What is the role of a V-belt?
A V-belt transfers power from the crankshaft to the other components of the engine, powering the power steering pump, alternator, air-conditioning compressor, additional air pump and the cooling fluid pump. A lot of systems depend on the V-belt, hence its failure may disable your car altogether.
How is a V-belt changed?
A V-belt can be changed in a number of ways, depending on the car and the technical solutions applied by the manufacturer. Usually, the process requires specialist tools and expertise in handling a particular car model. The best idea is to have it done by a garage.
How do you know that the V-belt is not working properly?
You can tell a defective V-belt by the squeaky sound it produces, while the engine is on, or by inadequate power being transmitted to particular devices, resulting in poorer air-conditioning operation or battery undercharging due to improper operation of the alternator. It is difficult to precisely determine the useful life of a V-belt. One thing for certain, though - if you buy a high-quality belt, it will certainly last longer than a cheap one.
What else to keep in mind?
When changing a V-belt a good idea is to check the condition of the pulleys in terms of the surface wear or convolution, as this type of failures will cause a new belt to wear very quickly, again causing poor operation of your car.