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Accessory Belt Drive System
Heavy-Duty Belt Drive System
Passenger Cars and Light Trucks
Q. What is a solution kit?
A. All of our solution kits are a direct result of extensive field research coupled with superior engineering efforts. While the contents of each solution kit will vary from application to application, each kit will include all components required to repair common problems with certain vehicles while improving the Original Equipment design. From belt jump off to chronic belt noise, Gates is a leader in specially engineered solutions to improve the reliability of your vehicle.
Q. What solution kits do you offer?
A. See all of our solution kits here.
Q. Can I look up parts for my vehicle by VIN?
A. Absolutely! Our industry leading VIN Decoder can be found here. You may also download the free mobile app NaviGates, which allows users to scan vehicle VINs using a smartphone.
Accessory Belt Drive System
Q. I removed my alternator and am trying to remove the original decoupler pulley, but none of the tools in the Gates 91024 ADP Tool Kit seem to fit. The 91024-1 (H22 x 33t) fits perfectly on the inner part of the pulley.
A. We do not have specific information on which tool is required to hold the rotor shaft stationary when removing the decoupler pulley. The reason is that there are numerous different OE alternator manufacturers, and each may utilize slightly different internal component designs. Therefore, it is impossible to know exactly which tool to use to hold the rotor shaft stationary on every single alternator. That being said, our ADP Tool Kit provides many different options to hold the alternator internal rotor stationary.
Q. I’m trying to find a solution to an issue I’ve recently started having. I have a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix GT with the 3.8L (non-supercharged) motor. Every time it rains the belt gets wet and slips off. I’ve tried everything to figure out how to prevent this from happening. I’ve replaced the belt and tensioner. I’ve also checked the other pulleys for issues and found nothing. I’ve taken the car to a couple technicians and the local dealership and none of them seem to have an answer. The car is in great shape and runs really good for its age and mileage. This is the only issue I have and it’s driving me nuts not being able to fix it.
A. One of the first things to look at is the belt length; ensuring proper belt length will also determine if proper tension is being applied. The tensioner assembly has a working range indicator, which means you will be able to verify the markings are within the tensioner's operating parameters. This application had an early and late design and the belt lengths are different. The next area to analyze will be alignment within the drive. Your application also has two back side pulleys adjacent to one another - this is not a common practice and proper alignment is critical. Please reference this video for helpful tips and tricks on diagnosing belt noise.
Q: What is a timing belt?
Q. Can you tell me how often I need to change the serpentine belt? I have a Mazda Speed3 that I drive aggressively and wondered how often I need to replace it. I have 70K on it now.
A. In ideal situations you are beginning to approach the recommended replacement interval. We recommending inspecting all serpentine drive system components, timing system components, and cooling system components at 60,000 miles, and replacing them by 90,000 miles or at the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval. Heat and contaminants are the top two factors that will greatly diminish belt (and hose) life. Your belt could easily be inspected with the use of a belt wear gauge or our intuitive belt wear app called PIC Gauge. Please reference this link for further information on PIC Gauge.
Q. Can I use a belt that is close to the correct size, but not the exact size?
A. The answer is not very simple; however, the best answer would be no. Knowing whether you have a manual tensioner versus an automatic tensioner is critical information as well as the type of belt used in the system. V-Belt versus Micro-V: The belt we have listed for an application is sized specific for that application. Any altering of the belt size in the drive system can lead to noise, premature wear and possible system damage. If you are unsure please contact the Gates Technical Department at 303-744-5651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Can I use your belt on an aircraft?
A. NO! Be Safe! We have not in the past, nor do we currently, recommend use of our products on aircraft applications. Our belts and hoses are not designed, manufactured, or tested for use on aircraft applications.
Q. Do you offer Stretch Fit belts and the tools to install them?
A. Yes, we do. Stretch fit belts will always have a SF at the end of the part number and generally will need a tool for installation. Installation instructions can be found on the inside of the belt sleeve and will be for the specific application. More information on stretch fit belts can be found here. These belts are highly engineered to match the OE exactly and utilize our patented TwistLock™ cord technology. This technology produces a belt that self-tensions on the drive and maintains proper tension throughout its life. Additionally, a stretch fit belt generally will not have a tensioner in the drive. Therefore, while a stretch fit belt may look similar to a standard Micro V belt, they are NOT the same and cannot be interchanged.
Q: What is an automatic belt tensioner?
A: An automatic belt tensioner is a metal, spring-loaded device that attaches to the engine. The benefit of an automatic belt tensioner is that it will maintain proper tension throughout the life of the belt, no adjustment is necessary.
Q. I found an automatic tensioner that looks the same as the one that needs to be replaced. Can I use it?
A. We do not condone matching tensioners by "looks." There are critical components within the tensioner that make it work properly in the drive system. You may find a tensioner that may physically look close, however the internal workings of the tensioner could be vastly different. Bearing design, damping mechanism, and spring rates are examples of components that are critical to the performance of the tensioner. All of these components are matched to the OE part and designed for a specific drive system.
Q. Do you have a picture of a specific part?
A. We have photos available within the parts lookup feature on our website. Enter your application information or part number and select the part number (twice). Alternatively, all product images can be found using our mobile app, NaviGates.
Q. Do you have a routing diagram for my vehicle?
A. Yes. Use our parts locator feature on our website, enter your application information, and click on the camera icon on the results screen. Alternatively, all belt and cooling system routing diagrams can be found using our mobile app, NaviGates.
Q. I just put a new serpentine belt on and it squeals – why?
A. The cause of belt noise is often difficult to determine; however, the key issues to be aware of are improper tension and improper alignment. Gates developed a handy video that can help you diagnose drive belt noise using a simple, yet effective spray bottle test. View this video to learn more.
Q: What is an accessory drive belt?
A: Belts come in two different types: the traditional V-belt and the serpentine belt, but almost all cars today utilize serpentine belts. Although the exact manufacturing process may vary from product to product, an accessory drive belt (sometimes called a fan belt, drive belt or serpentine belt) is generally made by sandwiching high strength tensile cords between multiple layers of specially formulated rubber compounds. We use only the highest quality rubber compounds and materials available, and the specific formula for combining all these elements is a highly technical and skilled process. The key to remember is that each drive belt is matched to the pulleys for a specific drive, so you cannot replace the belt with any old belt off the shelf. It is imperative to use the belt designed for your specific application.
Q: What causes an automotive belt to wear out and what happens when it does?
A: As a belt wears, it will no longer be able to efficiently transmit power to the accessories. Over time, even the best belt can break due to to high under hood temperatures and the constant bending as the belt travels around different components. Additionally, failure of other engine components can also cause your belt to break. When this happens, your car’s accessories stop working and serious damage to your engine may occur if the engine is not shut off immediately.
Q: How often should my belt, tensioner, and pulleys be checked?
A: We recommend inspecting all components in the timing system, the serpentine system, and the cooling system at 60,000 miles, and replacing these components by 90,000 miles or at the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval. Learn more here.
A timing belt is a flat rubber belt with teeth. The belt maintains synchronization between the crankshaft and camshafts to ensure smooth and efficient operation. Additionally, timing belts are used in two types of engines: interference and free-running.
Q: What’s the difference between interference and free-running engines?
If synchronization between the crankshaft and camshafts is lost in an interference engine, extensive damage may occur to valves, pistons, and/or heads. Alternatively, if this synchronization is lost in a free-running engine, it is highly unlikely that internal engine damage will occur.
Q: Do all cars have timing belts?
No, some use a timing chain. However, timing belts are lighter, quieter, and more efficient — plus they are easier to install. Please reference our interactive electronic catalog web site
to find out if your vehicle has a timing belt, and whether it contains an interference or free-running engine.
Q: What happens when a timing belt breaks?
Your engine stops — instantly. Once this occurs, all accessories stop functioning as well. This may result in a dangerous situation as you will most likely lose all steering assist and hydraulic/vacuum assist to your braking system. Additionally, engine components may have sustained severe damage.
Q: How can I avoid a broken timing belt?
We recommend having a professional technician inspect all timing system components, in addition to all serpentine system and cooling system components, by 60,000 miles, and replacing them by 90,000 miles or at the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval. And remember, under no circumstances should you ever exceed your vehicle’s specified replacement interval.
Q: What are some causes of premature timing belt failure?
Common causes of premature timing belt failure include improper tension, contamination, and component failure (i.e. the water pump, tensioner, and/or idlers). Remember, a timing belt may appear to be in good condition but might actually be on the verge of failing. Additionally, external factors such as stop-and-go driving and towing may adversely affect the overall life of the belt and bearings in the timing belt system.
Q: Are there any sounds or timing belt symptoms I should be listening for?
Any unusual noises emitting from the front of the engine should be cause for concern. Have your professional technician inspect any unusual sounds immediately.
Q: Are timing belts difficult to replace?
Replacing a timing belt is a highly specialized process and should only be performed by a professional technician. Additionally, while some belts may look alike, they definitely are not interchangeable. It’s extremely important to use the correct belt for your vehicle. Moreover, Gates recommends system wide replacement, not just the belt. Be sure to have your professional technician replace all other components in the system such as the water pump, tensioner, and any idler pulleys. All of these components are consumable and wear at the same rate as the belt. Remember, the timing belt’s sole job is to transmit power and if one of the other components in the system is failing, the belt may prematurely fail as well, even if it is new.
Q. How long will my timing belt last?
Gates, the Global leader in timing belts, is confident that we build the highest quality timing belts in the industry, and our belts are built to match the original equipment. However, the real answer lies within the drive system. It is not always the belt you have to worry about; other components such as the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys and water pump could be on the verge of failing. Therefore, we always recommend inspecting all components in the timing system, serpentine system, and cooling system at 60,000 miles, and replacing them by 90,000 miles or at the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval.
Q. Are all HSN (Highly Saturated Nitrile) belts the same?
No. Timing Belts are unique to each application and therefore require different materials. Timing belt materials are selected by the vehicle manufacturer and depend on the individual drive. In some cases, standard materials are selected as they provide sufficient durability. However, as engines have become more powerful and belt replacement intervals have increased, special materials became necessary. There are three to four components that make up a timing belt. The tooth side cover (jacket), the tensile members (cords), rubber compounds, and sometimes a top (backside) fabric. Gates takes all the guesswork out of choosing the proper materials. All the timing belts made for the aftermarket have been designed to match the OE exactly. Therefore, you should only use the recommended belt for your vehicle. Remember, you cannot match timing belts by dimensions, tooth count, or tooth profiles for this reason.
Q. Can I clean and reuse a timing belt that has been contaminated?
NO! You should never attempt to clean and reuse a contaminated belt. Contaminants like oil, antifreeze, power steering fluid and fuel can quickly break down the chemical composition of the belt. This also includes weakening the adhesion layers of the belt. You should always replace a contaminated belt with a new belt after identifying and repairing the source of the contamination.
Q. Do you have a Timing Belt 1 or 2 teeth shorter?
All of our Timing Belts are built for a specific application. Construction is dependent on the OE belt and the individual drive system. We DO NOT recommend trying to find a belt shorter for a specific application. The potential for catastrophic engine damage is great; therefore, we can only recommend using the specific belt we have identified for each application.
Q: How do I know if a water pump is failing?
A: Often times, the water pump will start to “weep” or start leaking coolant once it begins to fail. Therefore, continually check for coolant leaks from the engine and listen for any unusual noises from the front of the engine. If you see coolant leaking or hear unusual noises, have a professional technician inspect your car immediately. Serious engine complications may occur if a faulty water pump is left unchecked. Additionally, Gates always recommends having the water pump inspected and replaced with the replacement of your timing belt.
Q: Where are my engine coolant hoses located?
A: Coolant hoses are located in several places around your vehicle. The upper radiator coolant hose delivers hot engine coolant from the engine to the radiator. Coolant then circulates through the radiator, and then exits out the lower radiator hose, which returns coolant to the engine. On some engines, a bypass hose circulates coolant through the engine when the thermostat is closed. Heater hoses carry coolant between the engine and the heater core. Cooling system design may vary drastically from one vehicle to another, and as a result, many vehicles will employ a number of other coolant hoses for various reasons.
Q: How often should my coolant hoses be checked?
A: We recommend inspecting all your coolant hoses, along with all other belt drive components, at 60,000 miles, and replacing them by 90,000 or at the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval. If your coolant hoses need replacement, your professional technician can do it at the same time he’s flushing the vehicle’s cooling system. Learn more about these replacement intervals here.
Q: How do I know if one of my hoses needs replacement?
A: First, look on the outside of your hose — if you see any cracks, cuts, abrasions or bulges, the hose needs to be replaced. You can also feel the hose (make sure the engine is turned off and cool) — if it feels excessively soft and mushy or hard and brittle, especially at the ends by the clamps, ask your technician to inspect it immediately. You could be feeling the most common cause of wear: Electrochemical Degradation (ECD).
Q: What is electrochemical degradation?
A: ECD is one of the most common causes of hose wear, but is much more difficult to diagnose because you can’t see it—the hose breaks down from the inside out. ECD has become an increasingly common occurrence due to the fact that today’s engine components are produced using a wide variety of metals. As a result, an electrical charge may be created as dirty antifreeze continuously comes into contact with this conglomerate of different metals. Eventually, this electrical charge will discharge into the cooling system and attack the coolant hoses from the inside out. As a result, the hoses begin to break down layer by layer, compromising the integrity of the hoses until they ultimately fail.
Q: How often should I have my cooling system checked?
A: We recommend inspecting all components in the timing system, cooling system, and serpentine system at 60,000 miles, and replacing the components by 90,000 miles or at the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval. Coolant (antifreeze) protects your engine from freezing or overheating, but over time it can degrade. It’s also extremely caustic. If left in the radiator too long, it will begin to corrode the metal and cause a leak because the additives in the coolant have broken down. It’s important to keep your engine clean by removing rust and scale, and preventing it from corrosion, wear and ECD — have your technician flush and fill the coolant per your vehicle’s recommended schedule.
Q. How do I know when a SB Clamp is at the proper tension?
A. PowerGrip SB clamps are designed to be installed using a heat gun, which reduces the diameter of the clamp. The highest clamping force is achieved by heating at 300° F, although in practice this temperature is almost never used because application times are faster using higher temperature air. That being said, Gates does not recommend installing these clamps with temperatures in excess of 900° F.
Remember, heat transfer is critical, meaning you need heat and air flow to properly install the clamp. Therefore, please reference the following tips when installing our SB Clamps:
• Do not install the clamp past the top of the pipe/fitting bead, and never install the clamp on an unsupported section of hose past the end of the stem.
• Move the heat gun around the surface of the clamp so that the most uniform heating is achieved without melting in one spot.
• Remember, the clamp will equalize from cooling system temperature while in service.
• The surface of the clamp should appear glossy and wet when heating.
• Bubbles, blisters, and holes indicate too much heat has been applied and the clamp should be replaced.
• Test the clamp for tightness on the hose after the clamp has cooled by attempting to rotate the clamp on the hose. If you can rotate the clamp, it is not tight enough and further heating is required.
Q. Can Coolant Hoses be used for the transfer of fuel or oil?
A. No. The inner liner of our coolant hoses is not designed for the transfer of any fluid other than antifreeze. Any contact with other fluids will cause severe deterioration of the hose and will destroy it from the inside out. Please reference our Master Products Catalog for the appropriate hose to use with each fluid type.
Q. Can Coolant Hoses be used for the transfer of brake fluid?
A. Yes and no. Gates Safety Stripe Coolant Hose may be used for the transfer of brake fluid, but only on gravity-fed applications. In terms of automotive use, this equates to the feed hose from the fluid reservoir to the master cylinder. Gates does not recommend using any coolant hose for the transfer of any pressurized brake fluid!
Q. Should I flush the cooling system when doing a water pump replacement?
A. YES! Always flush the cooling system prior to replacing the water pump. Contaminants in the cooling system can clog the radiator and heater core, which will lead to leaks and overheating issues. Furthermore, contaminants can adversely affect the seals and bearings in a water pump, and may cause premature water pump failure. Over time, coolant additives will break down and lose their ability to protect the components in the cooling system. This can lead to corrosion and contamination in the system. Always abide by the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance interval outlined in your owner’s manual. Remember to always thoroughly flush the cooling system when servicing any component in the system.
Q. What do you mean by “flushing” the cooling system? Isn’t it sufficient to just drain the coolant and run some water through the system?
A. No. Merely draining and refilling the cooling system or running a hose through it does not effectively flush the system. A special tool needs to be used to adequately flush the system. Additionally, the system must be flushed in three separate sections. The radiator, heater core and engine must each be flushed independently to ensure the system has been properly flushed. Gates PowerClean® Flush Tool is the perfect way to efficiently and effectively flush your cooling system.
Q. Does it matter what type of coolant I use in my system?
A. Yes, it definitely does matter. Each manufacturer develops or selects a specific coolant based on the design and specifications of the vehicle’s cooling system. There are four main types of coolant used in today’s vehicles:
• Inorganic additive technology (IAT)
• Organic acid technology (OAT)
• Hybrid organic acid technology (HOAT)
• Phosphate hybrid organic acid technology (PHOAT)
Each coolant is designed to work differently and each OEM requires a vehicle specific coolant additive technology that is compatible with the components in that specific cooling system. If a coolant other than the recommended is used, material compatibility issues may result. Additionally, if the wrong coolant is used to “top off” the system, the original rust and corrosion inhibitors will be detrimentally affected. This can lead to a buildup of corrosion that can cause damage and unsuspected leaks in the cooling system. Remember; always replace your vehicle’s coolant with the manufacturer’s recommend coolant. Moreover, never choose a coolant based on the existing color; most manufacturers add their own dye color to their coolant and it is not standardized among OEM’s. The best way to determine which coolant to use is to refer to your owner’s manual.
Q. Is it necessary to use sealant on water pump gaskets?
Sealant is not required, but can be a good idea on certain applications. It is not necessary to use any sealant on vehicles utilizing a metal gasket. However, if the vehicle utilizes a paper water pump gasket, it is recommended to use a moderate amount of sealant. The key is to not use too much as excess sealant can enter the cooling system and contaminate it. In any case, make sure the sealing surfaces are free from dirt, debris, coolant, and any old gasket material before installing a new water pump and gasket.
Q. Do Gates water pumps come with a gasket or O-ring?
Yes. Learn more about our water pumps here.
Q. What is the difference between Barricade Carburetion and Fuel Injection Hose?
A. Barricade Carburetion Hose is a low-permeation fuel hose for carbureted engines, PCV and EEC systems, and for fuel return hose on fuel injected systems. Carburetion Fuel Hose is intended for use on low pressure applications, and has a working pressure of 35-50 PSI depending on the inside diameter of the hose.
Alternatively, Barricade Fuel Injection Hose is a low-permeation fuel hose for use on all fuel systems, including fuel injection. With a working pressure of 225 PSI, Barricade Fuel Injection Hose is the perfect solution for all your fuel injection hose needs.
Both hoses are highly engineered and designed to work with gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel (including SME, RME and PME), methanol, ethanol, ethanol extended gasoline, and gasohol fuels. Additionally, both Barricade Carburetion and Barricade Fuel Injection hose are EPA and CARB certified. Additionally, we have a full line of Coast Guard approved Barricade Fuel Line for all your marine fuel hose needs.
Q. Can Gates Fuel Line be submerged in fuel?
A. Only our Submersible Fuel Line Hose can be submerged. Do not use Submersible Fuel Line anywhere but in the fuel tank.
Fleet and Heavy-Duty
Q. Can I look up a Heavy-Duty truck by VIN number for parts?
A. Yes, you can look up any vehicle by using our VIN Decoder. This will allow you to correctly identify the application you are working on as well. Once the decoder decodes the VIN number it will bring up any parts that we have applied to that specific vehicle.
Heavy-Duty Accessory Belt Drive System
Q. Why when I order a specific part number denoted on your belt do I only get a single "V" belt when I need four "V" belts tied together?
A. To obtain the correct PowerBand belt when multiple "V's" are required, place the requested number of strands in front of the initial part number with a forward slash. Example:
• Single Belt Number - 3VX450
• PowerBand With Four Belts Banded Together - 4/3VX450
Q. I found an automatic tensioner that looks the same as the one that needs to be replaced. Can I use it?
A. We do not condone matching tensioners by "looks." You may find a tensioner that may physically look close, however the internal workings of the tensioner could be vastly different. There are critical components within the tensioner that make it work properly in the drive system. Bearing design, damping mechanism, and spring rates are examples of components that are critical to the performance of the tensioner. All of these components are matched to OE parts and designed to outperform the OE tensioner that came off a specific drive system.
Q. I have the OE belt part numbers for our refrigeration fleet. How can I find the Gates part number?
A. Refer to our Common Refrigeration Unit Part Numbers Guide which can be found here: Common Refrigeration Unit Part Numbers
Agricultural and Grounds Maintenance Products
Q. Are all BladeRunner belts built the same?
A: No, all BladeRunner belts are NOT built the same. BladeRunner belts are built to match the OE design exactly. Because of this, BladeRunner belts are not interchangeable. We DO NOT recommend attempting to size a belt for an application. Alternatively, you should match the application to the belt through either an OE part number interchange or by application.
Q: Can Gasoline Diesel Fuel be used in hydraulic Hose?
A: No, the tube material used in most hydraulic hose is not compatible with fuels. Use RLA, LOC and C5D hoses. The chemical resistance tables beginning on page C57 of the 2014 Gates Automotive Hydraulic and Fleet Hose Products catalog should be used to verify the proper hose is selected for the fluid being used.
Q: Can MegaCrimp Couplings (G25 series) be installed on High Pressure hydraulic hose?
A: MegaCrimp couplings can be crimped on high pressure Wire Braid Hose. Mega Crimp is not designed for Spiral hose. GlobalSpiral couplings are recommended for Spiral hose.
Q: How do I identify threads types for hydraulic coupling?
A: Use Pocked Thread Identification Kit which has very easy to follow directions, page C26 in the Gates 2014 Automotive Hydraulic and Fleet Hose Products Catalog. Drawings and dimensional info can also be found in the Hose/CPLG Selection section of the catalog.
Q: What lengths of Hose are offered?
A: The hose lengths are located in The Gates 2014 Automotive Hydraulic & Fleet Hose Products Catalog.
Q: Why the lower temperature requirement for water, water/oil emulsion and water /glycol solutions?
A: There are four reasons:
1. Potential for steam (permeation)
2. Heat of pump because of the viscous Ethylene Glycol
3. Formation of O2 bubbles
4. Hot water leaches out elastomers
Hydraulic Crimpers and Equipment
Q. How do I identify crimp data and settings?
A. e-Crimp is a great resource.
Q. Why doesn't your belt fit like the one I took off my snowmobile?
A. Our line of G-Force recreational belts are Exact OE replacement belts. Therefore, if you were previously using an alternate aftermarket belt, adjusting the clutches back to the stock setup may be required for proper fit and performance.
Still don't see the answer that you need? Email the Gates customers service team here.