The serpentine belt was given its name by the way it snakes through several different components. Also known as the multi-vee, or multi-rib belt, the serpantine belt is a single, continuous belt used to drive multiple peripheral devices in your engine, including: alternator, power steering pump, water pump, air conditioner, and others. Without the serpentine belt, there is no way to drive power to any of these components. A Serpentine belt should be replaced if it is fraying, loose, or cracked. Most manufacturers also recommend replacement periodically as preventative maintenance. If you're concerned about your serpentine belt, call The Car Doctor to perform a diagnosis service. When a serpentine belt breaks, all power to the systems it drives will be lost. That means the water pump stops circulating coolant through the engine, the alternator quits producing power, the power steering pump ceases to assist steering, and the air conditioner quits cooling. Continued driving without power to your water pump will result in engine overheating and engine failure requiring costly repairs, possibly even engine replacement. Ignoring serpentine belt replacement has a high safety impact as you will most likely be stranded with no warning when the belt breaks and if your power steering fails, you could lose control of your vehicle. To have your serpentine belt inspected or replaced, schedule an appointment online or call The Car Doctor in Falls Church, VA, today at 703-560-8870.