January 5, 2016 began like any other day. Having recently returned from a holiday, the Marketing Department was slowly getting back into the workflow mindset. One of our tasks that day was managing requests for our popular Gates Belt Wear Gauge, which is a simple tool used to determine whether a serpentine belt has lost enough material to negatively affect performance and warrant replacement. After downloading the request document, we noticed something very strange… there were over 400 requests and it wasn’t even noon! Our typical day had us receiving a handful of belt wear gauge requests. Now, we were suddenly inundated with hundreds in a few hours. Over the next couple of days the orders kept coming. On January 7 alone we had almost 4000 requests. Our suspicions were immediately aroused. Had our website been hacked? Were most of these requests just spam while a handful were genuine?
To test our theory, we emailed a few of our requesters to ask how they came across our Belt Wear Gauge request form. To our thrilled surprise, these were legitimate requests! They directed us to a recently posted YouTube video by Scotty Kilmer, a mechanic for over 48 years with an impressive YouTube following. He had just posted a video in which he used our belt wear gauge to check his serpentine belts for wear. Included in this video were detailed instructions regarding how to request one of our gauges for free. Mystery = solved. It took us a little while to get our shipping and fulfillment up to speed for the thousands of requests and we appreciated everyone’s patience! In the end, we shipped tens of thousands of gauges and couldn’t be more excited to know that professional technicians, DIYers, shop owners and many others are using our belt wear gauge to check their vehicle’s serpentine belt for wear. Thank you for being proactive in your preventive auto care!