Many people think that there is an easy cleaner that can be sprayed onto drive belts, but this is not actually the case. While the belts can be cleaned, it is actually the pulleys that will do the cleaning. The goal of this article is to make sure that the drive belts stay clean and do not squeak or crack during operation.
Many people have issues with their drive belts and want an easy way to clean them. The actual cleaning is with the pulleys and making sure they are operating to give the belts a better ride. The reason that a belt will squeak or move is that the belt has created a glaze over the pulley. To remove this glaze, take a wire brush to the pulley in order to give it a rougher surface and hold the belt into place, essentially cleaning it so it will stick. Spray it with brake cleaner to get rid of extra stray pieces that came off with the brushing, and then allow it to dry.
Once it has dried, put the pulley back in place and re-attach the belt. In many cases, if it still squeaks, then you will more than likely need a new belt although, upon replacement, the belts will be clean and stay that way. This should be a normal process as the belt's glaze will always be finding its way onto the pulley and smoothing it.
Many people will advise you to apply brake cleaner and squeak removers directly onto the belts and, while this will fix the belt sounds, it will only be temporary and can damage and crack the belts due to the lubrication. It is inevitably a better idea to work with the pulleys rather than the belt as it will save trouble mechanically through time. If it is a temporary fix that you are looking for though, most auto parts stores will sell drive belt cleaners that can get you around for anywhere from one week to three months before it deteriorates.
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