Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: '01-E320 & 02-ST2
Location: John 15:18-19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
RE: "V Belt" as MB calls it or Serpentine Belt
If it breaks, you'll have to be prepared to park IMMEDIATELY as you won't have any power steering, charging system or water circulation. Even if you can stand the first two, the latter will reduce your engine to garbage very quickly. It's possible that if it shreds/strands on you instead of simply snapping, then the pieces whipping around in the engine compartment could catch wiring, etc. and do other damage, but it isn't like a timing belt that will take out major parts with it.
$100 is a fair price for that job, particularly at the dealer. I think the belt is about $50-60 at a discount but if you take it anywhere they'll mark that up, so the dealer is not really gouging you. Seems odd they wouldn't have mentioned it at the time, though. 55K is good life; mine was done about 45K.
Bottom line: particularly since it is showing signs of wear, I'd definitely get it in and get it changed. It's not something you want to wait on, you know Murphy's law, it's going to fail at the absolute worst possible time. [:(]
Take care and enjoy the ride,