Car Transmission Belt Types and Maintenance Tips

The transmission belt is a critical part of the powertrain system of a car. These belts transfer the engine’s power to the wheels and other parts of the car to ensure that it runs seamlessly and smoothly. 

You can find transmission belts in several types, each with unique applications and characteristics. 

This article delves into the different kinds of transmission belts in cars, their specific uses and applications, and several tips on how to care for them. 

Flat Belts 

The flat belts in vehicles are wide and flat without any ribs or teeth on the surface. These are used in various applications in vehicles, such as the drive belt for the cooling fan of the engine as well as the timing belt for the engines with flat camshafts. These flat belts have a lower level of efficiency compared to other kinds of transmission belts, not to mention that they also need more tension to avoid slipping. 

Multi-Rib Belts

Also known as ribbed belts or Poly-V belts, multi-rib belts feature multiple ribs on their surface. These extra ribs offer better efficiency in terms of power transmission and better traction which makes them highly recommended for heavy-duty applications. 

These multi-rib belts come in handy for different applications in vehicles such as the alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering pump. 

Serpentine Belts 

The serpentine belts are wide and flat, with one side featuring a ribbed surface. These are used as substitutes for V-belts in modern vehicles. Serpentine belts can handle a higher amount of power compared to V-belts. 

transmission belt serpentine belt
The transmission belt and its different types are one of the most critical moving parts in the engine. 

These are also more durable, which makes them perfect for heavy-duty applications. These are used to power different car accessories such as the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, alternator, and water pump. 

Timing Belts

Timing belts are a type of transmission belt for cars used to synchronize the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft of the engine. These are made of rubber material with nylon cords used as reinforcement to make them more resistant to wear and tear and more durable at the same time. 

These timing belts are essential to the engine’s operation and require periodic replacement to prevent unwanted damage to the engine. 

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