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Car & Truck Engine Belts, Pulleys & Brackets

While you don't see it, the engine and its associated parts are the heart of your vehicle's performance; if they're not operating, your systems aren't operating. When it's time to replace the belts, pulleys, and brackets of your engine, look in your service manual for make, model, and other important identifying information. You can use that to locate the items here that will get your systems back on the road again.

What is the function of the drive belt?

The main belt you need to have running is your drive belt, with the specific type being found in your vehicle's service manual. Without it, you won't be able to use your systems such as the air conditioner, water pump, alternator, or power steering. The timing of a belt failing can also coincide with valve, gasket, and engine damage. Common types of drive belts include:

  • V-Belt - More often known as fan belts, the v-belt is used in some cars to provide power to the engine, alternator, power steering, and other associated parts. You'll want to replace every 50,000 miles.
  • Serpentine belt - These are used in the majority of vehicles, and it is recommended to replace it every 50,000 miles.
  • Timing belt - Also known as a camshaft belt, replacement of the timing belt is recommended every 60,000 miles to avoid performance problems.
What types of pulleys are in cars and trucks?

There are two types of engine pulleys found in your vehicle. These are the accessory pulley and the crank pulley. The crank pulley is powered by your timing belt, serpentine belt, or v-belt, and is bolted to the crankshaft. These engine pulleys provide power to the accessory pulleys. The accessory engine pulleys drive the accessories such as your alternator, power steering, and air conditioning. While air conditioning and power steering are optional, the alternator is not. The alternator provides power to the battery, so without a proper accessory pulley, your car won't have any power.

What types of brackets are available?

There are a number of brackets that are required for optimal performance. These include power steering brackets, belt tensioner brackets, alternator brackets, clutch brackets, and others. Each set of brackets is tasked with holding an essential component -- such as an alternator or power steering pump -- in place, and they can be purchased on their own or as part of a larger assembly or kit.