One of the most important parts of your automobile is the drive belt. It is part of the drive belt system that is also composed of the drive belt itself, the tensioner, and the belt pulleys.
The accessory drive belt—which is also known as the serpentine belt, multi-vee belt, poly-v belt, and multi-rib belt—is a single belt that's continuous and powers multiple peripheral devices within your automobile. These include the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor, air pump, and so forth.
How to Purchase the Best Accessory Drive Belt
- The Purpose and Lifespan of the Drive Belt: The belt is responsible for kinetic energy transfer from the crankshaft to various car components. Because of the nature of its job, it's also one of the likeliest parts within a drive belt system to fail. In terms of mileage, it tends to wear out within 35,000 to 50,000 miles. If your drive belt is found to be worn down and full of cracks and spots, then you should buy a new one before it snaps altogether.
- Tight Grips and Polyester Cords: When shopping for high-quality drive belts, you should look for the ones with that are made with polyester cords. They ensure a longer lifespan than other serpentine belt types available. It should also be composed of bottom cogs for the sake of getting maximum flexibility and grip for the difficult task of transferring kinetic energy to the crankshaft. Furthermore, look for the belts with a raw edge design because these contain incredible gripping action and have high-tech rubber compounds with superior heat resistance to prevent deterioration by oxidation.
- Comprehensive Belt Update: If you're going to replace your drive belt, you might as well do a comprehensive belt update on your entire drive belt system. This way, you'll end up with not only a new belt but also new gaskets and fresh gasket adhesives applied to the system. By doing multiple replacements in one go, you'll end up with replacement updates that are easier to keep up and will have an even lifespan across the board. Have the mechanic check your other accessory drive belt components as well, from the tensioner to the pulleys.
- Misalignment Protection and Noise Reduction: There are serpentine belts out there with a W-shaped profile that conforms to any slight misalignment, which then prevents potential belt wear-and-tear, noisiness, and breakage. You should also search for drive belts that protect your belt from noisiness and wear-down, like those with noise-resistant aramid fibers embedded on the rubber of the belt to ensure noiseless operation even when running worn or misaligned pulleys. A quieter belt is a longer-lasting one.