When it comes to having your car repaired, you likely have a lot of questions. Eventually you will hear your technician recommend replacing your belt, but why? Have you ever wondered what role your serpentine belt plays on your engine?
The serpentine belt is often referred to as the drive belt. This is because of a group of accessories that make up the ABDS (Accessory Belt Drive System). Essentially, the belt is used to turn, or drive, accessories like the alternator, air conditioning, power steering and alternator compressor, and on certain vehicles the water pump.
You may ask “is my belt at risk of failing” and the answer is that 1-in-5 vehicles on the road today need a new belt. Vehicles should have their drive belt inspected by a professional technician around 100,000 km and typically replaced around 150,000 km, or as advised by the manufacturer.
During the life of a vehicle, you may experience a squealing belt. The belt is not the culprit; a technician will inspect the system for improper tension or misalignment of the tensioner and pulleys. Professional technicians will explain to you that the tensioner is the most important part of the system because the tensioner’s main role is to apply the correct amount of tension on the belt so power is transferred to the accessories like the alternator, air conditioning, and power steering compressor. As the tensioner wears, it loses its ability to properly tension the belt and will greatly affect the entire system.
Being manufactured with the same replacement interval, tensioners should be replaced at the same time as the belt. Here at Gates, we make it easy to be system smart and replace the belt, tensioner and pulley(s) at the same time with an Accessory Component Kit (ACK). This way, you can leave the shop feeling confident because the job was done right the first time.
Click HERE to watch a quick video to better understand the importance of a properly functioning belt and tensioner.
– Guest blog post from Ron Schnaar, Gates Canada, proud supporter of BCCA. If you are a program sponsor and interested in providing us with content for a blog post, please contact us –
[custom_author=Gates Canada Inc.]