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Cracks in the rubber like the one in the image are superficial. It's like saying paint cracks mean the wall is unsound.

The serp belt's structure is in the cords of the belt, and such cracks do not affect these cords.

If you start to lose this rubber, it still won't harm the belt structure, but that's when i replace it.
Sound advice. I worked as a ASE certified automotive technician for years at a Ford dealer. Ford actually sent out a TSB stating these cracks were not cause for replacement.
 

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Of course anyone that can profit will recommend replacement at the first sign of a crack or even just at a certain mileage. If you feel better doing so, by all means do it.

Durability of these belts is much better then the V-belts used years ago. In my many years of in the automotive service field, I've seen many cars running happily down the road with not only cracks in the belt but chunks of rubber missing. Of course I wouldn't recommend running it that far, replace it if there is any rubber missing. Most times I've came across a belt failure, it was caused by failure of another part...A/C clutch, idler pulley, water pump, alternator etc. As others have said, the strength of the belt is not in the rubber, but in the fiber belts.
 

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Also since Ford was mentioned on this, here’s their thoughts about the serpentine belt:

View attachment 35060
View attachment 35061
Also since Ford was mentioned on this, here’s their thoughts about the serpentine belt:

View attachment 35060
View attachment 35061
This is an advertisement from a particular Ford dealer trying to drum up business, not from Ford corporate engineers that sent out the TSB years ago, that I refereed too. However, I would agree that the worn belt they show in the pic is due for replacement. The pic of the OP's belt looks nothing like this one and has many good miles left in it.
 
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