Oil on the drive belt

I went in to get the car looked over for a check engine light. It turns out an easy fix but… I was dumb enough to leave the oil cap off last time I changed the oil. The mechanic said i need to change the drive belts because if they get oil on them they stretch. Is that true? I figured i could spray some cleaner on them and they would be fine. There has been no squeaking but i don’t know how to check the tension. Any help would be appreciated.

Belts Contaminated With Oil Or Coolant Should Be Replaced. Your Mechanic Is Not Fibbing.
How Much Age And How Many Miles On Those Belts, Anyhow ?


The car has 70,000 on it but I think carmax changed them before I got the car @ 55,000, anyhow I will change them its cheap. I just like double checking things a new mechanic tells me because i know so little about cars.

Should i have the engine cleaned also?

A little oil spattered over engine components doesn’t hurt. In fact, that’s the normal condition of many cars on the road today. But a clean engine compartment is a blessing to the mechanic who must make repairs.

You can do this yourself. You will need a spray can of engine degreaser and a garden hose. Follow directions about covering the electrical components and go to work.

Your better off not cleaning the engine. But the belt(s) should be changed. You should clean off the hoses also as the oil will soften the rubber over time. You can use any spray detergent like 409, fantastic or even scrubbing bubbles that you have laying around instead of going to the store and buying something special. Rinse with a wet paper tower or cloth after. Just do the hoses only.

I basically agree with Keith, but I’d pick up an engine cleaner at the parts store. Lots of cleansers now are becoming citrus based because of the “green” agenda, and these can be hard on some plastics. I used to use “Big Orange” as a degreaser on my bike parts, and I’ve seen it dissolve the lining in a plastic cup.