Belt drive, change/replacement of a gear belt

Belt drive, change/replacement of a gear belt


A belt drive is an element which connects an engine with other elements, needed for a successful operation of a car, for example:


a generator, an air conditioner, a steering booster, as well as interconnects the elements, which are present in an engine and which need a belt drive. In order to prevent the failure of operation of any of these elements, one should check the state of the belt drive, and if necessary to change belts.


A belt drive consists of

  •  a V-belt (vee belt),
  • a V-belt (vee belt) tensioner,
  • a track belt,
  • a track belt tensioning roller,
  • a tension lever,
  • an idler rollers/feed rollers,
  • a gear belt/timing belt


A gear belt/timing belt shall be changed approximately after 80 000 - 120 000 kilometers of mileage. It is strongly recommended to change a gear belt/timing belt, if a used car has been purchased in a used vehicle selling center or from a private owner, who quite often doesn’t tell the truth about the technical state of a car.


Apart from a gear belt/timing belt, it is necessary to change also tensioners and so called idler rollers/feed rollers, as well as a water pump, if it is enclosed into a gear belt chain. Old idler rollers/feed rollers have a peculiarity to wedge into a belt, the consequences can be the same – having wedged into a belt, they can tear a gear belt, independent of the fact whether it is a new belt or an old one.


If a car is equipped not with a gear belt, but with a chain, then you can sleep calmly, because a chain needs no change almost throughout its entire operational time. However a chain should also be checked from time to time. For example, a chain tears quite frequently in SAAB cars.


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