What Are Drive Belts and When Should You Replace Them?

Belt for an engine

Drive Belts Explained

With so many moving parts underneath the hood of your vehicle, it’s understandable that you won’t know what they all do. However, you will eventually want to know more about them so you can keep your vehicle performing the way it was designed to. Another reason you’ll want to learn more about some of your vehicle’s automotive parts is so you can get a better understanding of when they need to be replaced. Some of the parts under the hood of your vehicle, specifically your Drive belts, offer unique and specific functions that help keep your vehicle and some of its critical systems working properly. Keep reading to learn more about what Drive belts do and when you should replace them.

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What Do Drive Belts Do?

There are multiple Drive belts under the hood of your car, with each one controlling different functions. Three types of Drive belts can be found that include a Serpentine belt, Timing Belt and V-Belt. While V-belts are not as common anymore, they can be found in older vehicles. Below, you’ll find more information about what each Drive belt does, so you can get a better understanding of each of these crucial components.

  • Timing Belt – A Timing belt is used to connect your vehicle’s crankshaft to the camshaft. Timing chains have replaced belts in many vehicles.
  • Serpentine Belt – A Serpentine belt helps operate many systems in your vehicle by sending power where needed. These rubber belts are an essential part of your vehicle as they transport power to systems that can include your vehicle’s air conditioning, power steering pump, water pump and alternator.
  • V-Belt – A V-belt is a less common Drive belt that can be found in older vehicles. They are used to power different systems in a vehicle and typically move between one or two engine systems.

What Are Signs of a Bad Drive Belt?

Some of the most common signs of a bad or faulty Drive belt can be found below.

Serpentine Belt:

  • Engine Overheats
  • Power Steering Not Working
  • Visible Damage on Drive Belt
  • Squealing Sound Under Your Hood
  • Malfunctioning Air Conditioning System

Timing Belt:

  • Oil Leaks
  • Misfiring Engine
  • Ticking Noise From the Engine

When Should You Change or Service Your Drive Belts?

A reasonable preventative maintenance schedule recommends that you replace your Drive belts every 100,000 kilometres. They should also be inspected on an annual basis. Please follow your vehicle’s manufacturer schedule.

If you would like to learn even more about Drive belts or if your vehicle needs one, please contact North Edmonton Kia, today, to speak with a knowledgeable service technician. Our service department uses the latest technology and certified OEM parts to ensure that your vehicle gets the quality automotive service it deserves.

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