What Is A Serpentine Belt?

ABC Auto Care picture of serpentine beltWe are asked, "what is a serpentine belt"? In the old days, we had separate belts for air condition, power steering, water pump, air pump and alternator. But since they were all in different planes, it took space and designers had to create longer engine bays to accommodate. A serpentine belt works on a single plane thus keeping the overall length of the engine much shorter. The belts serpentine s throughout all the devices, causing only one of those belts to be required instead of the traditionally three or four.