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Engine Belts: why Run Auto Parts recommends Optibelt

Engine Belts: why Run Auto Parts recommends Optibelt

Optibelt - superior belt technology

Let’s talk about belts. And no, we don’t mean the one you wear around your waist. We’re talking about engine belts, the flexible rubber bands that loop over pulleys to link rotating shafts, transmit power and track movement.

What types of belts are in your vehicle’s engine?

Timing Belt

The timing belt is also known as the cam belt. It’s a toothed belt that connects the crankshaft to the camshaft and keeps them rotating in sync.

The moving parts inside your engine can have little clearance between them, so keeping their timing regular is crucial so they don’t collide. If the timing belt breaks it can cause serious damage to your engine, valves and pistons, and it can leave you with a hefty repair bill.

Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt is also known as the drive belt

The serpentine belt is also known as the drive belt or v-belt in older vehicles, and it derives its name from its ability to weave and wrap itself around various pulleys like a snake. You can identify it because of its long ribbing on one side. 

Drive belts and v-belts were traditionally a series of belts that came off the crankshaft and were connected to their own accessory group. Serpentines belts now replace these in newer vehicles. A serpentine belt is thicker and unifies all the accessories your engine runs, in a belt system. It connects power between accessories such as power steering, alternator, water pump, fan and the air-conditioning compressor.

Why is it important to check and maintenance belts?

Like all moving parts on your vehicle, belts deteriorate over time and require regular checks and maintenance to ensure their reliability.

A timing belt is virtually impossible to ‘check’ for wear and tear because it is not easily accessible and is usually hidden behind the timing cover. Also, it’s extremely difficult to visually determine if it requires replacing. So, it’s best to check the service history as well as the manufacturer's handbook and replace it at the scheduled intervals.

A serpentine belt is easier to check as it’s simple to find. Check for cracks, splits and tension, but also look at the depths of the ribbing to ensure they are not worn. If you have an older model vehicle (pre-1990), there may be multiple drive belts to inspect.

Squealing or speaking can indicate a deteriorating or slipped serpentine belt. Loss of accessory function such as air-conditioning can also be a sign your serpentine belt has failed.

How long do belts in your vehicle last?

It’s always best to check the manufacturer’s guidelines as every vehicle is different.

Timing belts typically need to be replaced every 60,000km - 85,000km but should be replaced every seven years even if you haven’t clocked up the kilometres because rubber can deteriorate over time. Serpentine belts should be replaced at approximately 140,000kms.

Remember that environmental damage – oil dripping onto the belt, driving style, misalignment of pullies, and the quality of materials used to make the belt can have an impact on its lifespan.

What is Optibelt and why we recommend it?

Optibelt is an award-winning, fifth-generation German manufacturing company that is a global leader in the manufacture of high-performance belt drives.

At Run Auto Parts, we stock and recommend Optibelt because of the state-of-the-art technology they use to deliver high-quality products.

Optibelt is also the world’s first ribbed belt with an integrated change indicator making it even easier to know when your belt requires replacing.

Other Optibelt advantages include:

  • High-efficiency products
  • High-temperature resistance thanks to EPDM rubber
  • Service life meets original manufacturer specifications
  • Extreme tensile strength
  • Quality matched to the specific drive

To learn more about Optibelt, visit their website.

Run Auto Parts stocks over 460 Optibelt parts, so you can be sure we’ve got the right part to fit your vehicle. If we don’t have the part you’re after in stock, we’ll order it for you.