Serpentine belts on today’s cars can have over 10 points of contact, creating very complicated drive systems and more opportunities for issues such as pulley misalignment or unwanted noise. Years ago, belts were made with a Neoprene rubber compound that lasted 48-80,000 kilometers before failure or replacement. Today’s serpentine belts are made with an EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) compound and most OEMs recommend serpentine belt inspections around 96,000 kilometers and service around 145,000 kilometers.
If a technician only replaces the belt, the driver may experience issues with a loose tensioner or pulley within just a few weeks or months, and may end up needing to replace the belt a second time due to premature failure. That’s because pulleys, tensioners and serpentine belts are meant to work harmoniously. All three components experience wear and tear at a similar rate so replacing the pulley, tensioner and belt altogether will allow for more enhanced performance. In some cases, even the water pump may need replacement.
Always recommend replacing all components at the same time.
This will not only save time and money for your customers, but future
headaches from comebacks and vehicle downtime.
For instance, worn tensioners can cause belts to slip and therefore glaze, destroying a new belt. Worn parts can also cause slippage on the alternator, prompting a “check engine” light. A pulley with a worn bearing can cause misalignment, leading to wear to the sidewall of the belt and belt noise. A worn belt tensioner damper can also set off false misfire codes.
Dayco offers kits that include all of the parts needed to ensure that the repair job is done correctly the first time. With coverage for millions of light vehicles on the road, Dayco’s serpentine belt kits are engineered to perform in the most demanding environments where safety and productivity are essential.
Changing all front-end components at the same time helps prevent comebacks, reduces noise issues, and enhances overall system performance. And Dayco’s kits make it easier than ever – as well as more affordable – to complete a full front-end accessory drive repair at the same time.
Click here for more information about Dayco’s serpentine belt kits.
FIVE FEAD SYSTEM MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR TECHS
Next time you’re checking a belt, follow these simple tips from Dayco’s Tech Team:
- Check belts, tensioners and pulleys around 96,000 kilometers
- Look closely for belt wear and the difference between a V and a U shaped rib
- Check for noise like squeaks and squeals
- Use a laser alignment tool to ensure proper alignment
- Replace all front-end drive system components together for best performance
Check out our video on troubleshooting serpentine belt maintenance for more.