Explaining How Systems Work Together

December 17, 2015

For many people, it can be hard to fully comprehend how components of the timing and serpentine system work together. Consumers can struggle with the initial cost of extensive repairs if they don’t understand how systems work and how system replacements save money in the long run. The components of a timing and serpentine system are designed to wear at the same rate, thus requiring replacement at the same time. Gates System Smart Belt Education Display provides a visual representation so customers can better understand their vehicle’s systems.


The tensioner’s internal springs and dampers wear at the same rate as the belt. Pulleys are critical to alignment, and can cause noise, excess heat or belt slippage when worn. Replace these components at the same time as the belt to avoid system failure.


About 90% of timing belt failure is attributed to tensioner or pulley failures. By replacing these components at the same time as the belt, you can prevent major engine damage. In addition, replace timing belt driven water pumps when changing the belt, as a faulty water pump can cause engine-overheating, breakdown and result in costly repairs.

The dual-sided, 3D interactive belt display shows how the individual components of the timing and the serpentine systems work together. The display enables repair shops to educate customers of the importance of total vehicle system maintenance. By helping customers understand how components work and wear in unison, they can make informed decisions regarding total system replacement in order to prevent inconvenient breakdowns and expensive repairs. No consumer wants to be stranded on the side of the road!

System education ties in directly with Gates “Be System Smart” educational initiative, which promotes inspection of the serpentine and timing systems at 60K miles and replacement of worn components at 90K miles, or as advised by the vehicle manufacturer. For more information on this initiative, visit or contact your local Gates representative.

Register to Access Your Resource