Critical Differences Between Drive Belt Vs Timing Belt | Autance

Several mechanical accessories are attached to your car engines, such as a water pump, alternator, air conditioner compressor, and many others. But, have you ever asked yourself what drives all these accessories. Probably not, because you might think it is not vital to know. There are two main types of belts, that is timing and…

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Critical Differences Between Drive Belt Vs Timing Belt | Autance © Critical Differences Between Drive Belt Vs Timing Belt | Autance

Several mechanical accessories are attached to your car engines, such as a water pump, alternator, air conditioner compressor, and many others. But, have you ever asked yourself what drives all these accessories. Probably not, because you might think it is not vital to know.

There are two main types of belts, that is timing and drive belt. They are similar naturally but have different functionalities in the engine. The engine’s critical parts are synchronized by the timing belts, for example, the crankshaft and camshaft.

 If your drive belts break, then there is no need to change the engine, while if the timing belt experiences a similar problem, you should promptly replace the entire engine. They are extensively used in the engine; so, what are some of the differences between a drive belt vs a timing belt?

In order to help you save time, we have highlighted the best fender flare for Drive Belt Vs Timing Belt at the comparison below:



Further information

Bando USA 7PK2470

- Brand: Bando USA
- Item Dimensions: 11.4 x 3.5 x 1 inches
- Ground rubber ribs are compounded from high strength synthetic rubber for wear resistance and long life
- Strong tensile cords carry high horsepower loads without stretching

Gates K081264HD

- Brand: Gates
- Item Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Heavy-duty construction resists cracking and wear, even at extreme temperatures
- Special compound provides unmatched flexibility, stability, load carrying capacity and belt life


- Brand: AISIN
- Item Dimensions: 14.8 x 6 x 14 inches
- Item Weight: 7.4 pounds
- Original equipment matched idler and tensioner bearings
- Engine specific water pressure is achieved without excessive load to engine
- Aluminum die-cast technology allows for size and weight reduction
- improved strength in body design and carbon ceramic mechanical seals assures leak prevention

Continental OE Technology Series 4060740

- Brand: Continental
- Item Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 1 inches
- Item Weight: 5.8 ounces
- Gatorback Poly-V belts quiet channel technology are designed for quiet performance.
- High-strength tension members allow greater wear resistance

ACDelco TCKWP329

- Brand: ACDelco
- Item Dimensions: 13.7 x 7.2 x 2.8 inches
- Item Weight: 1 pounds
- Includes water pumps that are designed and built for long lasting, efficient cooling
- Includes hydraulic tensioners, where available, for enhanced durability

Analysis of Drive Belt Vs Timing Belt

They are both located in the vehicle engine, have unique functions, and are highly essential for your car’s smooth running. To have a solid answer regarding them, you should understand their differences and similarities. So, what is a…

Drive Belt

This is a strong rubber responsible for powering all the accessories in the engine. It is part of the engine amalgamation that drives all these accessories. Moreover, it has numerous names such as an alternator, serpentine, accessory drive, or fan belt.

 V belt is one of the types of transmission drive belts. Therefore, the difference existing between v belt vs timing belt depends on various things such as the transmission of power. It is located on the outer part of the engine, and it is tasked to provide adequate power to other critical parts such as the water pump, air conditioner, alternator and steering. 

It cannot last beyond 12,0000 miles due to its great usage. It has few teeth; thus, you can experience some instants of slippage, and the accessories might malfunction. Don’t be afraid when this happens, because you can easily replace and repair them because they are located in the open.

Timing Belt

It is also referred to as a cambelt, and it’s the main connection between the camshaft and crankshaft, and it powers the inner components of your car engine, such as the valves and pistons. It correctly synchronizes the timing of the combustion and compression cycles. The crankshaft is placed in the engine’s cylinder block, while the camshaft is in the cylinder head.

In a general viewpoint, it provides a critical link between the lower and upper engine. Its teeth mesh well with the sprockets; thus, the wheels run effortlessly. There shouldn’t be any slippage instances between the timing belt and sprockets.

It is always covered properly to prevent any damage during its operation. They should not be used regularly, but that depends on the manufacturer. Therefore, it is imperative to replace damaged or old timing belt after approximately 42000 miles or after about 2 to 6 years, depending on road and weather conditions.

It is located inside the engine, so it isn’t easy to access them during replacement or repair. So, seek assistance from a professional mechanic to change it for you. Replacement cost is quite expensive, ranging between $250 to $600.

What are the Main Differences Between Driving and Timing Belt?

Now that you know the functionalities of both belts in the engine, what are some of the differences between them? Both of them are highly dependable, and you can choose any of them that fits your car’s engine requirement.

The appearance of the Belts and Make

You can get confused in terms of the appearance of these products, and some people use these names interchangeably. They have distinct differences and similarities concerning their appearance and make. In terms of similarities between drive belts vs cam belts, both are made of rubber. 

The difference comes in whereby the rubber used to make timing belts have high-ductile fibres for extra tension, such as Kevlar or fibreglass. It is made of premium materials such as cast polyurethane and neoprene. While materials used to make drive belts include leather, fabric, and rubber.

Drive belts requires fewer teeth because it’s responsible for the consistent, smooth flow of power in the accessories. The cam belt has multiple teeth because it synchronizes the crankshaft and camshaft. Thus, it requires excellent grip and no slippage.

Main Purpose

The central function of the timing belts is to enable proper coordination between the crankshaft and camshaft. They also enable the camshaft to close and open the valves at the right time to prevent the pistons from hitting them.

On the other hand, a drive belts transfer mechanical power generated from the car engine to enable your car to operate smoothly. They coil themselves around all the engine accessories and generates power for them. If the serpentine belts fail to run consistently, other minor devices can malfunction.


Drive belts are less durable than timing belts. The cam belts do not need constant maintenance and repair, unlike the other ones. Nevertheless, the durability of these belts depends on the brands that manufacture them. 

Some of the best brands for drive belt include Bando, Goodyear and probably Dayco. In contrast, top brands that manufacture quality cam belts are ACDelco and Aisin.

Replacement Cost

The cost of repairing or replacing timing belts is pretty much expensive than that for drive belts. This depends on their locations in the engine, whereby the cambelt is located inside your vehicle engine, thus very difficult to access. This makes labour used for repair to be much higher.

In comparison, the cost of repairing drive belts ranges between $90 to $210, and half of it is labour. For cam belts, the amount lies between $450 to $1000, and about 85% caters to labour. Moreover, the parts used for replacing drive belts are relatively cheap, costing almost $30, and timing belts cost almost $60.

The Causes of Failure for Engine Belts

The main causes of wear and tear in belts are mileage covered and extreme heat. They flex and bend each time they rotate around a pulley, generating heat that toughens the rubber. If they are loose and slippery, they accelerate the process of wearing.

The continuous friction between the pulley and belts can make them hotter than anticipated. The drive belt can begin to suffer from wear due to a lot of miles covered. Its rubber starts to crack, and the inner cords turn to start to stiffen.

You cannot determine the condition of your belts through appearance, therefore replace any fractured belts. They can experience some failures due to damaged and detached inner cords. It is vital to ensure that they are properly tensioned during replacement.

 They can have some moments of slippage and can wear out easily if they are loose. But if they are too tight, the inner cords can be destroyed, thus overloading the shaft bearings driven in the accessories.

How to Care for and Maintain Belts

The way you can care to maintain the drive belt is different from that of the timing belt. If you have a malfunctioning cam belts; the valves open and stick by the piston. This can cause permanent destruction to the engine if not fixed immediately.

Do not allow your car’s engine to run extremely hot or leak. Oil leaks and overheating in the car engines are the main causes of its damage. Therefore, for proper maintenance and care, read through your car’s user manual for tips and specifics associated with intervals of replacing them. 

Besides, you can notice if your drive belts need to be replaced if it’s old due to miles covered, particularly more than 12000 miles. It can also be misaligned due to excess tension from the tensioner. The best thing to do is to replace it instantly.

You can as well seek help from a professional mechanic to replace any of the products. So there is a huge difference between drive belt vs timing belt in terms of maintenance.

The Best Vehicle Engine Belts for 2021 Review

1. Bando USA (7PK2470) Serpentine Belt

Bando USA (7PK2470) is made of solid rubber ribs perfectly compounded from premium quality and highly durable synthetic rubber. You can use it for a long because its strengthen extends its lifespan. 

It can sustain high horsepower due to robust high-tensile cords. Thus it can fit properly in various types of vehicles. It is one of the best products because it can fit well in both new and old models. It is resistant to wear, which allows you to use it for long on heavy trucks with great power.

It can fit both new and old car models
It is made from resilient and long-lasting materials
Resistance to wear
Solid tensile cords
Quite expensive

2. Gates FleetRunner Serpentine Belt

Gates serpentine is a heavy-duty belt made of high-quality materials of high resistance which meet the OEM standards. It can carry large and heavy loads and perform the toughest applications efficiently. It has a V-groove design that allows it to run quietly.

It is 1.09 inches wide and about 21-inches long; thus, it’s easy to install. It comes with an instruction manual for easy set-up. Its strong construction is ideal for trucks and other vehicles. The most important thing about this product is that it is resistant to heat.

It can handle different load capacities and horsepower
It is suitable for heavy-duty vehicles
Resistant to cracks and impacts
Relatively expensive compared to other belts

3. Aisin Engine Timing Belt Kit

This Aisin kit comes with a strong timing belt, water pump, tensioner and bearings. The water pump is designed to provide the correct pressure during the overloading and has a lot of strength. It is made from solid rubber and the parts constructed from cast aluminium. 

These parts meet the OEM standard specifications for great functionalities. It also comes with an instruction manual for installing it quickly. Most customers attest that it is easy to mount; the only setback is that you need to remove the camshaft pulley using a strap wrench.

Simple and easy to install
Made of sturdy cast aluminium
It meets the OEM standards
It fits properly
You need a strap wrench during installation to remove the camshaft.

4. Continental Multi-V/Serpentine Belt

It is made from a solid rubber which improves its longevity, and it is resistant to wear and tear. The poly-v rubber design reduces the amount of noise produced and enables quiet operation. It comes with high-quality tensioners to sustain heavy loads.

The quiet continental channel technology enables it to operate smoothly and cool. This, in turn, increases its lifespan due to reduced frictions from continuous actions. The stunned-cog technique and sturdy rubber compounds eradicate any noise that might arise due to the misalignment of the pulley. 

Uses a discreet channel technology for quiet operations
It is constructed from premium quality and long-lasting materials
Gatorback rubber enhances flexibility
Quite cheap
Can result in complication if it does not fit well

5. ACDelco Professional Timing Belt


This product comes with hydraulic tensioners, a water pump and an idler pulley you need. These parts can enable you to do a professional installation, and they also give you an OEM fit. The water pump is used to provide efficient cooling of the engine.

Besides, the hydraulic tensioners are resilient and give it incredible performance. You need to replace the tensioners when the belt runs smoothly. Therefore, you can trust products from the ACDelco brand.

Its greatly economical
Easy to install
Resilient and durable
The timing doesn’t have marks for installation

Recap: Drive Belt Vs Timing Belt

Both of these products have unique functions to allows your car to operate smoothly. Forcing a car engine to operate in case of a timing chain can cause internal damages. Therefore, a gear drive can supply the camshaft with the precise timing to the engine. So, gear drive vs timing chain, which is better?

Drive belts generate power to drive the accessories, while the timing belts acts as a connection between the crankshaft and camshaft. These products are vital to engine components, so the engine cannot operate without them. Therefore, you need to invest in premium quality belts for safety drive.

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