Each car has additional auxiliary devices - these are air conditioners, power steering, generators. All these elements are driven from the engine by means of drive belts. The power steering belt is a consumable item. These parts need to be replaced from time to time. Let's see what drive belts are, how they need to be maintained and replaced.
What is a drive belt?
When the designers came to the conclusion that it was necessary to somehow transfer the rotation to the auxiliary units, it was the belt drive that was chosen for this. Several reasons played a decisive role in this choice. By means of a belt drive, it is possible to silently and smoothly transfer the rotational energy, while friction losses are negligible. Also, the torque can be transmitted through the belt to any distance between the axes of the pulleys. Now in some premium car models you can find a chain drive, but in the mass automotive industry, data is betterno details yet.
The power steering belt of the generator or any other is made of special materials based on rubber and fabric. This combination allows it to be elastic and at the same time strong enough. The design of the element is constantly being refined and modernized - we can say that these are high-tech products that can maintain strength, elasticity and flexibility in large temperature ranges. Also, the power steering belt can withstand various mechanical influences - vibrations and jerks. The principle of the belt is very simple: it is put on the pulleys on the motor, as well as on one of the accessories. Thus the rotation is transmitted.
Types of drive belts
Elements of different types are installed on different mechanisms. Friction belts, poly V-belts and V-belts are now used. Professionals and manufacturers classify elements into two large groups - friction and gear.
This generator power steering belt transmits torque through friction. Its value is proportional to the force in the contact zone. This value depends on how much preload is applied and the shape of the pulley or cone that holds or wedges the element in the pulley.
Often, automotive actuators have a top-width to height ratio ranging from 0.8 for narrow models to 1.2 for classic products. In order to transmit great force,sometimes a multi-ribbed belt is used. This solution consists of several, more often 2-3 standard elements. The shape of the inner part can also be different - completely flat or with shaped teeth. The serrated toothed belt is more common as it reduces slippage when working on small diameter pulleys, but at the same time reduces the material consumption of the pulley.
If you look at the friction belt of the air conditioner power steering generator in cross section, then the product consists of several layers. The top is a fabric shell. Next come the threads, which are the cord - they perceive the entire main load. A base rubber composition is also used.
Reinforced friction drive belt
On some modern models, a fabric sheath can be used not only on the upper section of the belt, but also on the sides - these are reinforced belts. They are reliably protected from dirt, various abrasives and motor oils. All this has a destructive effect on this detail. These parts are used when it is necessary to give more power in difficult or even extreme conditions. They are widely used in systems where work is carried out at high speeds.
These models are very small V-belts that are assembled in a single housing. This design provides high flexibility - due to this property they can be used on pulleys with a reduced diameter, from 45 mm. Also, these solutions allow you to take power not only according todirect, but also on the reverse branch.
Technical characteristics of the product allow you to use one V-ribbed belt for several devices at once. It can be a power steering belt, an air conditioner, a pump, a compressor, a generator, and so on. But in the event of a break, the machine cannot be operated. It is necessary to replace the failed part. Poly-V-belts consist of a backing made of rubber materials, a carcass made of durable nylon threads, as well as a base part based on rubber compositions. The latter is in contact with the metal pulley.
Such elements are very rare today, although they have a lot of advantages. This is a cheap product that is very easy to install on the motor or replace in case of breakage or wear. These elements can only be installed on one of the units. Previously, car owners used an ordinary rope instead of wedges, because guides and tension rollers are not needed to tension and install such a belt.
In general, the power steering V-belt has a high wear rate, requires constant maintenance and tension, which is not at all practical for a modern driver.
These solutions are practically not used for the operation of various attachments on passenger cars. They are installed only on gas distribution mechanisms. However, they can be found on powerful diesel engines along with coolant application and on fuelpump. In terms of composition, a toothed belt is practically no different from friction analogues. The difference is only in the number of layers, curing mode and shape.
Life of drive elements
Manufacturers lay in the belts a sufficiently longer service life. These products are made from durable materials. If we take the average, then the power steering belt should be replaced after 25,000 hours of continuous operation. It is worth noting that the resource is indicated in hours. The fact is that mileage in this case has little effect on belt wear. This part works even when the car is not going anywhere (but is idling). But this is only a theory and passport data of manufacturers. In reality, the resource and service life may differ significantly from those declared by the manufacturer. In addition, during operation, the belt is affected by certain factors that can speed up the replacement time.
Factors affecting belt wear
The life of an element is highly dependent on how correctly it was installed. Now it is not uncommon when a mechanic at a service station, due to a low level of qualification or lack of work experience, tries to install a belt with a screwdriver or other similar tool. As a result, damage is obtained that reduces the resource by 2 or more times. This method is also used to replace the power steering belt faster (without dismantling the pulley).
Belt life is also important. This is an important factor that affects the rate of wear. For example, in auto parts storesyou can find products that have long expired. For metal, this is not scary, but for belts, this is increased wear and quick replacement. The chemical composition tends to change over time. If the belt was made more than 5 years ago, and then it was also stored incorrectly in the warehouse, then it will last very little. Weather conditions also affect the durability of the element. For example, in hot climates, people often use air conditioners. And this means that the compressor needs a lot of energy. As a result, the power steering belt of the air conditioner is experiencing increased loads at this time. Also, increased wear will be observed in the cold season. In winter, electrical devices will require more power than in summer. The generator has to give out more energy - as a result, an increased load on the belt. Often, these parts last longer in new machines, as they were installed correctly at the factory, and all storage rules were taken into account in the warehouse. After replacing with another belt, the service life will be lower than specified by the manufacturer.
What happens if you don't change it?
If the replacement of the power steering belt was not completed at the appointed time, then various defects will be visible on their surface - cracks or abrasions. A worn belt will make an unpleasant whistle during operation. This indicates that it is time to replace it. If the drive belts break, the driver will hear a loud bang, and the equipment will simply cease to perform its functions. For example, if the alternator belt breaks, then the battery will stop charging. Also, in the event of a break, the hydraulicamplifier. As a result, the steering wheel will become very tight. Of course, you can drive with such a malfunction, but you should not postpone the replacement. For the amplifier system, this is very harmful. However, the main problem is a non-working pump. In this case, the circulation of the coolant stops and the engine may overheat. And this is already fraught with costly repairs.
Regular checks of drive belts
Each car owner should regularly inspect these elements and know how to tighten the power steering belt. The test can be carried out with the engine off. For testing, you just need to press your finger on the part - it will become clear whether the tension has loosened or not. With such an inspection, the part should not move even by 1-2 cm. Other damages are also checked by touch. If it was possible to notice damaged places on the belt, then it must be replaced. It is worth paying attention that when buying a new item, you can not purchase the original part. The automotive market offers non-original products that are as good as or even better than the original models in terms of technical characteristics and quality.
The average price for replacing a belt in a service station is approximately 2500 rubles. The cost of the element itself depends on the brand and its cost. The Priora power steering belt costs an average of 300 rubles. On the market you can find both cheap and quite expensive products that can withstand extreme loads.
But not only Priora is a popular folk model today. Many people buy Renault Logan. This vehicle also requires service and replacement of the drive belts. power steering beltsgenerators ("Logan 1.5" including) are different. It depends on the level of equipment of the car. As for manufacturers, these are Renault, Bosch, Gates and other brands. Products vary in length. You can also purchase rollers with and without a bracket separately. You can also purchase a kit in which there is a tension and bypass roller and the Renault Logan power steering belt itself. These kits are produced by Renault and Quartz.
Maintenance of drive elements
Beginner drivers who just got behind the wheel of their own car often do not know how to maintain this very car.
Many are faced with the need for maintenance and replacement of belts. Let's see how to tighten the power steering belt, tighten or loosen as necessary. Elements whistle because they slip on the pulley due to loosening. On the example of alternator belts, tension can be performed using special adjusting bolts or a strap.To tighten the belt on a modern car, loosen the alternator mounting bolts, then turn the adjusting bolt clockwise. In this case, the generator must be removed from the engine - the tension level is checked. Next, the fixing nuts are tightened. New V-ribbed belts with an increased level of elasticity have appeared on sale. They do not need to be stretched or tightened. Due to the design features and innovative materials, they simply do not stretch. The service life is up to 120,000 km. But in order to initially tension such a belt, you will need a special tool. In most modelscars have special tension rollers or automatic tensioners. This saves the wearer from constant pulling up. One drawback - during installation, the roller is also changed.
How to change the drive belt
Using the Lada Priora as an example, let's see how the belt is replaced. It must be said right away that three types of elements are provided for this model. So, the size of the power steering belt for a car without power steering is 742 mm. If the car is equipped with power steering, then the desired size is 1115 mm. For a car with power steering and air conditioning, the size should be 1125 millimeters. From the tools you will need keys for 13, a key for 17, a tension key, socket heads for 17 and 10, as well as a balloon wrench. First of all, the tensioner is unscrewed with a 17 key. Next, the engine mount is unscrewed, the front of the car is raised and the front wheel is dismantled. Then you need to remove the side protection. Under the crankcase should put some emphasis. Then lower the car a little - now the belt can be removed. Next, a new one is installed in place of the old one. After that, the car rises again, the engine is put in place, and the pillow is twisted. From under the crankcase you need to get the stop, and also install the wheel. The replacement of the power steering belts of the generator is almost over - it remains only to tighten it up a little. When starting the motor, a whistle may be heard - this indicates insufficient tension. If the tension is stronger than necessary, a buzz will be heard.
This is how drive belts in modern cars are maintained and changed. This will be useful for novice car owners.