There are two primary belt systems on your RAM 3500: the timing belt and the drive belt. Both belt systems ensure your RAM 3500 runs correctly and that the related systems the belts operate function. However, over time and normal “wear and tear,” these belts can and do need to be replaced.
If they are not replaced periodically at specific intervals, they can break. Once they break, the RAM 3500 cannot be driven until they are replaced. Deciding whether to replace belt systems on your own or at your authorized Chrysler Dodge, Jeep, and RAM dealerships in Indianapolis requires understanding the complexities of belt replacement.
The timing belt is the belt that runs between the crankshaft and camshaft on the engine. It is responsible for keeping the timing of the engine functioning correctly by turning the crankshaft and camshaft at the proper times and speeds.
It is often harder to access because of its location. Accessing the belt can require removing several system components, including the cooling fan, engine covers, the radiator, and others. In addition, the procedure requires having access to special tools needed to correctly replace the belt. Removing the belt can also require releasing the tension on it, which could involve loosening various pulleys.
The new timing belt must be positioned correctly during installation. If not, then the engine will not fire correctly, and there will be timing issues. To replace a timing belt on your own requires advanced knowledge of your engine and related systems.
Since this is often beyond the skill level of most DIY mechanics, it is often highly recommended to leave timing belt replacement service to authorized and certified RAM service centers. Timing belt replacement should be performed every 100,000 miles or ten years, whichever occurs first.
The drive belt is the primary belt you can see when you open your hood. It controls the water pump, AC compressor, alternator, and power steering systems. If this belt breaks, the cooling system stops working, the electrical system will not charge the battery, the AC won’t work, and there is no power steering.
Drive belts should be inspected at each oil change for signs of cracking and missing pieces. Drive belt replacement should be done every 60,000 miles or 60 months, whichever occurs first. Even if the belt still looks fine, the rubber could start to harden, which means it can more easily break.
Replacing the drive belt requires a special tool to release pressure and loosen the belt. It can require removing certain components and parts for easier access, like the cooling fan. Drive belt service is fairly quick to do, so long as you know how to do it. Otherwise, you should let your dealer’s service center replace it for you.
For drive belt and timing belt replacement services for your RAM 3500, please feel free to stop by Community Chrysler or contact our service department at 765-342-5000 today!