HANOVER, Germany — ContiTech A.G.'s Power Transmission Group is recommending that service technicians consider the age of timing belts in addition to vehicle mileage when advising customers on replacements.
Helmut Engel, head of automotive aftermarket at the Transmission Group, said long periods of inactivity strain a belt just as much as regular operation.
“Aging damages the material of chloroprene belts, no matter how much you drive,” Mr. Engel said.
“In the last few years, some manufacturers have already started to change replacement intervals to take age into account, especially for timing belts,” said Roger Homer, ContiTech's director of North America business development. “However, these changes are not always indicated in the service manual. In order to perform maintenance in accordance with the inspection guidelines, repair shops should always refer to up-to-date information.”
ContiTech advises that if auto makers haven't provided suitable specifications, then replace timing belts in older cars after six years at the latest.
“When changing belts, it is also highly recommended to replace all the relevant belt drive components at the same time,” Mr. Homer said. “This provides greater safety for the engine.”
Mr. Homer noted the advantages of replacing all relevant belt drive components:
*No need to order individual parts;
*The certainty that the parts match the vehicle and type and administration for incoming goods; and
*Processing is simpler.
ContiTech said it offers products for timing belt replacements, including OEM-quality kits with drive components. For more information on its belt systems, click here.