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What do the engine belts do?

By blogsadmin | Posted in FAQs, Service & Maintenance, Tips & Tricks on Monday, January 29th, 2018 at 6:51 pm
Engines 101 part 2: What do the engine belts do?

Engines 101 part 2 

In part 1 of Engines 101, we covered what the important fluids are within an engine.  Now, in Engines 101 part 2, we will get one step closer in how an engine works by answering: What do the engine belts do? 

Accessory Drive Belts 

Drive belts are often referred to as “fan belts,” though most modern vehicles use an electric motor to run the cooling fans.  Drive belts are really the belt(s) in an engine that “drive” the accessories in an engine, such as the alternator, air conditioning compressor, power steering pump and water pump.  In older engines, you will see the use of V-Belts to power the various components, however, engineers have now abandoned the V-Belt for the Serpentine Belt. 


v-belt icon

There are multiple V-Belts within an engine.  These belts come off the crankshaft of the engine and will “drive” the components of the engine.  These belts are usually found in older vehicles. 

Serpentine Belts 

serpentine belt icon

Instead of using multiple V-Belts, the Serpentine Belt is a single, long belt that drives the engine components.  Unfortunately, because only one belt is in charge of so many accessories, if the belt fails, the entire engine will be offline. 

[Read Engines 101 Part 1 Here]

timing belt iconTiming Belts 

A Timing Belt can also be referred to as a camshaft drive belt or a Gilmer belt.  It’s a rubber, notched belt the enables the crankshaft to turn the camshaft.  This will open and close the engine valves synchronously with the pistons.  There is a spring-loaded pulley that applies constant tension to keep the belt slip-proof. 




Differences Between Drive Belts and Timing Belts 

Unlike the drive belts that run on the outside of the engine, timing belts are inside the engine.  Timing belts have a fixed replacement interval that has been set by the manufacturer.  The drive belt(s) are checked for wear and cracks and are only replaced when it’s necessary. 

If any of your vehicle’s engine belts need to be checked or replaced, you can come to the state-of-the-art service center at Indy Honda.  You can also Order Parts through us or visit the Parts eStore on our website. 

Schedule a Service Appointment at Indy Honda


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