Gates launches accessory belt drive system wear indicator

Gates has introduced a new and practical tool to help identify signs of wear on multi-ribbed belts and pulleys: the ABDS (Accessory Belt Drive System) wear indicator. The tool is simple to use and allows mechanics and technicians to quickly gauge wear – whether the belt or pulley is still fitted to the engine or has been removed.

Recent changes in OE and aftermarket multi-ribbed belt construction requires changes in the way technicians need to diagnose belt wear. Today, multi-ribbed belts used by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) as well as Gates’ entire Micro-V® Horizon™ range feature an EPDM construction. This superior technology offers better performance characteristics in today’s engine compartments which are getting smaller and more complex. Like any wear part, however, these belts don’t last forever.

In the past, a simple visual inspection of the belt would reveal components in need of repair. EPDM belts, however, don’t necessarily show traditional signs of wear as the belts gradually wear down without cracking, in a similar way to the tyres on a vehicle. Over a period of 100,000 miles, a belt can lose up to 10 per cent of its rib material. Because the resulting loss of tension and/or belt slip cannot easily be detected, Gates has developed the handy ABDS wear indicator tool.

The same tool can be used for checking both the belt and the pulley on/off the engine. When the tool is applied and if side-to-side movement is possible then too much rubber compound, for belts, or too much metal/plastic, for pulleys, has worn away. This alerts the mechanic that the belt or a pulley is in need of replacement.

The ABDS wear indicator allows technicians to be confident in their service recommendations while educating customers about proper ABDS maintenance.