1. Getting Started - Prepare for the repair
2. Open the Hood - How to pop the hood and prop it open
3. Check Serpentine Belts - Determine the proper amount of 'give'
4. More Info. - Additional thoughts on checking the serpentine belts
The video above shows how to check the serpentine belt on your 2003 Buick Regal - if it gives more than a half inch when pressed, is cracked, frayed or appears shiny, you should change it (or have it changed) immediately. Worn serpentine belt noise in a Regal can indicate impending problems if ignored, while typically being fairly cheap and easy to replace. Depending on your engine, the serpentine belt replacement cost is between $100 and $200. Most vehicles do not need a special serpentine belt tool, but rather a 1/2" breaker bar and a socket on the serpentine belt tensioner to relieve the tension from the belt. Check out our parts page for coupons on new belts for your Regal!
The serpentine belt in your Regal connects your engine to many of the components you use every day such as your air conditioner, battery (via the alternator), power steering and cooling system - a quick look at the serpentine belt diagram outline all of the components feeding from it. Serpentine belt vs timing belt? The timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, thus making sure the pistons and valves are operating in the correct sequence. The timing belt will often drive the water pump too. Since the timing belt is deeper in the engine, it is often much more expensive to replace than the serpentine belt. Not all vehicles have a timing belt (they typically have a timing chain instead), whereas all modern vehicles have a serpentine belt. As such, you may experience a dead battery, difficulty steering, overheating, etc. that might be due to a worn belt, not a faulty component! If your Regal is one of those Buicks that shrieks horrendously when it runs, you likely have a worn belt, bad tensioner or both.
Hans Angermeier is an ASE certified Maintenance and Light Repair Technician and has produced over 100,000 videos showing drivers how to fix things on their cars. He has broad expertise on basic repair procedures covering the majority of cars on the road. Over the past 10 years, Hans has been focused on building CarCareKiosk, which is visited by millions of drivers each month.
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