Gates has published a timing belt wear analysis on Gates Tech Zone to help technicians diagnose worn belts.
A Gates spokesperson said: “You obviously want your customers to hit the road safely, but checking the timing belt when the carmaker prescribes it is also important to avoid the rejection of warranty claims.”
Abrasion on the back of the belt can come in many different guises, so the wear you encounter may look different from the symptoms depicted above, but whenever you see signs of abrasion, you should change the timing belt immediately.
The underlying causes of the abrasion may vary from misalignment to low belt tension or, conversely, high belt tension.
Technicians are also advised to measure the belt width.
The correct width will be printed on the back of the belt – if its width is two to three millimeters less then it should be replaced.
Symptoms of a warn belt drive
- Abrasion on the back of the belt
- Transverse cracks in the back of the belt
- Damage/increased wear at the edge of the belt
- Loss of belt width
- Cracking at the root of the tooth
- Tooth flank damage
The spokesperson added: “If you don’t know when the timing belt was installed or if the mileage of the belt is unknown, it is always best to replace it.
“A toothed belt that has run under optimum conditions is hardly subject to increased wear.
“Nevertheless, it may be at the end of its service life and/or be damaged in ways that cannot be seen from the outside.
“An important factor determining a belt’s service life is bending fatigue of the glass-fiber tensile members – or, in other words, the number of times a toothed belt has run over the drive components.
“This fatigue leads to damage that is not visible from the outside, but that can cause the tensile members to break.”
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