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Checking belts for wear

Checking belts for wear

Do you hear any squealing sounds from the engine when you drive? These sounds likely mean one or more belts are worn, lose or damaged.

Some vehicles have two drive belts, but most modern vehicles have a single belt, called a serpentine belt. It’s a reinforced, ribbed rubber belt that delivers power to your alternator, air conditioning, power steering, cooling system, and other components in your vehicle. Usually, these belts don’t require maintenance, and will last up to 60,000 kilometres. However, they can develop faults and that is why you should have regular inspections, and have your drive belt replaced if you notice any problems. Get your belts checked every 10,000 kilometres, preferably replacing it every 60,000 kilometres. Townsville Mobile Mechanic does this inspection for you during a service.

Material Loss: Belt wear is just like tyre wear, as you lose grip you lose traction, which makesthe belt slip.

Belt Abrasion: This normally occurs when there is a tensioner or pulley misalignment, excessive heat or bearing failure. Check the belts’ alignment on the pulleys. They should line up straight on the pulleys. If not, you will notice the belt’s edges have been worn down to the filaments inside.

Cracking: This is caused by the belt driving. This will cause sections of the belt to come away. You can detect cracks simply from a visual inspection.

Glazing: Glazing is when the timing belt has a shiny or glossy appearance on the underside, leaving the belt stiff and lacking flexibility. Check your belts for places where the rubber is slick or glazed in appearance. Slick spots can cause a belt to slip and may lead to overheating and cracking.

Pilling: As belts age, the material it loses can build up loosely in the rib cross-sections. This can causebelt noise and excess vibration.

Hydroplaning: This occurs when water cannot be dispersed away from the warn belt and pulleys. The belt then hydroplanes on water between the belt and pulleys, which results in a loss of power to engine accessories.

Elongation: Material loss can also change the effective length of the belt, moving the tensioner beyond its take-up limit. This will reduce overall tension and thus overall performance.

Misalignment: This type of wear will indicate that the tensioner’s internal components may have failed. If the tensioner fails it will result in a high level of noise, vibration and produce excessive heat.

If you have any difficulty with your belt call Sandro Townsville Mobile Mechanic on 0400 401 171.

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