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Who makes the better (best?) timing belt

I'm getting ready to replace the timing belt on my '97 Hyundai Elantra. Are all aftermarket timing belts pretty much the same? Is a factory replacement the way to go?

I have a NAPA, a CarQuest, and an Advanced Auto in my town, and a dealer nearby. Just wondering from whom I should get this vital component.



Thanks!
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Comments

  • edited April 2008
    Every timing belt I've replaced I've always used OEM. I found the OEM belt to be about $1 more then aftermarket..So it was worth it. But if you must go aftermarket...try Gates. Several parts store in my area carry gates. The national chains don't though.
  • edited April 2008
    I recommend either OEM or goodyear belts.
  • edited April 2008
    Your choices are: Gates, Dayco or Goodyear for after market. Any other brands most probably made by either of the 3 companies. For more expensive belt, go to the dealer. Just so you know, the OEM is not made by the car maker. They are still made by one of the 3 belt makers with the difference that the OEMs were marked with the OEM logo (brand, #, etc)....
  • edited April 2008
    I suspected OEM belts had to be supplied by someone. Any idea of what stores carry what brands?
  • edited April 2008
    [quote]I suspected OEM belts had to be supplied by someone. Any idea of what stores carry what brands?[/quote]

    You'll have to do the research yourself. It's IMPOSSIBLE for us to tell you what stores in your area carry what brands...especially since we don't know where you live.

    Get a price for aftermarket..then check the OEM price. As I stated the OEM belts I've bought (Honda Accords and Nissan Pathfinders) were only $1 or 2 more then aftermarket. Not sure who makes their OEM belt.
  • edited April 2008
    CarQuest timing belts are made by Gates.

    Tester
  • edited April 2008
    [quote]Any idea of what stores carry what brands?[/quote]

    While it is true that the manufacturers don't make the belts, any belt that carries their name is made to their specifications. Belts from non-OEM manufacturers don't necessarily meet the same specifications.

    If I were looking into doing this job myself, I would be looking for more than the timing belt. I would be looking for the whole timing belt replacement kit, which might include other items like the timing belt tensioner and any other items you might need for the job, depending on the manufacturer's recommendation. An auto parts store might have the whole kit, but personally, I would buy it at a dealership. It might be worth a few extra dollars. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
  • edited April 2008
    I found out that NAPA timing belts are made by Gates which seem to have a good reputation, so I am going with one of theirs. It comes as a kit with
    the tensioner pulley. The idler was not included, so I'm going to check out the idler when I have it apart and examine it.
  • edited April 2008
    I've been a government fleet mechanic for 25 (+) years. The only time you should use carquest, advanced, autozone, etc is when you are buying parts for a car you don't plan to keep. Napa is very reliable and trustworthy eventhough you'll find their prices are a bit higher - there is a reason why they have been around longer then the latest chain/7-11 parts stores. Factory parts are often the best route to go if you want to pay their prices - rediculous. Remeber, there is always some geeky little crackhead at the dealership just waiting to soak up your money.
  • edited April 2008
    Here's a web site that may help a little. VW for one has recently increased the timing belt life for their diesels from 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles.

    http://www.aa1car.com/library/ar594.htm
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