average life span of serpentine belts ? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-23-2013, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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average life span of serpentine belts ?

Some years ago a failed belt trashed my engine to the tune of $5000.
So now (with a newer 2008 CLK350) I look at it from time to time but it seems to be OK.
Well, eye-balling may not be the best way to forestall damages so the question is:

IS THERE A MILEAGE WHERE A CHANGE IS RECOMMENDED ?

Handbook is silent, so would it be 30,000, 35,000, or later ?? Any thoughts on this, any recommendations, experiences ??

Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 01:25 AM
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It can really depend on climate. Routine visual inspection is a good thing.

I do mine every 5-7 years. I also keep a spare in every vehicle seeing as MB serpentine belts can be hard to find in stock locally because I live in a very rural area.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 03:29 AM
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I'm trying to figure out how a failed belt could have done $5,000 of damage. Unless you let the car overheat.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 03:45 AM
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look at the underside of belt,when cracks appear change it

1999 s320. and 83 300sd quit driving,people make me nervous
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flyboyike View Post
I'm trying to figure out how a failed belt could have done $5,000 of damage. Unless you let the car overheat.
easy......... running along at 50-60, hearing a sudden noise up front, slowing down in traffic, and in 15-30 seconds stopping to investigate , and trouble has been cascading rapidly. This was on a 8 cylinder BMW 503 cabriolet, and all the aluminum and whatever started to warp.
Was a pity, after fixing it sold it for a few thousand, today the car is worth $130,000, one of only 164 ever made. Still in mourning.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 10:41 AM
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easy......... running along at 50-60, hearing a sudden noise up front, slowing down in traffic, and in 15-30 seconds stopping to investigate , and trouble has been cascading rapidly. This was on a 8 cylinder BMW 503 cabriolet, and all the aluminum and whatever started to warp.
Was a pity, after fixing it sold it for a few thousand, today the car is worth $130,000, one of only 164 ever made. Still in mourning.
Interesting.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by nathanD.rector View Post
look at the underside of belt,when cracks appear change it
This is no longer really reliable due to the improved quality and longevity of belts. The problem is that the teeth wear away and may start slipping.

If you go to the gates rubber website, you can order a little gauge and they'll send it to you for free. You place it in the grooves and it shows you the wear. Then you know to replace it.

I recommend changing the idler pulley at the same time. A cheap part, less than the belt, they are usually shot by 80K or so (the belt is usually done by then, too) and when they fail they may cause lots of collateral damage...as well a stranding you.

Good luck.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-24-2013, 10:56 PM
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I don't buy new cars lately, but have good feeling that at least couple of belts I replaced at over 200,000 miles were original.
It is belt quality that counts.
When I was doing serious engine work on W124 with 293,000 miles on it, I decided to replace replace belt as well as the old one could be original. Bought new belt at reputable European indy warehouse near by and put it on. The belt show a string sticking out after 100 miles. I cut it off and ignored. About 200 miles later I hear big noise under the hood and discotheque lighted up my dashboard.
All I found under the hood was a mile of string wrapped around the engine.
Old belt went back.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 01:32 AM
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I recommend changing the idler pulley at the same time. A cheap part, less than the belt, they are usually shot by 80K or so (the belt is usually done by then, too) and when they fail they may cause lots of collateral damage...as well a stranding you.
I just replaced the serpentine belt a few months ago. Based on dealership recommendations, they also replaced the filter pulley, belt tensioner and crankshaft pulley.

At the time the car has 166k miles.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-29-2013, 03:28 AM
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I changed mine at 128,000 miles

1999 s320. and 83 300sd quit driving,people make me nervous
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