1993 Saturn Coupe


I had a serpentine belt installed in 2001 and today a mechanic at Sears said I needed a new one. I looked at it and there were minor, hairline like cracks. He said I could wait but needed to repair it asap. I was initially there to replace a dead battery.

I opted to wait and have it checked by my regular mechanic.

What’s up with those Serpentine belts anyway? I use my car for a 4 mile roundtrip to work…not to travel.

Was the Sears guy working me?



While Sears is noted for “overselling” services and for…less than competent…mechanics, what you were told has the ring of truth.

It is not unusual to replace belts every 4 years or so, so the need to replace a belt that is at least 8 years old is not surprising. No matter how few miles you drive each day, rubber components like belts and tires harden and develop cracks just from the process of aging. (Sort of like our faces!)

I suggest that you have your mechanic check the belt as soon as possible unless you relish the possibility of being stranded when the belt snaps.

Thanks for your feedback…very helpful!!!


Belts seem to last a lot longer these days, but I think eight years is starting to be on borrowed time. I’d replace it unless money is really tight and you don’t mind risking a breakdown somewhere.

VDC Driver, What Did You Call Me?

What’s with the comment about" … harden and develop cracks just from the process of aging. (Sort of like our faces!)"?

Maybe I’m aging a bit and maybe my face is getting a little hard and wrinkly, but I don’t have any cracks!

My face “looks like a million dollars,” all green and wrinkly!


My face also looks like a million dollars–after much depreciation.