Financing Available - Click here for details

Is the Serpentine Belt and Timing Belt the Same Thing?


The jargon of the inner systems of your vehicles are easy to confuse you unless you've interacted with them for a long time. You must have heard your mechanic talking about belts in your car, but it might be hard for you to differentiate between the various belts that help your car function. The serpentine and timing belts are the two most important belts in a vehicle with different functions. And they may be easily confused, but they are not the same thing.

You can easily see serpentine belts when you open the hood of your car. They are located in the engine block and are made of thin rubber belts that snake around several components around the engine block. They are called serpentine belts because they look like snakes. The main role of serpentine belts is to transport power to important automotive components of your car. It helps in the normal functioning of the alternator, the steering pump and the air conditioners.

Unlike the serpentine belts, the timing belts are located inside the engine, and you cannot merely see them by popping the hood. The timing belt is made of molded polyurethane and has teeth that help in the movement of the engine's crankshaft and the eventual movement of the camshaft.

Between the two, it is easier for you to detect the failure of the serpentine belt than the timing belt. The following are some tell-tale signs of a faulty serpentine belt:

  • Physical wear on the belt: if you look closely at the belt and notice it's wearing out, you must change it.
  • Strange noises: when a serpentine belt fails, it produces strange noises that squeak and squeal from the hood.
  • Failing accessories: when a serpentine belt begins to wear, some accessories in your vehicle will begin to malfunction. Accessories like power steering and air conditioners will begin to fail, indicating the serpentine belt's inefficiency.


Regular check on your car's serpentine belt is crucial to ensure the normal function of your car's accessories. Anytime you hear strange noises, you should visit your mechanic to avoid further damage to your vehicle. If you need a timing belt or serpentine belt repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to All Valley Car Care today!

11541 W Bell Rd STE 107 Surprise, AZ 85378 (623) 243-6206
9550 N 90th St. Bldg. D101 Scottsdale, AZ 85258 (480) 284-5488
1655 W Guadalupe Rd Ste. 101 Gilbert, AZ 85233 (480) 497-4787
21837 N 27th Ave. Ste.1 Phoenix, AZ 85027 (623) 581-9554