If your car makes squealing noises or its performance suddenly decreases, it's likely the engine repair you need is a belt replacement. There are several types of engine belts in both old and new cars, each with a different role in your vehicle’s operation. Below is a guide that details where to find them and how to maintain them.
3 Types of Car Belts & Their Qualities
1. Drive Belts
Also known as V-belts, they’re mostly used in older cars—manufactured before 1990—because of the V-shaped teeth running along the inside of the belt. One car has several of these, as each aids a different system, including the power steering, air conditioning, alternator, water pump, and radiator fan. Because these all run separately, the other systems will keep working even if one belt breaks, giving you a chance to take your car in for engine repairs instead of dealing with a vehicle breakdown.
2. Serpentine Belts
This is the modern version of the drive belt. It’s a single belt which runs multiple systems. For this reason, when it breaks, the entire car will break down. You'll also notice poor performance across multiple systems as it wears out, and when you look at it, it may appear loose or cracked. If you notice these signs or if it's been more than 60,000 miles since the belt was changed, you should have it checked and potentially replaced.
3. Timing Belts
Most car engines are interference ones, meaning that various moving parts can run into each other if their movement isn't timed correctly. To keep everything in sync, your engine has either a timing chain or belt, which is normally hidden from view. A timing chain lasts as long as the engine does, but a timing belt should be replaced every 60,000 to 90,000 miles or when it starts to crack.
If you need engine repairs in Kalispell, MT, choose Kalispell Alignment & Auto Repair. With over 25 years of experience, this auto repair shop provides an array of services, including oil changes, tune-ups, brake repairs, and belt replacements. They also specialize in major repairs, such as transmission repairs and engine replacements. To browse their services, visit their website and call (406) 755-0234 to schedule an engine repair appointment.