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Discussion Starter #1
Had some recall work done on my '98 E320 4Matic about two months ago at the dealership. Got a call from them today informing me that my V Belt, or Serpentine Belt, had come in. Apparently while working on my car they noticed the belt was worn and needed to be replaced and had ordered it for me unbeknownst to me. The cost of the belt and installation they tell me is about $100.00.

I did pop the hood today and got a look at it as best as I could and did notice some seperation on one edge of the belt.

What would happen if I let it go and it busted? Would it do any damage to the car if this happens while I'm driving it? If it is just now slightly seperating on the edge, does that me the big snap will be occuring soon? It this something I should not wait on?

The car has 55,000 miles on it.

I would appreciate any thoughts on this.
 

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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,
Greg
 

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How long do these belts usually last? The reason why I ask is because I have about 43K miles and I just had my Harmonic Balancer replaced and according to my dealer that my belts still looks good and shows no signs of cracks or tears.

Greg you had yours replaced at 45K, did yours show any cracks or tears in it? I'm just curious because my friend also had his replaced at 45k and he had some tiny cracks that were visible. Will these cracks start to show on mine when I reach 45K?
 

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There is no hard and fast rule on distance so far as I know. If you live in an extreme climate -- either hot or cold -- the belt will not last as long. My car started life in upstate NY, so it suffered through some cold winters; I bought it right after it's lease so that's how I know when it was replaced. Since our thread starter lives in Utah, where it can get pretty cold as well, you could expect shorter life. There are a few other variables as well (spilling oil on them is not good, for example) but climate is a key.

Now down in the OC where you are, Olivengco, you don't have any extremes, so you can expect your belt to last longer. Since your dealer just did a visual inspection on it, you can rest easy. Inspection is part of the regular A and B services (every 10K) so you can be assured it will be caught. If you take it in as scheduled you don't have to worry about inspecting it yourself.

FYI, the most common way to tell it's reaching the end of it's life is to turn the belt over along one of the straight runs and then bend it so it flexes the "teeth" out. This makes stress cracks (they run perpendicular to the belt teeth) more apparent. Cracks also will appear at joint where the teeth meet the main belt and run longitudinally along that joint. A few cracks here or there is not a big deal, when pieces start falling off (or you have shredding) it's time to change it.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actually, I called the dealer again and the cost is $150 to replace this belt. Still a good deal?
 

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Just bought a belt myself for mine. Cost was $35. I'll just throw it in the trunk for now in case I need it. Will probably change it at 100,000 miles.

Len
'99 E300TD 80,000 miles
 

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Hello ,has anyone got some photos of the correct routing for the serpetine belt on my e240 1999 model.Any help would be of great assistance.
 

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Hello ,has anyone got some photos of the correct routing for the serpetine belt on my e240 1999 model.Any help would be of great assistance.
There is a diagram in your owner's manual.
 

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It's also been posted on this forum several times, and I found it easily enough on my PC, so here it is yet again...
 

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I've replaced mine at 55K and 105K on the E320. I travel back and forth to the bay (160 miles dailey) and would hate to be on the side of the road over a belt. I have the one that I recently took off in the trunk, just in case for some strange reason the new one fails. Got some bulbs back there too, better safe than sorry.

FYI, the belt is about $32 from Autohaus. Good time to check your Idler pulley and belt tensioner too.
 

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I replaced mine few months ago at over 190k/12 years on the car. Belt looks original with lot of small cracks, but still holding. The car originally come from colder states and even in CA summer never warms up above 85C.
Had one MULTI V-Belt breaking on me. Freshly purchased MB from Texas with 320k on odometer. I was still able to drive the car for couple of miles at the time before engine overheated.
So my conclusion is that factors in belt life are
-time
-operating temperatures
while load and mileage is secondary factor.
 
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