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Serpentine Belt Question

1738 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  katieg
My 2006 beetle generator light came on the other day while driving. Turning became hard, and my engine turned off on me a minute after the idiot light came on. Tried to restart it immediatly after, same thing. I waited 15-20 minutes, and drove to the nearest parking lot, keeping everything in the car turned off.

With all of that, I thought the alternator was faulty. However, I took it to VW and they claim the charging system is working fine- nothings wrong with it, and no error codes came back

However, they did say the serpentine belt was loose. I have no idea how loose it is, and I was told by a different VW dealership that the serpentine belt was frayed about 6 months ago. I've been looking up symptoms of a loose serpentine belt, and it includes noises- I never heard any noises coming from my engine.

I have to drive 100+ miles soon and don't want to become stranded or damage my car.
Is having the serpentine belt changed something that could be the fix to the problem? Would a loose serpentine belt really cause the generator to fail? I was under the impression the serpentine belt had to completely break for that to happen. Has something to similar to this happened to anybody else?

Thanks so much for any input!
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Called again, and they changed what they said- said the belt was loose because of the tensioner is worn out and not doing its job properly. Hopefully this will explain my random discharge I experienced the other day! :)
You already have your answer from the phone call, but thought I would chime in because Im in the mood for posting.. :)

Yes it could in short. I was going to mention the tensioner before I read your second post. It essentially keeps the belt tight enough to turn all those heavy pulleys that is has to transfer power through. Its not a hard fix, and it doesnt take very long, so hopefully you don't get charged too much.

If you get someplace and it eventually fails you will still be ok though. The main thing that happens is a dead battery if you drive too long. I once drove for 2 weeks with no serpentine belt as I was waiting for the parts to come in to fix it.

It was no fun since I essentially had manual steering, but it worked. You have to use a battery charger to top up the battery, and you essentially become a really bad electric car, with range limited by your battery life. :\

Also I still have the same car many years later now, and it is fine as my daily driver.
Thanks so much for the reply and the insight!
I ended up getting my serpentine belt and tensioner changed, wasnt too expensive... drove 7 hours with no problems!
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