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22- How Often Should I Change My Fan Belt?

If you drive a modern car, chances are that you might not even have a fan belt on your car. Over the years, as automakers have tried to make engines more fuel efficient, the belt-driven cooling fan has fallen out of favor.

A fan driven by the engine is a terrible waste of power and fuel economy. Electric fans have become the norm; they do not drag on the motor and consequently the motor runs more efficiently.

Now this is not to say that your engine has lost all of its drive belts, they just aren’t called fan belts anymore.

Today’s cars usually have one or two belts that snake around every engine driven contrivance. This makes for some strange curves and contraption’s to make it work. But for all intents and purposes there are less belts and better wear on the belt(s) that are left. The downside is that there is only one primary belt; if that belt breaks your car is dead, as you will lose the power steering, alternator, and water pump use. In the old days, one might have been able to work around losing just one belt, but in today’s cars that is not going to happen, which is why belt care is more important than ever.

New belt technology has increased the life of the average belt by at least 2-3 times what it was 10-20 years ago. The wear factors of the rubber compounds have improved significantly as scientists and engineers such as those at the Gates Company make improvements in belt technology.

Nevertheless, your drive belts do need to be changed about every 6 years or 60,000 miles. When the belt is being changed, the technician should also look at the belt tensioner, belt idler pulleys and belt alignment. The belt drive system needs to be addressed as a whole unit and not just pieces because the failure of any one component could bring your car to a rapid halt.

To have your drive belt system checked for wear and condition, please call us for a free inspection.

Sturken Automotive

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