Most technicians and customers understand that the Serpentine drive belt needs to be replaced at some point. Belts are a common maintenance item. At Continental, we encourage belt inspection at regular intervals in order to spot the signs of belt wear. Regular inspections should occur during all oil change maintenance and certainly at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000-mile intervals. In addition, belt inspections should also include all aspects and components of the Serpentine belt drive, which includes tensioners and pulleys.
Most cars on the road today have a single belt drive system that runs all the important accessories, including the alternator, AC compressor, power steering and water pump. The belt is running these accessories from both sides and is working harder than ever. Should this single belt fail, the results can be catastrophic, leaving you and the car on the side of the road with a very large tow bill. Spotting and diagnosing belt noise and belt wear problems is very important.
Serpentine belts made of rubber will wear and fail over time. In addition, tensioners and pulleys have bearings and seals that will wear and fail over time also. At the time of belt replacement, all drive components, including the belt tensioner and pulley, should be replaced at the same time. Continental offers a Serpentine belt drive kit that includes not only the belt, but the other drive components. Here is an example of the Continental Serpentine drive kit. What is inside the box for a belt kit? We are going to find out. Also, we are going to understand how one part number can save you from having to source multiple components from multiple suppliers.
Here is a continental K49, 245 belt drive kit. Let’s first remove the sleeve that is over the box. Instructions and precautions on the sleeve should be followed when replacing the belt and components. This particular kit fits a 1997 to 2001 Chevrolet Malibu with a 3.1-liter engine. Inside the box, we have Continental’s OE technology series multi V belt part number 4060868. Next, we have the belt tensioner, which is part number 49245.
It is recommended that the tensioners are replaced with the belt. Tensioners do wear out over time. These units are more than just springs. They have components inside that dampen the movement of the arm and pulley. Next, we have the two idler pulleys, part numbers 49003 and 49006. While you may think that the idler pulleys currently on the vehicle are okay, ask yourself, do you feel confident they can go another 100,000 miles without a problem? Idler pulleys have bearings and seals that can fail and cause noise. In addition, due to the loads put on them, they can wear and fail. These are all of the components inside the kit. If you were to source these four components individually, it might take extra time and you may find yourself waiting to have them delivered. With this one kit, you get all of the parts to restore the accessory drive belt system to like-new condition so the replacement belt can last just as long as the original.
When replacing the serpentine belt, it is so important to replace the tensioner and pulley in the drive system as well. Doing the complete job will bring the drive system back to its original condition and maximize the life of all related components.
This video is sponsored by Continental.