Mechanics have different names for the belts running your vehicle. They’re called accessory belts, drive belts, or even just “the belts.”

Older vehicles have belts attached to the power steering unit, air conditioning, and generator. Some modern vehicles have just one massive belt that drives everything.

WITH THE ENGINE OFF, inspect each belt to make sure it’s not cracked or frayed. Grab the belt to see if it’s loose or maybe even ready to break. If the belt moves more than an inch, have your mechanic check to make sure it’s tight enough.

While no one can prevent mechanical breakdowns, replacing a belt before it breaks is the best way to avoid sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.

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