Serpentine Belt Rib damage (minor)

subaru
outback

#1

How long can I run the car with a couple inch chunk of one rib damaged? It’s not worn down much at all. No issue with pulley and I’ve driven it for more than 15k miles since I even noticed it. Car has 84K on it and belts are fine except for the missing part of one rib.



One trusted independent mechanic said it’s fine. The dealer (with boat payments in mind) gave me the “oh god, imagine if it breaks during rainy weather…” which happens lots here in the NW, rain that is…and boat payments.



OK to keep going?


#2

This is such an easy and inexpensive and routine item to replace, I just have to wonder why you would bother wondering. There’s a reason its missing a chunk of a rib - whether age or damage of some kind. As such, why not just replace it?


#3

I agree. This is a piece of cake on a Subaru. Everything is right there in the front and easy to work on. Don’t gamble, replace the belt.

Replace BOTH belts.


#4

I’m guessing this is the original belt. Belts can break without warning. It’s time for a new one. It’s probably a $10 part if you stay away from the dealer.


#5

If you don’t mind risking a breakdown and possible additional damage to the vehicle associated with a belt breaking (overheating, killing the battery, etc) then go ahead and see how long it will last. This should not even be an issue, unless you are conducting some sort of experiment on how long a belt will last with a chunk of rib missing from it. Belts are cheap and very, very easy to replace on most Subarus, so why bother trying to make it last as long as possible? It’s not worth the risk in my mind.


#6

It’s not worth the risk. Replace it.


#7

It’s fine–don’t worry about it.

I’m 40 years old, overweight, been smoking since I was 15 and have a family history of heart disease. But I haven’t had a heart attack yet, so I don’t worry.

Replace the belts. For the cost of a couple of tanks of gas, why risk a broken belt while you’re on the 520 bridge?