Any such thing as OEM belts?

1.5 years ago I had my Accord’s two accessory belts replaced by the mechanic that I patronize.

The old ones were old and deteriorating, but didn’t make any noise and never required adjustment, they were simply replaced as P.M.

The new ones have been pretty consistently noisy, particularly after the car has been sitting in the rain over night and have required periodic adjustment.

I’m starting to feel that it’s my car’s way of saying “you can pay me now or you can pay me later.”

Would getting belts from the dealer and installing help to alleviate this issue? Or is a belt a belt, etc. I just can’t help but feel that “cheap” belts were installed.

I know Hondas don’t like it when non-OEM parts are used.

What would you do?


Well, first I would look at the belts to see if they are on correctly, or feel loose.
Some tensioners have a marking system on them to know when the belt is in the range to replace.

It could also be the tensioner that has gotten weak over time, and needs to be replaced.

But, you should have someone look at the car.
Tell them the belts were replaced recently, but you don’t know what brand was used, and that it’s been making noise ever since.


OEM Honda belts are not made by Honda. They’re made by a company that makes lots of belts and then brands them according to what the retailer wants - in your case, Honda.

No car maker produces their own belts. Those belts are made by the same company that provides them to garden variety auto parts houses, etc.
This is true of countless parts on a car. Clutch and brake components, airbags, suspension parts, electrics, and even seats and transmissions to name a few. About the only thing the car maker does is build an engine, stamp out the sheet metal, and stick it all together on the assembly line.

Is it possible that the shop used an inferior or little known brand of belt?
A couple of years ago I bought a belt for my Lincoln from O’Reillys and they gave me the belt that was sold under their brand name. I’ve used these belts a number of times with no problems but that belt was always slightly noisy. I even resorted to belt dressing (which I abhor) in a futile attempt to keep both the belt and my wife quiet.
I finally bought another brand of belt and stuffed the squeaky one into the spare tire well to carry as a get me home spare if it ever came to that.

Most OEM belts are made by the Gates Corporation. You could try new Gates belts, or you could try other remedies such as “belt dressing”, which is a spray designed to reduce squealing.

There may be an underlying problem(s) causing the squealing, such as misaligned pulley(s). It’s possible the mechanic did something wrong when replacing the belts originally.

Thanks for all the info.

Car manufacturers can have partial or complete ownership of a supplier. Even if they don’t, they can exercise a great deal of control over them. They can also require higher quality for the parts supplied to the car maker then that supplier might offer elsewhere. So you can get a better part by going to the dealership than you can if you were to buy the same part from a different outlet, even though they are both made by the same company.

It’s kind of like private labeling in other areas, like food items you find in a grocery. Groceries use private branding from major manufacturers. Meijer Grocery has had some very effective advertising. (If you can’t taste the difference, why pay the difference?)