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Belts Maintenance

Broken timing belt

When performing maintenance on your vehicle, it’s a good idea to have your auto mechanic check the condition of your belts to see if they need to be replaced. Making sure belts are in proper working order can help you to avoid breakdowns out in the cold weather. There are two main belts you should be looking at when performing this inspection.

Timing Belt

The timing belt coordinates the movements of the camshaft and the crankshaft. This is an important function because it regulates how much fuel, air, and gas are allowed to pass through the engine. There are two types of timing belts and they cause different types of problems if they break. If an interference timing belt breaks, it can cause the valves and the pistons to collide inside the engine, and the engine will need to be rebuilt. If a non-interference timing belt breaks, only the belt will need to be replaced and the engine will be unaffected.

Timing belts should be replaced as often as the manufacturer recommends to avoid a break. (Check your user’s manual for details on your car.) However, they may need to be replaced more often if wear and tear is visible. This can be seen in the form of cracks or worn spots on the belt itself. Getting chemicals such as oil or antifreeze on the timing belt can also cause it to wear out more quickly. Ask your mechanic to do a visual inspection periodically to catch any problems before the belt breaks.

Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt facilitates the operation of several peripheral devices at once. Some of these devices might include the water pump, the A/C compressor, the power steering pump, or the alternator. Before the serpentine belt was invented in 1985, these devices each had their own belt in order to operate. 

A multi-belt system took up more space and was less efficient. The serpentine belt takes up less space, saves energy and gives better fuel economy than using individual belts. A serpentine belt is also wider than individual belts, which gives it increased tension and reduces slippage. This, in turn, reduces wear and tear, so the devices don’t have to be replaced as often. There are visible indicators, like cracks or worn spots, that will help you to know when your serpentine belt needs to be replaced.

Call Keith Schulz Garage for Help

(541) 414-2035

If you are in need of vehicle repair or maintenance in Medford, Oregon, then we’re your stop! Keith Schulz Garage is the top auto mechanic in the area and our expert technicians will work tirelessly to help keep you on the road.