Drive Belts and their types:
Older vehicles had V-belts or in other words known as multiple belts. If a V-belt works, then the alternator, power steering pump, water pump and the air conditioning compressor also works accordingly. The noise will be a squeaking sound and the reasons will be contamination of fluids or normal wear of belts.
V-belts do not exist today, but they also have had their share of advantages in drive belts. They were short, and did not slip. If one fails, the vehicle does not come to a stop. In recent times, stock of these belts is low, so they will have to be ordered specially. Since the V-belts consist of a series of many belts, if all of them become old, then you will have to change many belts within a short period of time.
2. Serpentine belts
This belt is single, but long enough to drive each engine component. The serpentine belts are the most preferred in new cars and can be considered the benchmark for modern vehicles. The advantages are – there will be less chance of failure in multiple belts of the engine. It is also easy to replace. Similar to advantages, there are two major disadvantages – if the belt gets loose, then multiple accessories will be affected. The total engine will be shut down if the belt undergoes a failure.
When the serpentine belt does not work, from the belt you can hear a chirping, screeching or squeaking sound. Some of the causes can be stripping or wear, cracks, contamination of fluids and tension in the belts. In case of serpentine belts, they have to be changed every 50,000 KMs. If you are driving around with a damaged or worn belt, if you are unfortunate, you may be left stranded in a place having little help options. The more unfortunate is your costs may increase in numbers.
The serpentine belts are kept tight in position by using a tension-er. The force can be set automatically or it can also be set manually. Serpentine belts are required to charge the battery and in case of failure of this belt, any of the electrical components will give a thumbs down. In case of serpentine belts, the high heat emanating from the engine can break the belt into cracks. In case of cracks, the steering wheel will suffer harm and driving will not be smooth.
If you have a car in which water pumps are taken care of by serpentine belts, kindly exercise caution by conducting regular checks. In case of breakage of belts, the coolant and water flow will be improper and the engine will get overheated leading to severe damage. When you are checking for a damaged belt, also inspect the bearings and pulleys.
3. Timing belts
This belt is known by other names, Gilmer belt or a camshaft drive belt. The main component is rubber, and it makes the crankshaft to move the camshaft. The valves are opened and closed along with the pistons. In very recent times, this type of belt has preceded over the metal timing chain. In case of failure, there will be less damage to pistons and valves.
When the timing belt suffers a failure, you can hear a slapping sound in the motor compartment. In case of failure, the car may not work at all. In case of similar situations, there will be serious damage to the pistons and also valves. The causes can be anything from wear, contamination or slipping of fluids.
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