How to Measure Belt Wear

How to Measure Belt Wear

Drive belts need friction to operate. It sounds counterintuitive, but friction between the belt and the pulleys allows power transmission from the crankshaft to an alternator, power-steering pump or AC compressor. To produce these levels of friction, the belt and pulleys need surface area. This is why they have grooves that line up with great precision.

Just like a tire, the friction wears away at the belt, usually on the tops and walls of the ribs. Eventually, the grooves of the pulleys will bottom out on the grooves of the belt, and then the belt will not be able to generate friction and will begin to slip. If the narrow edge bottoms out in any of the belt grooves, the belt is worn and should be replaced.

Continental’s Multi-V Belt Kit provides a tool that measures the profile of the grooves on a belt. These eight teeth should fit in the grooves of the belt. If you can move the tool, the belt is worn below specifications. If the tool can’t move, you know the belt is within specifications. If you turn the tester and put your index and ring fingers through its holes, you can get into some tight areas. The edge should be set to the height of the belt groove. Technicians should press the narrow edge of the gauge into each belt groove, and the edge should not bottom out at any of the grooves.

Cracks in the belt are an indication of an issue, but with today’s modern materials, cracks are rare to nonexistent. The majority of the time the belts will be worn below specifications before cracking occurs.

This video is sponsored by Continental.

You May Also Like

Randy Breaux, Group President, GPC North America, Talks to AMN Drivetime

At NAPA, “Breaux Knows” business relationships, ABCs to avoid, and serving the automotive professional.

Drivetime-Breaux-1400x700-UPDATED

Growing up in South Louisiana, Randy Breaux started working young, inspired by his machinist father and grandfather. His formal career began after college, spending 26 years in manufacturing, with 21 of those at Baldor Electric Company. Following its acquisition by a European firm in 2011, he transitioned to the distribution side, joining Motion, a division of Genuine Parts Company.

Don’t estimate when it comes to parking brake adjustments

Let’s discuss a couple of different components of parking brakes to find out the best practices for adjusting them.

TR-Continental-Parking-brake-adjustments-1400
How the Autel MaxiSYS Ultra enhances service efficiency at Mighty Auto Pro

Time is money in vehicle repair, and the Autel MaxiSYS Ultra is all about enhancing technicians’ diagnostic prowess.

autel-inshop-1-1400
Educate your customers utilizing AI

Discover how to generate quick, accurate explanations for repair orders and estimates, boosting your shop’s credibility and customer trust.

MainIQ-2
Important tips for wheel bearing service

Complaints like exhaust leaks to tire balance issues to vague statements like “it just doesn’t sound right” may mean bad wheel bearings.

TR-Continental-Important-tips-for-wheel-bearing-service

Other Posts

Sonic Tools USA offers tools to beat back the technician shortage

Andrew Coccari, VP of Sales and Marketing at Sonic Tools USA, delves into the causes of the technician shortage and offers some novel solutions to address the need for help around the country.

WT YT-Sonic-Tools-1400
Five tips for your next wheel bearing job

These practical tips are designed to save you time and frustration, ensuring a smooth, noise-free outcome for your customers.

tech iq
Sally Thomas taps into her tenacity to build on the success of her family’s tire business

Today, Sally Thomas and her brother, Bryan, operate eight retail stores, two commercial locations, three wholesale distribution warehouses, a Mighty Auto Parts franchise, and an e-commerce business.

sally-thomas-1400-REV
Three facts about modern electric power steering

EPS has enabled key vehicle advancements like stop/start systems, hybrids and advanced driver assistance features or ADAS.