What Is the Difference Between the Serpentine Belt/Drive Belt Versus the Timing Belt?

Your vehicle has hundreds and thousands of parts, so it can become a little confusing for the average driver to keep track of it all beyond the brakes, tires, and engine. Our customers tend to have questions regarding their vehicle’s belts and how to differentiate the rubber components. There are two main belts that we will discuss in this blog today – the serpentine belt (drive belt) and the timing belt.

Timing Belt

The timing belt is a belt located inside the engine, and it is responsible for keeping the crankshaft and camshaft in sync. The belt has horizontal ridges that perfect the engine’s timing. Over time, the belt can wear out and even break if you don’t catch it in time. You should always replace the belt before it breaks or slips to avoid engine damage. Furthermore, timing chains have replaced timing belts in many modern vehicles.

Serpentine Belt

The serpentine/drive belt is different from the timing belt. It is located on the outside of the engine and is in charge of transferring power to various systems throughout the car. It loops around multiple pulleys and powers the alternator, AC compressor, water pump, steering pump, and more. It doesn’t have as prominent ribbing as the timing belt. It has smaller ridges that run vertically along the belt.

When to Replace Vehicle Belts

Timing belts and serpentine belts require a replacement every 60,000-100,000 miles. Once it surpasses the 100K, you should replace them to prevent damage from happening.

If you need a timing belt or serpentine belt replacement, please call or visit Kwik Kar Auto Repair - Beltline today!

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