Drive Belts

What is a drive belt?

Drive belts connect and drive the accessories in the car such as alternators, air conditioning, water pumps, power steering pumps etc. These belts are known by a variety of different names.

Here are some examples:

  • Auxiliary belt

  • V-ribbed belt

  • Double sided v-ribbed belt

  • Serpentine belt

  • Fan belt

  • V belt

How do I choose the correct drive belt??

The correct drive belt for your vehicle often depends on the accessories that the vehicle has. The more accessories that it has (i.e. air conditioning, power steering pumps etc) the longer the belts needs to be to reach and drive it.

Many makers of v-ribbed drive belts use a code to indicate how long it is and how many ribs it has. For example:

  • A belt with the code 6PK2050 is a belt that has 6 ribs and is 2050mm in length

  • A belt with the code 5PK1980 is a belt that has 5 ribs and is 1980mm in length

When searching for the correct replacement drive belt there may be different ones listed for your vehicle. It is important to check which accessories the belt is listed for. If you can compare the code from the old belt that would make the selection easier.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a replacement drive belt:

  • Does the vehicle have air conditioning (manual or automatic air conditioning)

  • Electric or hydraulic power steering

  • Number of ribs required

  • Length of the belt required

  • Vehicle manufacture date (this is not the date the vehicle was registered but the date it was made)

  • Engine number sequence (up to or after as specific number/letter)

  • VIN (chassis number) sequence (up to or after as specific number/letter)

What brand of drive belt should I choose?

Brands such as Bosch and Contitech manufacture drive belts for the original car brands however there are a good number of high quality aftermarket brands of the highest quality that meet or exceed the original specifications. Brands such as Gates, Febi, Blue Print and Borg & Beck offer long warranties which is a good indication of their quality. Which brand you choose is down to your brand name preference and budget.

How can I tell my drive belt needs replacing?

Drive belts should be changed at the intervals recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. If you believe your belt to be failing and need some advice we would always recommend that you have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to receive accurate advice.

Here are some symptoms of a failing drive belt:

  • The belt makes a squeaking or squealing noise

  • The battery light on the dashboard remains lit while the engine is running

  • The air conditioning does not work

  • The power steering does not work (if hydraulic)

  • Smell of burning rubber

  • The belt has cracks or splits in it

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