, if left unaddressedcausesse permanent damage to the engine. And of course, the engine replacement is too expensive.

4. Cracks Or Wear On The Belt

It is better to have a regular check on the physical appearance of the serpentine belt. Check for the cracks, abrasion, rib separation, uneven rib wear, and damaged ribs.

Thus, if you notice or observe such changes on your fan belt, it needs a replacement.

What Happens If The Fan Belt Broke While Driving?

The failure of the fan belt is not often, especially when we are driving. Moreover, it is a very unusual condition because, in most cases, while servicing, its functioning is analysed. Fortunately, this condition never occurred to me, although one should always be ready for it if it happens ever.

As we know, a fan belt controls or drive most of the systems in the car, and its failure is quite an invitation to multiple issues with the vehicle. So, there are various changes or malfunctioning we will observe when a fan belt broke while driving. With the wear or damage of the belt, the engine accessories will fail to fulfil their functions, i.e. It would not spin at the proper speed. A broken serpentine belt may also stop the water pump and hence no circulating coolant within the cooling system. As circulation would not take place, then the overheating of the engine starts.

Consequences Of A Broken Fan Belt:

Here are some of the primary consequences of a broken fan belt. Let’s have a brief intro to them:

  1. A broken fan belt may result in the loss of power of the steering wheel. Thus, you will face a lot of difficulty in turning the steering wheel.
  2. As we know, a broken fan belt may cause water pump failure, and thus, the engine will overheat. But, of course, you would never want such a situation to arise in the middle of some vital journey or drive.
  3. A damaged serpentine belt also causes the cessation of the car’s alternator from generating power. The alternator is responsible for operating the vehicle’s electrical and electronic systems. It also used in the recharging of batteries.

The fan belt should be kept in an excellent working state, as it has a wide variety of functions to perform. We can also notice a fall in the serpentine belt when it not routed correctly or the wrong belt for the vehicle.

Your owner’s manual will guide you to a way better method in replacing the fan belt. It would also recommend the time within which the fan belt must replace.

How Much It Cost To Fix A Broken Fan Belt?

The replacement of the fan belt or serpentine belt is not too much expensive. Its cost ranges between $100 to $200 mostly. The belt cost approximately $25 to $75, and the labour cost lies within the range of $80 to $150.

So, one must make sure to replace the damaged fan belt as quickly as possible to avoid severe consequences or huge damage to the vehicle.

Frequnetly Asked Questions :

So, here are some of the frequnetly Asked Questions about What can cause a fan belt to break? Is it expensive to replace a fan belt? etc?

What Can Cause  Fan Belt To Break?

Serpentine belt problems are caused by one or a combination-
  • Exposure to heat and friction over time.
  • A faulty belt tensioner.
  • Defective bearings in the tensioner, idler pulley, or even in an accessory drive

Can You Drive A Vehicle With  Brooken Fan Belt?

Under no circumstances can you drive a vehicle without a serpentine belt because the serpentine belt serves the important parts of the engine. The serpentine belt drives the water pump, and when the belt is not there, there is no sufficient coolant flow to maintain the engine temperature.

Will A Broken Fan Belt Destroy My Engine?

There is  a broken serpentine belt that will kill your engine immediately,it will  die when your battery goes dead from lack of an alternator, but if your car died immediately when the serpentine belt cut loose ,happened under the hood

How Long Do Car Fan Belts Last?

Serpentine belts should last between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. If you are only putting a few thousand miles annually on your vehicle, don’t use that mileage interval as the sole guide.

Is It Expensive To Replace  A Fan Belt?

But what does a serpentine belt replacement cost? Of course, it depends on your make and model as well as labour costs,   including around $50 for the belt.


We hope you get all your answers and have no more issues with the related topic. Here, the inspection and replacement of the serpentine belt regularly will save you from a dangerous breakdown. So, now whenever you are in a situation where a fan belt snapped while driving, try to deal with the problem calmly, and you’ll find your solution.

If any queries persist related to the topic, comment below, and we’ll surely answer them all.