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[Brand Choice] Automotive Belts


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Preferred Brand for most vehicles: NAPA premium. They seem to last the longest. Most Fords, I'll echo the sentiments above for the Gatorback.

Supplier: NAPA or Autozone (for the Gatorback)

Warranty: Lifetime for NAPA (lifetime of the goods, so it doesn't mean you will never buy another belt)

Manufaturer: Gates manufactures the belts for NAPA


For a while I was getting belts from Service Champ. They were very inexpensive but held up extremely well. I can't come close to buying a belt locally for what Service Champ sold them for. I was happy with the belts, but not happy to have to purchase so many of them.

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Depends upon what vehicle I am working on. Most imports I get the OEM brand manufactured belts from WorldPac just because I think the OEM belts tend to last longer. If I am not using the OEM brand manufactures I am using Gates belts supplied by Oreillys. Gates belts are 1 yrs warranty from Oreillys.

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I too prefer the Goodyear Gatorback belt. But I use primarily NAPA(Premium) Belts made by Gates. I use them because my servicing store does such a good job of standing behind me, even if NAPA or the manufacturer won't stand behind them. I don't use the Gatorback very much because the only local supplier is AutoZone and I HATE buying AZ garbage. Not to mention their service sucks unless they are your main supplier and you do $$,$$$.$$ business with them. If you don't you pay the same price as the public. That and so many more arguments about their "free" practices that sell parts that won't fix the light to start with. The warranty on the Gates belts is about useless if you really read it.


Many years ago I used a Gates timing belt on my wife's Hyundai. Less than 3K after it was installed it sheared teeth. Not broke, not split, not installed improperly (I used factory tools and repair manual since I worked at the dealer at the time, don't ask why I didn't use a Hyundai belt, I don't remember. Could be that it was a Gates too, I don't remember). The belt sheared teeth and you know the rest of the story, many broken valves. A broken casting around a valve guide and a broken valve embedded in a piston. Long story short, my cost of $850.00 later (1994 $$'s) the car was fixed. Gates contribution to the cause, $0.00. "we'll give you a new belt, IF we deem it was at fault, but we're not responsible for any other damages. I declined. I asked them, your first belt failed and you won't stand behind it, why would I want to risk it on another belt? So I installed a Goodyear belt, the car was sold and traveled from Michigan to Texas and back 3 times over the next 100K miles with the same timing belt.


So to this day I cringe even when it's just a serpentine belt. But when every parts store in town carries Gates except AutoZone what do you do? I guess I rely on my insurance and my servicing store to back me up in the event of a failure. And the use of an OE belt won't guarantee you aren't getting Gates either. When I was a forklift mechanic we were doing a head gasket on a Linde Baker IC truck and the factory belt came through. I don't remember the engine manufacturer but the factory belt was a Gates belt in the engine manufacturer's package inside the Linde package. So I was screwed all the way around.

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