Drive Belts - When Is The Last Time Your Belts Were Inspected?


in BigBox Service Car Tips

Servicing your car involves a whole lot more than just changing the oils. One thing that should always be inspected and maintained is your car's drive belts. Not every car has the same type of belts but they all play an extremely vital part in keeping your car running.
Let us explain they are and why they're so crucial.

TIMING BELT

The timing belt is a notched rubber belt that allows the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. A timing belt is sometimes called a Gilmer belt or a camshaft drive belt. The camshaft opens and closes the valves in synchronised movement with the engine’s pistons.

If your timing belt breaks, your engine will stop working and may cause major engine damage. That’s why it’s important to have your timing belt regularly inspected as per manufacturer guidelines.  If the belt is loose or has slipped the valves could open at the wrong time and be struck by your engine’s pistons. Warning sounds include a slapping noise coming from your engine. This indicates a slipped belt.

Manufacturers recommend Timing belts should be replaced in line with Manufacturer Recommendations, check your Service book or speak with our Service Department for more information.  

SERPENTINE BELT

Serpentine belts, also known as drive belts, provide power to the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, cooling fan, air injection pump, and more.

If your vehicle’s serpentine belt breaks, all of the engine parts it is powering will stop working and your engine could overheat and be damaged. Big Box Cars technicians look for cracks, wear, and stripping to determine if your serpentine belt is in danger of failing. Like the timing belt, we recommend having your serpentine belt inspected every time you have your vehicle serviced. Warning sounds include a screeching noise coming from your engine, especially during start-ups on cold mornings or on sharp turns.  

BELT TYPES

All power transmission belts are either friction drive or positive drive. Friction drive belts rely on the friction between the belt and pulley to transmit power. They require tension to maintain the right amount of friction. Flat belts are the purest form of friction drive while V-belts have a friction multiplying effect because of wedging action on the pulley.

Positive drive or synchronous belts rely on the engagement of teeth on the belt with grooves on the pulley. There is no slip with this belt except for ratcheting or tooth jumping.

FLAT BELTS​

Modern flat belts are made with reinforced, rubberized fabric that provides strength and high friction levels with the pulley (Fig. 1). This eliminates the need for high tension, lowering shaft and bearing loads. Flat belts can transmit up to 150 hp/in. at speeds exceeding 20,000 fpm.

V-BELTS ​

V-belts are commonly used in industrial applications because of their relative low cost, ease of installation, and wide range of sizes. The V-shape makes it easier to keep fast-moving belts in sheave grooves than it is to keep a flat belt on a pulley. The biggest operational advantage of a V-belt is the wedging action into the sheave groove. This geometry multiplies the low tensioning force to increase friction force on the pulley sidewalls 

CONCLUSION

If you notice any problems with your drive belts or are soon due for timing belt replacement, get in touch with the team at BigBox Service & Tyres.

​​The next time you need to have your vehicle serviced, visit BigBoxCars Service & Tyres and put your mind at ease whilst our professional technicians take the time to ensure your tyres are well-cared for, and that you’ll be traveling smoothly and safely.

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