How To Be A Car Genius: What’s That Awful Sound?

What is How To Be A Car Genius?

Many of us can admit that when it comes to automotive jargon, we aren’t exactly fluent. Somewhere between fenders and fuel injectors something gets lost in translation. How To Be a Car Genius is the Rosetta Stone of the automotive language you have been looking for.

No matter your level of experience, How To Be a Car Genius is for everyone looking to learn a little more about their vehicle. Whether you are shopping for your first car or you can change a tire faster than Mr. Firestone himself this guide is for you.

You are out and about running errands and having a fine day. You stick your keys in the ignition, start your engine and a suddenly sound that can only be compared to a symphony of chipmunks rings out from under the hood. Your day just went from best to worst in five seconds flat. Take a deep breath, with a little luck the cause of the racket is simply a worn out fan belt.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is the fan belt and what purpose does it serve? To begin you need to know that your fan belt actually has two different names, a radiator fan belt and a serpentine belt. In the past, vehicles had a multitude of belts that performed a number of different jobs for the vehicle’s mechanical system. Today, one belt does the work of many and it is known as the fan or serpentine belt.

So what exactly does does the fan belt do? Your vehicle’s fan belt is looped around a system of pulleys designed to keep the radiator fan turning. By circulating cool air across the engine, the fan belt helps to regulate the engine’s temperature. The fan belt also works to supply power to many other components throughout your vehicle’s engine. If your fan belt gets worn out or stops working properly, your engine can get overheated and your vehicle won’t operate correctly.

How do you know when your vehicle’s fan belt needs replacing? That awful sound you hear when you start your car is the number one indicator your fan belt needs to be replaced. If you start your car’s engine and a terrible squeaking sound rings out, check to make sure all of your gauges and indicator signs appear normal. If all of those check out, let the engine run for a minute and wait to see if the screeching starts to stabilize. After a minute or two has passed, if the sound has not gone away but has settled a bit, you probably have a loose or damaged fan belt.

Another way to check your vehicle’s fan belt is a visual test. Pop the hood of your car and start looking for your fan belt. It will resemble the image below and be looped around several pulleys.



Once you locate the fan belt, look to see if it appears to be loose or damaged in any way. If it appears loose, the tensions level may need to be adjusted with a quick trip to your local service department. If it is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

If you think a fan belt is the source of your problems, bring your vehicle to the Luther Burnsville Volkswagen service center as soon as possible. Click here to schedule an appointment online at your earliest convenience. Our trained technicians will examine your vehicle and get you back on the road in no time.

Remember, this is not a foolproof method to determine if your only problem is a faulty fan belt. It is always best to bring your car into your local service center for a professional second opinion.

Connect with us! Tag us on Instagram at @LutherBurnsvilleVolkswagen and follow us on Twitter @LBVolkswagen. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and keep up with our blog for updates on all things Volkswagen!

Click here to see our inventory of new Volkswagen models and then give us a call at 888-429-6775 to schedule a test drive. Our friendly and professional staff looks forward to helping you with your Volkswagen needs. Conveniently located at 14550 Buck Hill Road, Burnsville, MN, stop by and let our team show you what makes Luther Burnsville Volkswagen the Best Import Car Dealership

We proudly serve Burnsville, Savage, Apple Valley, Bloomington, Rosemount, Lakeville, Prior Lake, Farmington, Inver Grove, Eden Prairie and Eagan.

Luther Burnsville Volkswagen | 888-429-6775 | 14550 Buck Hill Road, Burnsville, MN