The ability to transport centrifugal motion from one location to another is the task of the Volkswagen drive and serpentine belts. This is their only purpose, and still considered the best way to provide the many accessories that are necessary for an engine to operate with a continuous and reliable power source is via the drive and serpentine belts. The drive and serpentine belts are connected to the harmonic balancer pulley that is mounted to the front of the crankshaft. As the engine turns, rotational power is supplied to it. This is why there is no power to the power steering and other accessories on your Volkswagen when the engine is off. An owner of a vehicle should do a regular inspection of the Volkswagens drive and serpentine belts for any signs of wear that might be occurring. This will give them a level of confidence their vehicle will remain in an operational status when they are on the road. The wear that occurs to the drive and serpentine belts is the same as any type of polymer component. This is from them drying out, cracking or fraying. They do have reinforcement built into them to prolong their life, but in time that will eventual break. Before they break on your Volkswagen, they should be replaced. Remember this is the power system for not only the power steering system but also the coolant and electrical systems. With no power being supplied to these systems by the drive and serpentine belts, the Volkswagen will not operate for long on the road stranding the occupants of the vehicle. This is not a situation that anyone would want and it can be avoided with a weekly inspection under the hood of your vehicle.