Maintenance Insights for a Power Steering Belt

Although car affordability in Australia has improved over the years, the cost of living has continued to go up. For this reason, the average family works extra hard to afford fuel for one car, let alone two. Therefore, it is essential for new car owners to accord their vehicles the best possible maintenance for durability. For example, it is critical to service the power steering belt (serpentine belt) regularly since the ease of controlling a car hugely depends on the working condition of the belt. Although it is advisable to seek professional help for power steering belt maintenance and repair, acquainting yourself with the basics is worth the time. This article offers maintenance tips for a power steering belt. 

Know its Location -- Most car owners have a hard time locating the power steering belt. It is especially the case since the location of the belt varies from one car model to the other. Therefore, it is essential to know the exact position of the power steering belt in your car. Most new cars models have the belt on the front side of the engine, and the belt has several grooves on it. For older models, the power steering belt is one of the two straps on the engine, but it is not linked to the engine fan. Locating the power steering belt on your vehicle is thus the very first step to proper maintenance of the part.

Regular Checks -- Ideally, car owners prefer to have the serpentine belt checked when visiting a mechanic shop. While there is nothing wrong with having a pair of professional eyes taking a look at the condition of the steering belt, you can do it yourself. It is recommended that you check the belt every time you d oil change to ensure that you keep track of the belt's condition and act accordingly to prevent wear or damage. 

Refer to Handbook for Right Tension -- A power steering belt needs the right tension to stay on the pulleys. If it is slack, it might come out of the pulleys and cause an accident.  On the other hand, if the belt is too tight, it will wear faster. Therefore, it is essential to know the optimal serpentine belt tension. To find out the right tension locate the belt on the engine, pull it away, then let go. Approximate the amount of deflection on the belt then compare it with what is depicted in your car's handbook. If the discrepancy is significant, take the car to your mechanic for accurate adjustment of the steering belt tension using appropriate tools.