What Causes Belt Wear Acceleration? (VIDEO)

What Causes Belt Wear Acceleration? (VIDEO)

Any misalignment in the system can accelerate belt wear. This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

Original equipment and quality aftermarket serpentine belts are engineered to last up to 90,000 miles but some drivers may find their replacement belt doesn’t last as long. They can’t blame the belt – the only reason a quality aftermarket belt may not wear properly is that the system that it is placed into has issues.

Yes, you’re dealing with a system. The belt is part of a vehicle system that has a lot of moving parts and will see different loads depending on the accessory being driven during the operation of the vehicle.

Quite a few serpentine belts are replaced the first time by themselves, usually during a routine visual service check – perhaps during an oil change or other under hood procedure. Sometimes it is because a customer has heard some type of belt noise. If only the belt is being replaced, there can be issues down the road.

Why? The problem, of course, is that the root cause is more than just the serpentine belt.  

Spring-loaded belt tensioners wear at the same rate as the belt – In a quality aftermarket tensioner, the vibrations caused by the engine are absorbed by the damper in the tensioner…the damper acts like a shock absorber…the damper is the part of the tensioner that begins to wear with those vibrations and causes excessive arm movement. This creates belt flutter, an inefficient transfer of power and can cause accessories to underperform and accelerated wear of the newly installed belt.

Idler pulleys and tensioner pulleys have sealed ball bearings and are designed with the same typical service life as the serpentine belt and the tensioner.  Worn-out bearings can cause a number of problems in the system. If the pulley is operating at an abnormal angle it will create excessive wear on one side of the belt. In extreme cases, a seized pulley can break off its mount.   

Any pulley misalignment or misalignment in the system can cause belt chirp and will accelerate belt wear.

Belt materials are more advanced than ever. Some belts are even designed with Aramid-cord construction which reduces noise, vibration, and complaints. But, belts regardless of advanced construction, are still affected by fluid leaks that can cause significant damage.

Petroleum-based fluids will soften belt material, causing the belt to weaken, wear faster and, in some cases, cause belt delamination. Along with oil-based leaks, coolant leaks will cause physical belt damage and can cause the belt to slip on the pulleys.

It’s easy enough to simply replace a belt and get the customer on her way – in fact, belt replacement is one of the simplest jobs in the shop and may be regularly handled by your least-experienced technician. Consider whether that’s the best procedure for your shop. There may be more required than just what meets the eyes – or the ears.

Create a best practice that includes a standardized inspection of the belt drive system and an installation process that each technician, regardless of their experience, should follow.

The most efficient solution for belt drives is the installation of a belt kit that includes a new belt, belt tensioner and idler pulley for the application. Installation of the kit can reduce comebacks, save time by performing the complete belt service at one time and increase sold hours.

This will ensure that each service visit is maximized from the customer and shop’s perspective. Time is the most valuable resource in your shop, whether you are a customer, manager or technician. Following this process each and every service visit will go a long way toward increasing customer satisfaction and profitability.

This video is sponsored by The Group Training Academy.

You May Also Like

Rust and Corrosion Preventive Oil (VIDEO)

Your tools and equipment need to be protected from rust. This video is sponsored by Lubegard.

Welcome to Rustgard, rust and corrosion preventive oil by Lubegard, product overview.

Rust and corrosion can destroy tools and equipment, and it only takes a little moisture to trigger rust. Whether in your garage, shed, or shop, temperature and humidity levels are constantly fluctuating and your tools and equipment need to be protected.

Auto Pros Team Visits Hybrid Shop of The Carolinas

Auto Pros on the Road puts the Babcox team into shops across the USA. This episode is sponsored by Autolite.

2007-2021 Toyota Tundra Strut Replacement (VIDEO)

Follow along the step by step installation process for struts on 2007-2021 Toyota Tundra’s. This video is sponsored by PRT.

AMN Drivetime: MEMA Leaders Chat About The Future

MEMA leaders sat down with Bill Babcox to share a few updates on the realignment of the association announced in November.

Ford F-250 Shock Replacement (VIDEO)

Follow along the step by step installation process of shocks on a Ford F-250. This video is sponsored by PRT.

Other Posts

How Speed, Load and Slip Affect Voltages

Modern, computer-controlled charging systems found on today’s vehicles need proper test procedures – no guesswork allowed.

Engineering Better Belt Systems

You might not be able to see it, but an accessory drive belt is always both speeding up and slowing down.

Creating Parts: The Manufacturing Process (Video)

Creating parts takes many steps worth of work. Sponsored by AP Emissions.

Direct Fit Catalytic Converters Features and Benefits

Four qualities stand out the most when looking at these catalytic converters. Sponsored by AP Emissions.