November 24th, 2014
Written By Guest Blogger Andrew Conkling, Product Research and Application Manager, The Gates Corporation
We have all had to deal with a worn and possibly noisy serpentine belt in the form of a customer’s vehicle or our own. And what is our natural reaction? To just replace the belt and be done with it. But what about the rest of the components in the accessory drive system? Did you know that many of the other components in the accessory drive system actually wear at the same rate as the belt?
A tensioner’s damping spring, pivot bushing, pulley, and bearing are all wear components that can drastically affect the performance of the tensioner. The same can be said about the idler pulleys in the drive. Merely replacing the belt when a worn tensioner or idler pulley is at fault is a surefire way to create comebacks, and angry customers.
So what’s the solution? To Be System Smart by always inspecting all components in the system at 60,000 miles, and replacing all the components by 90,000 miles or at the manufacturer’s recommended replacement interval.
This logic is not limited to the accessory belt drive system either. In fact, cooling systems and timing systems should be approached in the same manner. Always inspect the upper and lower radiator hoses at 60,000 miles, and replace them by 90,000 or when you are servicing the water pump or radiator. Moreover, always purchase a timing component kit instead of just a timing belt whenever possible. This is the best way to protect you and your shop from costly comebacks down the road.
So the next time you need to replace that worn serpentine belt, leaking water pump, or timing belt based on age or mileage, Be System Smart and replace all other components in the system. It might cost slightly more in the short-term, but will surely save you hundreds, if not thousands, in the long-run. And that does not include the customer loyalty and trust you will acquire along the way.