What happens if one of the drive belts fail?

Drive belts, once called fan belts or alternator belts, play a vital role in the operation of the engine.

While the engine is running, power is transmitted through one or more drive belts to a number of vital external engine components. Among the systems that depend on drive belts for power are:

  • The alternator, which supplies the entire vehicle with its electrical requirements
  • The power steering pump, which provides power assist to the steering system
  • The water pump which provides coolant flow for cooling

Should a drive belt fail, these systems will cease to function and the steering will immediately become stiff.

A battery warning lamp on the instrument panel immediately alerts the driver about the failure and the vehicle can still be safely driven for a short period of time. There is no warning lamp for the power steering or water pump belt.

If your vehicle is overheating, (indicated by an extremely high temperature gauge reading), pull over to a safe place, and stop the vehicle as soon as possible. Do not continue to drive your vehicle. Doing so could cause engine damage or a vehicle fire. (Consult your Owners Manual “Section 6: ‘If Your Vehicle Overheats’ “) It is recommended that you contact your Nissan Dealership immediately to arrange for the installation of a Genuine Nissan Drive Belt.