When it's time to replace the serpentine belt in your engine, you will have a decision to make before buying a replacement belt. Should you choose an OEM serpentine belt, or is it OK to use an aftermarket one?
There are many differences in the two types of belts, so choosing the right belt for your vehicle is a pretty big decision. The engine has multiple parts that work together via the serpentine belt. That's why it's important to find the right type of belt that will perform reliably for a long time.
What Is An OEM Serpentine Belt?
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM parts are exact replicas of the stock parts on your vehicle. All genuine OEM parts are made by the manufacturer of your vehicle. When you use an OEM replacement part, you're putting in a part that's exactly the same as the stock part in your car.
An OEM serpentine belt is a replacement belt that has been manufactured by Ford, or one if its trusted suppliers. It comes with the same specifications as the stock belt in your Ford engine.
What Is An Aftermarket Serpentine Belt?
An aftermarket part is a generic or universal replacement part that is not made by the automaker, but instead by another company. When you order an aftermarket serpentine belt, you're not getting an exact replica of the stock serpentine belt in your Ford engine.
It's universally known that OEM parts are always better than aftermarket parts. Yet, you still may be wondering if it's worth saving a few bucks on an aftermarket serpentine belt.
The answer is no. Aftermarket serpentine belts may cost less upfront. Yet, they may create a variety of engine issues that could cost you money in the long run.
OEM Serpentine Belts Are Made With Higher Quality Materials
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Serpentine belts are made of rubber, with reinforcement cords embedded in the rubber. There is a high-quality type of rubber that is ideal for use in serpentine belts, and that's what Ford uses. Ford produces its OEM serpentine belts with a specific type of rubber that's designed for use in your engine. It ensures reliability and good performance over time.
You don't get the same guarantee with aftermarket serpentine belts. The rubber may not be of the same quality. It could be a lower grade that's less durable. The materials used in the belt must be able to withstand the heat and continuous usage without melting, stretching, or warping.
OEM Serpentine Belts Are Better Engineered
When you get an OEM replacement belt for your Ford, you're getting a belt that has been engineered to work with all the other parts in your vehicle. This ensures reliability and performance. OEM serpentine belts:
- Are the right length
- Are the right width
- Are ribbed the right way that's compatible with the pulleys in your engine
Aftermarket belts don't always come with the right design or dimensions. Many of them have a universal design. That can lead to engine issues.
- A serpentine belt that's too tight puts too much stress on the tensioner and idler, and can cause their premature failure.
- A serpentine belt that's too loose will slip over accessory pulleys, causing them to rotate more slowly than they should.
- A serpentine belt that's too thin can break easily and fail to power any of the engine components.
- A serpentine belt that's too wide can fall off.
Conclusion: OEM Serpentine Belts Are A Much Better Investment
OEM belts are designed with the correct dimensions for compatibility with your engine. The material used is high-grade and engineered to endure heat, friction, and continuous usage.
Aftermarket belts don't always have that same level of engineering or quality materials. If you opt for a cheaper aftermarket belt, you're taking a chance that it won't function correctly. It may break, slip, or come off the pulleys. This will cause your engine to not run optimally, and it could even be unsafe for you to drive.
When you choose an OEM replacement belt for your Ford, you're getting a superior product made with better materials.
Get An OEM Serpentine Belt At Wholesale Pricing
Many Ford owners shy away from OEM parts because these parts can be pretty expensive. That doesn't always have to be the case, though. You can buy an OEM replacement serpentine belt (or any other OEM part) at wholesale pricing right here at Blue Springs Ford Parts. For example, our serpentine belts range between $9 and $55. At those low prices, it just doesn't pay to take a risk on an aftermarket belt.
We're an online retailer of genuine OEM Ford parts, and we offer wholesale pricing on all the parts we carry. Visit our catalog of OEM Ford belts and then do a search on your Ford model. You'll get a list of all the belts that are designed for your engine.
Do you need help finding the right serpentine belt for your Ford vehicle? Please contact us. We'll get right back to you ASAP!