Belts: Buying Guide and FAQs
What Do They Do?
Move all the parts inside your vehicle that must move for it to run properly.
How Many and What Kinds are There?
Three. One is a serpentine belt; it works with crank and idler pulleys and tensioners and moves parts in the alternator, power steering, and several other systems. Another is drive belts (also called V-belts); they work with the crank pulley, passing through and helping move parts in the radiator, water pump, and other systems. The last is a timing belt (or, in newer models, a timing chain). It helps coordinate the movement of the camshaft and crankshaft, keeping auto parts from colliding. (Timing chains do the same thing.)
What are the Signs They're Going Bad?
The serpentine belt: cracking and shallow grooves. The drive or v-belts: excessive looseness or tightness, cracks, squealing, alternator trouble, and an overheating engine. The timing belt or chain: general damage.
When Do You Replace Them?
The serpentine belt: upon inspection every 60,000 miles, every 90,000 miles at most, or if you see the signs mentioned above. The V- or drive belts: if you see the above-mentioned signs. The timing belt: when it presents signs of failure; otherwise, every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. The timing chain (if your model has one): it's unlikely you'll ever need to; timing chains are built to last engines' lifetimes.
For more information and further instructions on changing them, consult your owner's manual. Before you buy replacement belts, however, make sure they're the genuine article.
Why Buy Genuine OEM Belts?
They're guaranteed compatible with the make and model you drive. The same can't always be said for aftermarket fare.
Where Can I Order Belts for My Subaru or Volkswagen?
From our online catalog. Browse it by brand, model, and model year to find what fits more quickly and easily. Buy now, and we'll have them delivered directly to your door in no time.
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