The ribbed belt is used to distribute power from the engine to so-called auxiliary units such as the alternator, fan, water pump and power steering. To achieve this, the ribbed belt is tensioned over various tensioning pulleys. The movement of the pistons is converted into rotation by the crankshaft. This rotary motion is transmitted to a pulley and, through the ribbed belt, makes the other pulleys and thus the power units run. To prevent the ribbed belt from slipping, it is guided over various guide pulleys, tension pulleys and idlers that keep the drive belt tensioned and in position.
The V-ribbed belt is the further development of the V-belt. This is either smooth on the inside or has transverse grooves with which it creates friction on the rollers. Due to this texture, it unfortunately does not stay in the guide as well. This makes it easier for it to slip down or warp. For this reason, the ribbed belt was developed. It has side-by-side longitudinal grooves that allow the belt to lie and stay on the rollers better. As a result, it can also transmit stronger torques. In order to transmit the maximum force, the corresponding rollers are necessary, which also have grooves as a matching counterpart to the ribbed belt.
V-belts are mostly only found in older vehicles, while ribbed belts are used in almost all newer vehicles. The reason for this is, among other things, the ever-increasing demands on the belt drive. More power is required and there are more and more ancillary units installed that need to be operated.
The V-ribbed belt consists of a rubber compound. This provides the corresponding flexibility and the required pressure on the rollers. Over time, however, the drive belt wears out. This is due to the following influences:
The V-ribbed belts produced today are very durable and tend to tear only under very extreme loads. Nevertheless, the belts wear out over time. Therefore, the belt drive should be checked with every inspection. Gladly also times in between.
The inspection from the ribbed belt is very simple, as it is a visual inspection. A look under the hood can see what the belt looks like:
In addition, the belt tension should also be checked. To do this, simply pull the V-ribbed belt towards you. It should have no more than 2cm of play, otherwise it is either not properly tensioned or worn out. Then the drive belt should be replaced promptly.
Squeaking noises can also be an indication of a worn drive belt. Squeaking is particularly common in winter. That's when the cold temperatures have made the drive belt stiff, which means it can't wrap around the rollers as well. Too much wetness on the belt can also produce the noise. In these cases, however, the noise is only heard for a short time and is therefore no cause for concern.
However, if a constant squealing can be heard, for example, every time the vehicle is started up, this may be a sign that the belt is no longer correctly located in the guide or has too little tension. In this case, the V-ribbed belt should be checked and replaced if necessary. Of course, this also applies if a corresponding warning light lights up in the instrument display.
If this is the case, the drive belt should be checked immediately, as there is then a risk that the ribbed belt has broken. If this is the case, the car must not be driven any further because, for example, the engine can no longer be cooled sufficiently and the power steering no longer works. This means that there is a risk of major consequential damage, which can be prevented in this way.
Who wants to buy a V-ribbed belt, must pay attention above all to the length and the number of ribs. The number of ribs is important because the rollers must fit. They must fit perfectly into each other. Ribbed belts are not universal items, but individual for each vehicle. The length depends on the distance between the units and the arrangement of the rollers. Therefore, before buying ribbed belts, it is advisable to first select his vehicle. Then only suitable products are displayed. These are then still to be checked with the vehicle restrictions. For example, some drive belts are only suitable for vehicles with or without air conditioning, others only for certain horsepower numbers and so on. Therefore, please also note the vehicle table on the article detail page.
As for the choice of manufacturer for the drive belt, you are free to choose. We carry power transmission belts from the following suppliers, among others:
All manufacturers offer high quality ribbed belts. Each has its own rubber compound, which are nevertheless all hard-wearing and characterized by a long service life. They are also partly installed directly by the vehicle manufacturer ex works and thus comply with the specifications of the vehicle manufacturer. In addition, they are cheaper than the original ribbed belts of the vehicle manufacturers and with comparable quality.
Drive belts can generally be changed yourself. The ribbed belt is located outside the engine and is therefore largely easily accessible. Nevertheless, some skill and patience is required, as access to the drive belt is restricted and therefore the change can be somewhat fiddly. In some new cars, the V-ribbed belt can only be reached from below, so a lifting platform is necessary. The appropriate tools should also be used.
With this you can loosen the belt from the rollers and then clamp the new one again. When changing the ribbed belt, be sure to also check the pulleys and rollers. If they are too worn, it makes sense to change them at the same time. For this purpose, we have already put together suitable V-ribbed belt sets in product packages. However, the decisive factor when installing a new V-ribbed belt is the tension with which the drive belt lies on the pulleys. If it is too weak, not enough power can be transmitted and there is a risk that the ribbed belt will slip out of the guide. If the tension is too strong, however, the load is too high and the drive belt can break more quickly.Whether you change the V-ribbed belt yourself or have it changed, pay attention to quality when buying V-ribbed belts. This way you are always on the safe side and can drive long distances with peace of mind. If you have any questions or are unsure which ribbed belt fits your vehicle, please contact our customer service with the chassis number.