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Split alt/pwr steering belt. Normal or damaged?

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Replaced my PS fluid today and during the process had to remove the alternator/power steering belt. In my case it was two belts (see attached image). Is that normal - are some cars this way, or did the middle third just vaporize somehow? I have to replace it anyway because it's falling apart but that leads me to question #2 which is, are the belts from my local AutoZone (I think they said they have a Continental brand in stock) good enough or is it worth going to the dealer for an OEM belt?

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I'm thinking someone got the belts mixed up. I can see "8092" on the AC belt, which google tells me is probably an OEM Subaru belt, that should have 5 ribs, and is for the alternator and power steering pump.


The belt you're asking about looks like it split right in half to me, no idea what happened to the middle, but that thing is f'ed and I'd replace it asap. It looks like it's taking up 4 grooves on the pulleys, like the AC belt should have.


Instead of putting that ac belt where it belongs on the alternator, I'd just buy two new belts. Surprisingly, it looks like both belts are around $20 each from autozone and Subaru. I don't know what's better between the two, I'd have no problem running either one. Looks like there's a mail in rebate for the continental belts, so that might make me lean in their direction.

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