Engine Drive Belts
Gates Micro-V® kit range
The accessory belt drive system is not only becoming ever more complex but the system as a whole is playing a much more critical role when it comes to safety.
Selecting and replacing the correct components is not as straight forward as it may seem at first sight. As a solution to this complexity, Gates, as the accessory belt drive system expert, has now substantially extended its Micro-V® Kit range and plans even more additions throughout the year.
The accessory belt drive system (ABDS) is an important engine subsystem that provides power for the vehicle and comfort for the passengers. As with any system, a flawless operation depends on every component working as a team. If any component fails, the entire system breaks down resulting in extensive and costly repair. The best way to avoid this is to go for a complete overhaul of the accessory drive. Gates’ Micro-V® Kits allow installers to do a full replacement by just ordering one kit which contains all the necessary components in guaranteed OE quality.
In recent years more components have been added to the ABDS and ever more accessories rely on this system for power. The alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor and power steering pump can only be operational when the accessory drive is in good condition and runs trouble-free. If one component in the system fails, or encounters a problem, the entire system can be compromised and ultimately break down. Is it an immediate danger if your air conditioning fails? No, but losing your power steering while taking a sharp turn is. Looking at it that way, you understand that the proper maintenance of the ABDS is vital to safe driving.
A new approach to replacement
Because today’s accessory belt drive systems operate under heavier loads and are exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations (as well as water, dirt, grease, oil and other environmental contaminants) wear may occur differently on different applications. Moreover, it is not always possible to tell if all components are in good condition by visual inspection alone. According to Gates’ statistics, failures increase dramatically after the fourth year of service, so Gates recommends replacing all components simultaneously and at least every four years or 100,000 km (62,000 miles).
Ever stricter European emission standards have led to further engine downsizing, modified combustions processes and mass reduction. Additionally, car manufacturers are looking to enhance NVH characteristics (noise, vibration and harshness) and seek to please customers with more comfort accessories such as climate control, seat heating, on-board navigation, DVD screens, electric windows, mirrors and seats etc. These additions put higher demands on the drive components leading to a higher need for maintenance and simultaneous replacement of all components.
OE quality parts
As with the timing belt drive, the best way to guarantee a reliable ABDS is to change multi-ribbed belts and all related belt drive components at the same time. With the most extensive Micro-V® Kit range in the market, ordering the right components has never been so easy. Each kit is specifically composed for its application(s) and includes one or more Gates branded multi-ribbed belts together with the matching metal parts, all handily packed in a solid cardboard box. No loose components to stock, only one part to source. In addition to Micro-V® belts, tensioners and idlers, the range also offers kits with matching torsional vibration dampers and/or overrunning alternator pulleys.
The new blue stripe Micro-V® Horizon™ construction can be found in all Micro-V® kits. This is the most advanced multi-ribbed belt on the market today and offers the installers the best choice for the new generation of compact and powerful engines. With its unique EPDM rubber compound and optimized rib angle, the belt is silent in operation and offers the required amount of flexibility. As the world’s second largest OE tensioner supplier, Gates guarantees that all metal components in the kits are of OE quality or even better.
A Gates Micro-V® kit eliminates the risks of matching the wrong components when replacing the entire ABDS system as is required according to good workshop practice. If a drive system failure does occur for any reason, the choice of a single supplier for all components will require one warranty investigation procedure rather than two or more. This saves time and eliminates the chances of a dispute about the origin of the failure.
In summary, the benefits include:
• Fewer decisions to make
• Less time lost
• Supplier takes responsibility for a correct match
• One inspection rather than two in event of failure
Expert support to shoot any ABDS trouble
As a true accessory belt drive system specialist, Gates offers the necessary expert tools and training to enable perfect installation and maintenance. The new ABDS troubleshooting manual is developed to assist mechanics in tackling ABDS problems and complexities. But that’s not all…
Gates has also developed new tools with which both the belt and the pulleys can be checked for wear. Like tyres, EPDM belts wear out gradually, steadily losing rubber material and reducing performance .
Gates wear indicator tool helps technicians to assess the wear of the EPDM belts and all metal or plastic grooved pulleys. This helps the technician to determine when a belt or a pulley has lost so much material that it should be replaced. The tool is simple to use and allows you to quickly gauge wear –whether the belt or pulley is still fitted to the engine or has been removed.
For those that prefer a more high tech tool, Gates has also developed a free application for iPhone and Android, Pic Gauge. Pic Gauge enables the user to check the condition of the belt in just a few seconds without taking the belt off the drive. Search the App Store for “pic gauge”.
With Gates’ comprehensive Micro-V® kit range you can service practically all of your customers’ needs with a reliable all-in-one-kit. What’s more: Gates continuously extends its range in response to the market. And, if it is Gates branded, you know that all components will fit perfectly and easily, and are guaranteed OE quality giving you high customer satisfaction levels and peace of mind.