As we have seen in previous posts, auxiliary drive belt systems are becoming more complex due to the constant evolution of modern vehicles. More and more accessories are associated with this system, becoming more relevant in current engines
This belt should not be confused with the timing belt, which serves a completely different purpose. The auxiliary drive belt’s role is to power a variety of important peripheral components via a system of pulleys driven by the main crankshaft pulley.
Although auxiliary belts do not usually break without first giving many warmings, they can have different faults that are not always easy to diagnose. Keep reading to learn how to discover bad drive belt symptoms and inspect your accessory belt wear.
How to diagnose and inspect your accessory belt wear.
Among the most obvious symptoms of failure, we find the hardening of the power steering or the failure in the battery of our vehicle, to detect signs that the accessory belt begins to wear out or requires the need for its replacement it will always be It is necessary to visually inspect this key component.
Being made of flexible materials, side wall wear is inevitably over time. Therefore, among the signs of wear on the accessory belt we find:
- Wear and loss of material in the ribs of the belt, increasing the space between the ribs.
- A shiny, glazed and/or frayed appearance showing signs of age.
- Abrasion and hardened surface showing a substantial loss of flexibility.
- Belt contamination with oil or coolant due to other vehicle issues.
Although all these potential issues can be easily detected during a routine inspection, every auxiliary belt car has its unique characteristics. For instance, an EPDM belt will not crack like traditional neoprene rubber belts and will need to have the rib valleys inspected with a belt wear gauge. So, take each individual model into consideration.
When should the accessory belt drive system be replaced in your car?
In the auxiliary drive system, all the elements are subject to wear, and this directly influences the performance of the accessory belt, which is the heart of the entire gear.
An auxiliary belt has a very variable useful life depending on the use of the vehicle and its replacement can be due to different factors. The three main common causes for the replacement of the auxiliary drive system are:
- Failure or breakage of the auxiliary belt drive.
- Failure of one of its peripheral elements as tensioner, pulleys, water pump…
- Preventive maintenance of the system.
The accessory belt, tensioners and pulleys must work optimally together, so it is recommended to replace all the components subject to wear simultaneously to guarantee the best long-term performance and extend the useful life of the auxiliary drive system.
Tech Info on how to replace the accessory belt drive system: Auxiliary Drive Kit installation: a step-by-step guide
Dolz Expert Tip: Preventive Maintenance
Each manufacturer lists auxiliary belt replacement intervals in their maintenance manual, and the first step to maximum service life begins by strictly following the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval.
Therefore, from Dolz we always recommend:
- Perform maintenance as scheduled with the vehicle manufacturer and replace components before they wear out and cause further damage to the vehicle.
- Check the warranty sheet provided with the distribution kit; usually available in an e-format with a QR code located on the box.
- Always follow the specifications of the vehicle manufacturer in terms of tightening torques, tension of the belt etc.
- Select exclusively those manufacturers that are ISO9001 certificate, to ensure the highest quality in all components.
With the increase in the useful life of vehicles, these interventions have now become part of regular maintenance. Choosing a trusted manufacturer and distributor will be essential to obtaining the desired result.
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Dolz, your trusted dealer since 1934
With a long history in the aftermarket, Industrias Dolz, with nearly 90 years of experience, provides its customers with the best solutions, offering excellent quality, service, and innovation.
Dolz only uses selected materials for the highest quality in its production. Among the main benefits of our Dolz Kits, we find:
- Increased mechanical efficiency of the engine.
- 100% tested ensuring robustness and reliability.
- OE Quality equivalent.
- High resistance to bending changes providing greater stability.
In addition, in our product offer you will find a wide range than include more than 230 timing belt kits and also the most complete timing chain kits on the market. If you are interested, contact us to obtain personalized advice on how to choose the best option for your replacement.
And remember, all our references are available for workshops and distributors in the different electronic catalogs such as TecDoc and Sofinn.
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