On June 19, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted the newest installment in its Webinar Wednesday series.
Bobby Bassett, North America National Training Manager for Gates Corporation, presented “Belt Slip: the Gift that Keeps on Giving,” focusing on the reasons that components for the accessory belt drive system (ABDS) have high rates of warranties and return to the shop repeatedly. ASA Vice President Tony Molla served as host, welcoming attendees and introducing Bassett.
Basset said his goal was to enhance attendees’ understanding of the complete ABDS and how one component can impact another. Bassett stressed, “We can’t do it like we used to. Technology is changing every day. We are going to discuss industry information that’s creating failures all over the world.”
Using the example of repeatedly filling a tire with air, Bassett pointed out, “You have to stop using the Band-Aid approach and find the root cause. If you are replacing the same component for a second time for the same reason, fully inspect the system for proper diagnosis before reinstalling yet another component.”
According to Bassett, based on a sampling of alleged warranties returned to the factory, 40 percent of radiator failures are due to the condition of the coolant and 40 percent of returned batteries merely needed to be charged. Ninety percent of timing belts fail just after a belt is installed and 99.8 percent of returned serpentine belts were forced to failure.
“A lot of components are forced to fail and there are lots of excuses for the failures,” Bassett said. “Collision repairers own the liability for the repair, so it falls on us if we accept the customer’s advice based on those excuses.”
After exploring the advantages and disadvantages of serpentine belts, Bassett discussed how modern belts are made with ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber and need to be replaced at approximately 90,000 miles. He explained, “EPDM wears differently so cracks are minimal, if any. Just five percent of belt wear will allow the belt to slip under load. Rib wear is the predominant wear indicator and visually difficult to determine unless using a belt wear tool.