What should you do if your serpentine belt breaks? The only way is to have it replaced immediately. But the question is “what is the best serpentine belt that is compatible with your car?”.
This article is all that you need. It will equip you with:
- Detailed serpentine belt buying guide.
- Top 5 serpentine belts review on the market in 2021.
What to consider before buying
Leaving out compatibility from your considerations is like a baking cake without flour. How would that even work? You clearly cannot use a serpentine belt that doesn’t fit your car.
There’s a need for caution and extra carefulness when selecting serpentine belts – no belt size fits all cars. Before making a purchase, you should confirm it’s the perfect match for your car model, and it is highly compatible with it.
Therefore, to make sure you choose what meets your demand, follow these steps:
- Read the review of the products below and click on what you want
- Choose what year of vehicles you have and their make
- Choose your vehicle’s model
- Then, check fit
- To make sure it fits your vehicle correctly, choose the type of your vehicle’s trim and engine
- Finally, check fit again
If the product fits your vehicle, that is for you. But if not, choose another one instead.
If you have found the serpentine belt which is suitable for your car, you can read about a step-by-step guide about how to replace the serpentine belt. Also, you must pay attention to the bad signs of this belt to have it replaced at the right time.
Up until recently, neoprene was the regular material for making serpentine belts. However, when belts started breaking up easily, manufacturers have switched to Ethylene-Propylene-Diene-Monomer (EPDM), and it seems to be doing better.
EPDM is more heat-resistant, and it also prevents wear in belts. It has better elasticity and does not crack under high temperatures. If you’re looking for a belt to stick with you for years, then you know what to buy—a serpentine belt made with EPDM.
The size of the belt is another key feature you need to consider when buying. To get an ideal aftermarket belt size, you’ll need your belt’s model number. Usually, the model number is found on the factory serpentine belt. But if your former best is completely worn out, you might not see the number.
In that case, take out the (old) belt and measure its length. Once you’re done, pick an aftermarket belt that’s about a size smaller. This is so you can get a perfect fit.
Alternatively, you can check your vehicle owner’s manual for the exact size of the previous belt.
A serpentine belt can either be V-ribbed, Multi-V straight-ribbed, or Multi-ribbed, and each contributes to how long the belt lasts. The best of belts normally have cross cuts and lots of valleys for efficiency. So I’d recommend the Multi-ribbed. Besides preventing overheating, it allows air to get under the serpentine belt and enhances productivity.
Top serpentine belt brands
When it comes to producing high-quality serpentine belts, Bando is king. The company is not one of the very new ones you’ll see around these days – it’s been around for more than a century. If you’re wondering why the Bando brand is rated so high, here’s why: the belts you get from them last long; they don’t wear out easily like the others on the market. Also, Bando has made a name for itself as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for brands like Toyota and Nissan, which are, of course, very popular.Check Price at Amazon
Check out Gates products when shopping for serpentine belt. It is another great brand with exclusive qualities. One unique thing about the brand is that it provides high quality at a low cost. You don’t have to break a bank to own this product. There are low-priced belts that do not sacrifice quality in any way.
Gates serpentine belts comprise EPDM rubber, making them one of the most durable drive belts you’ll ever find. Besides, they are quite elastic too.
If you aren’t impressed by belts produced by Bando or any other leading manufacturers out there, Gates is the company to patronize.Check Price at Amazon
This shouldn’t come off as much surprise – ACDelco boasts several amazing feats in the belt industry, and its products last much longer than the others. Regardless of model, ACDelco serpentine belts will make your vehicle work pretty better, and they’ll save you the stress of replacing components frequently.
I’d not have known how great this product is if I never got one. Though it has its downsides, it remains one of the best I have ever used.Check Price at Amazon
Best serpentine belts review
Bando 6PK2135 – Timmy’s choice
- Cheap and durable
- Designed to deliver maximum horsepower and not break
- OEM quality
- Works perfectly with automatic tensioners or small diameter pulleys
- Heat and crack resistant
- Doesn’t work for all vehicles
- Alignment issues
Bando serpentine belt is both durable and affordable, and that’s perfect. Each of its six ground rubber ribs measures 84.1 inches, and they’re tough enough to keep it working for keeps.
Although this product has strong tensile cords that carry heavy horsepower loads and do not stretch, it isn’t what you can use for all cars. If your vehicle is quite old-modeled, then forget it. I would advise you to go for something else, preferably a belt that works perfectly for your model.
Made with EPDM rubber, the Bando belt is highly heat-resistant, and it resists cracks too. But sometimes, I find the product description misleading. How do you order a belt made in the USA and get something manufactured in Indonesia? That’s completely misleading. So I don’t trust it. If you’re really bent on buying a USA product, then you might need to verify the product’s country of origin. If you receive the wrong product, get it replaced immediately.
Overall, the Bando Serpentine belt is a good pick if the Bando brand is your priority. After driving 60,000 miles, the belt hasn’t cracked or stretched at all. Also, it’s still in proper tension, and it is quite perfect for a low-budget drive belt.
Verdict: One great thing about the Bando USA 6PK2135 serpentine belt is the price. It is not common to find something as good as this at a relatively low price. But here’s one. Though there seem to be some bits of downsides to the belt, you can trust it to hold all your engine accessories together.
Bando 5PK875 – Best budget
- Extended belt life
- Compound backing reduces noise
- Accurate metric sizing
- Better grip and reduced slip
- Quieter operation
- Too wide and deep grooves for the pulleys
- Doesn’t fit all cars
Bando’s commitment to premium quality is matchless. And that’s why you’ll find yet another serpentine belt from the brand. An award-winning OEM supplier, Bando combines both experience and OE technology to create something that beats the competition—that’s Bando 5PK875 serpentine belt. It is made with EPDM rubber, making it flexible, long-lasting, and oil resistant. It also has strong tensile cords that carry high horsepower loads without stretching.
The V-ribbed belt covers import and domestic applications, and it is the best choice for leading automakers. If you visit an auto shop for the belt, you’re likely to shell out no less than $90, and that’s for a belt alone. Labor might cost an extra $90 or more. But here’s a top-rated serpentine belt you can get for under 20 dollars. Sweet, right? Well, yeah. But it doesn’t fit all cars.
I tried this belt on my Subaru Outback sometimes ago, and it went on quite easily. For several months now, it has been serving me without a hitch. However, you can notice that the grooves can be too wide and deep for the pulleys. It might be somewhat difficult to install, but it still goes well with your car if you choose the compatible one.
Verdict: Just a few things excite a car owner better than a serpentine belt that fits perfectly and works ceaselessly without breaking—and that’s what you get with this belt from Bando. Yes, there might be some problems with the product—there really cannot be a ‘perfect’ serpentine belt for all vehicles—but it is one of the very best belts for the leading automakers.
Gates K081264HD – Best for heavy-duty vehicles
- Extended belt life
- OEM quality
- Highly durable
- Superior flexibility
- May not work well on large pulleys
- Sometimes very noisy
Look no further for a premium-quality serpentine belt that’s made with EPDM rubber, easy to install, and highly resistant; Gates K081264HD is what you need. With Gates, efficiency is a sure bet. You can rest assured your engine accessories will receive just the right amount of power they need.
Gates belt works well, but it can be a little noisy. I get this annoying. I hear a loud squeak each time I shut my car’s engine and it’s a major turn-off. Also, no, it doesn’t work for all cars. However, its 1.08-inch width and 20-inch length mostly fit into trucks, SUVs, and other heavy-duty vehicles. One good thing is that you don’t need any special expertise to install it in your car. However, if you aren’t sure of a thing or you need some help, get extra hands.
This top-rated serpentine belt has a construction that allows it to resist wear and cracks easily. So even when the temperature gets to its peak, and it seems like the entire vehicle will blow up in seconds, you can be sure your engine is safe. The product constantly outperforms other heavy-duty belts on the market and provides unmatched stability, flexibility, and load-carrying capacity.
Verdict: Gates K081264HD will help you haul more and drive longer. You can reduce downtime and save some cash by getting one for your car. Though like most other top products on the market, it doesn’t fit all cars. You can be sure it fits perfectly on heavy-duty vehicles.
ACDelco 6K930 – Best compatibility
- Made of EPDM
- Works well with misalignment
- OEM quality
- Highly durable
- High-heat superior applications
- Doesn’t fit all car models
- A little more difficult to install
Thanks to its extra solid construction, ACDelco 6K930 ranks as one of the longest-lasting serpentine belts you’ll find today. The product features EPDM rubber, and this makes it quite dependable and crack-resistant. What’s more, it lasts about 50-60 percent longer than belts sold in retail stores. It is also flexible enough to withstand countless bends – both at the top and at the backside. Run this belt on any high-temperature engine, and it’ll remain intact. What a bliss!
ACDelco belts work with various vehicle models and make, and they accept misalignment better than other belts out there. Meaning that, whether the belt stretches out or it doesn’t seem to fit perfectly, your car runs—and without difficulty. Enough power loads come from the belt’s ribs, so your vehicle’s components can perform excellently.
The issue with this belt is its top-width. It has a rather too narrow top-width that makes installation more strenuous. And then, it doesn’t work with certain trucks. But since compatibility is usually a problem with serpentine belts, I won’t consider that regardless of type.
Verdict: This product is definitely something you should consider for your car. Besides being compatible with a wide variety of vehicles, it is built to provide professional technicians with superior accessory belt drive systems (ABDS). And ultimately, it meets expectations for form, fit, and function.
ACDelco 12576447 – Also great
- Extended belt life
- GM OE quality
- Offers great value at low cost
- Less slippage and lasting performance
- Does not stretch under tension
- Description is sometimes misleading
- Doesn’t work with all cars
This is a more affordable product than the ACDelco 6K930 serpentine belt, yet it offers the quality and reliability of GM OE. Its material, which is EPDM rubber, also offers the ultimate durability. If you’re looking to minimize the load on your car’s engine without spending so much, then this is for you.
Again, I must remind you to check the compatibility again because you can sometimes receive the wrong item that doesn’t fit your car. However, if you get the right one, this is just the kind of belt any car owner would love.
Another thing that I like about this belt is that it runs quietly and you will hear no sound when installing it into your car. Besides, the original equipment V-ribbed belt withstands tension like no other and reduces slippage with its multiple ribs. No doubt, this belt will protect your engine till hell freezes over. It isn’t one of the many serpentine belts that get weak easily.
Verdict: You don’t have enough cash to get an ACDelco 6K930 serpentine belt? Here’s something cheaper. The ACDelco 12576447 belt delivers just as much power as you’d get with most other serpentine belts on the market, though it has its downsides.
Now that you are familiar with the best serpentine belts to buy in 2021, you should get one for your car today. Out of all the best serpentine belts reviewed above, I still recommend you to go for Bando 6PK2135 if you need to replace your belt. Delay is dangerous, you know. So act fast.