3 Types Of Car Belts (That You Need to Know!)

In a car, many different parts and components are working together for it to start and run. But all these parts and all these components will not be able to perform their duty if there is no drive belt. The function of the car belt is to make sure that the engine will keep on running. 

They do it by transferring power into different parts of the vehicle. There are different types of car belts. They keep your engine running by having constant friction with a lot of pulleys.

For this reason, if there will be damages and defects on the car belt, this will affect the performance of your vehicle’s engine, and it will then affect all the components of the car. For the replacement of your car belt, it will depend on your vehicle and, of course, the conditions that your vehicle is in. So you should remember that a timing belt will typically last for about one hundred thousand (1,000) miles if the car is new.

On the other hand, the serpentine belt will only last for about ninety thousand (90,000) miles. This is why you need to have your engine checked regularly. You also need to follow your technician’s advice on whether it is time to replace your car belt. 

So now, let us focus on the different types of car belts. If you are interested, keep reading and enjoy! 

Types Of Car Belts

1. Timing Belts

The first type of car belt is the timing belt. The timing belt is also known as the Gilmer belt. They are also called camshaft drive belts. 

The timing belt functions by helping the crankshaft to turn the camshaft. This will make the rubber belt open and then close the engine valve with the pistons organized. If you have modern and newer vehicles, this timing belt will take place in your timing chain. 

If the timing belt has damages, it will have less impact on the pistons and the belt’s valves. In the front of the engine, there will be a toothed belt in some cases under the timing cover. There is also a vehicle with a chain that replaces the belt. 

It will be attached to the crankshaft and in the camshaft through a lot of pulleys. This type of car belt has two functions. The first function is that it powers up the engine’s camshaft and keeps it in sync with the crankshaft. 

This will make sure that the valve will open, and then it will also close at the right time. This is the reason why it is called the timing belt. To simply put, it will time the valve train. 

The timing belt will need a replacement for about ninety thousand (90,000) miles. However, some timing belts can last for as long as one hundred ten thousand (110,000) miles. So if you will replace your timing belt, you should also replace your water pump. 

So you might think that you will not replace your water pump because it is still doing fine, but the rule of thumb is to replace it even if the water pump is still doing good. This is because the water pump will need changing not long before you change your timing belt, so it is best to change them simultaneously.

2. Serpentine Belts

The second type of car belt is the serpentine belt. The serpentine belt is a prolonged serpent-like belt. This belt will run through all components in your engine and will then power them up. 

You can consider this the alternative of multiple v belts in newer cars. For modern vehicles, this type of belt is the standard. Since there is only a single belt supplying power to all the engine components, there will be a higher risk if the belt will get damaged. 

What is good is that it is easy to replace and you will not need to spend a lot of money on it. However, if your serpentine belt fails or gets damaged, there will be a squeaking or a screeching sound. It will also cause the whole engine to stop functioning. 

There are not many differences in terms of the differences between the serpentine belt and the drive belt. A lot of vehicles will have just one or even two drive belts. If there is only one drive belt in the vehicle, it will be called a serpentine belt. 

A drive or a serpentine belt is part of the components that make your vehicle run. This type of car belt can last for a long time. This can last for about forty thousand (40,000) to seventy thousand (70,000) miles. 

There are also some cases where it can reach up to one hundred thousand (100,000) miles. The serpentine belt is located in the front or the side of the engine. All the serpentine belts will increase the contact surface. 

A serpentine belt can last for about sixty thousand (60,000) miles to one hundred thousand (100,000) miles. Therefore, if you have a serpentine belt, make sure that you will have a consistent inspection. 

The serpentine belt will tend to crack, break, and even get damaged. If that happens, all the components will stop running.

3. V-belts

The third type of car belt is the V belt. If your vehicle has a lot of bets, then they are called the v belts. This originated from the crankshaft. 

They will run into different components, including the alternator and the power steering pump. This v belt will not slip from their circuit. 

However, if one belt fails and gets damaged, it will not entirely affect the engine’s functions. But, the v belt can be worn almost together. So replacing one will have to be replaced by many.


In summary, a car belt is essential because it keeps your engine running. All the components of your vehicle will not run without the car belt. There are three types of car belts. 

Each car belt has different functions and offers. Make sure to always do checking on your car belt. If one of them is failing, you need to replace them as soon as you can.

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more