A Woman’s Point of View: Let’s Talk Belts!

by Colette Cooley, Cars for Keeps Office Manager

For the fashion conscious woman, this is the time of year that our minds turn to our summer wardrobe. Let’s talk belts. There are fashion belts, designer belts, utilitarian belts, chastity belts, cloth belts, leather belts, bejeweled belts, girdle belts, and the list goes on. How about serpentine belts?

No, they are not snakes wrapped around the waist. The serpentine belt is a long, continuous, multi-grooved belt that drives several devices in the engine, such as, the alternator, A/C compressor, air pump and water pump. It increases mechanical efficiency and reduces the load on the engine and increases fuel economy and power. This very important belt must be checked regularly for wear and breakage. If it breaks in two, it can act like a weed whip and do a pretty thorough job of chewing up engine parts.

Other belts include the vee belt, the ribbed belt, and timing belts. The vee belt is the basic belt for power transmission. The ribbed belt is also a transmission belt that has a long life, stability and reduced vibration. The timing belt is used instead of chains and gears, is less noisy and does not need to be lubricated. They are used in the camshaft and are the most efficient at transferring power.

If maintained properly and chanced at proper intervals, these belts help your car remain healthy and reliable. If left without maintenance, many of these belts can become brittle and cause moderate to extensive damage. At Cars For Keeps your belts are checked for wear every time you get your oil changed. You will be advised if you should get a new belt now, or if it just needs to be checked again soon.

Personal note: I wish they came in colors, but basic black does go with everything!