Dayco Aftermarket UK has warned members of the trade after raising serious doubts about the ‘one size fits many’ policy of front-end auxiliary drive (FEAD) system sales.
Chris Showan, Technical Manager of Dayco, has released a statement expressing concerns about FEAD components.
He said: “Alongside timing belt kits that factors and workshops now deal with every day, the sale of FEAD components is one of the few under developed opportunities left in the aftermarket.
“However, the proliferation of parts that has occurred in virtually every sector of the business has also affected the auxiliary belt market and led some suppliers to limit the number of belt options they offer.
“Their theory being that some belts will fit several applications, even though the officially specified application is a different length. They base this assumption on the faulty premise that the movement of the automatic tensioner will take up the disparity in the length of the belt.
“This is a very risky approach however, not least because the technician is actually installing the wrong part, but also because in recent years the amount of movement in an automatic tensioner has reduced by as much as 80%.
“So whereas it might have been possible in the past for a tensioner with 100mm of movement to take up the slack in a longer than specified belt, a modern automatic tensioner with only 20mm of movement would leave the belt dangerously under tension.”