Timing Belt: Autozone vs. OEM

Posted by No_Skillz, Oct 27, 2008
Bolt-on Tech - 4G63 intake, exhaust, intake manifold, ignition, fuel system, cooling, etc.

  1. No_Skillz

    No_Skillz Proven Member

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    I have here in my hand one Autozone timing belt and one OEM timing belt. I have read that Autozone belts are rebranded belts from a company called Gates. Doing some more digging, I've found nothing but good reviews on Gates' belts on many types of cars, not just DSMs.

    Just some quick observations with the two side by side:
    Gates' belt is overall thicker.
    Gates' belt has a thicker cable sandwich.
    Gates' belt teeth have more robust grooves.
    Gates' rubber is more of a hard rubber where OEM is plasticky.
    Gates' was hella less expensive.
    I want to use Autozone/Gates over OEM.

    I would like to get the opinions of other people who have USED Autozone/Gates belts.

    (On the same note I am also using Autozone inner and outter tie rods. Quality from visual inspection, feel, and heft surpasses that of OEM. I currently have ~1000 miles on these.)

    And no, I don't work for Autozone.
    #1
  2. twicks69

    twicks69 DSM Wiseman

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    Mike, I had one on my 1991 TSi FWD in the past -- had no problems with it.

    Personally, I like spending the extra money on a known quality belt such as OEM or aftermarket (power enterprise), but that depends on your choice of where the money should go.

    Try it, if it pops, well then write up a technical article or product feedback thread to show us your experiences.
    #2
  3. 7"exhaust_tip

    7"exhaust_tip Proven Member

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    I have a Gates timing belt on my car. No problems yet.

    *knocks on wood*
    #3
  4. webconnect

    webconnect Proven Member

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    Or, if it works, write a thread on your product feedback and experience.
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  5. twicks69

    twicks69 DSM Wiseman

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    I meant that as well! :D
    #5
  6. iugrad92turbo

    iugrad92turbo Proven Member

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    Ive had both belts from different suppliers over the years, and no problems.
    #6
  7. No_Skillz

    No_Skillz Proven Member

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    Yah, I'd much prefer the latter as well. :)

    If it's as good as I think it is, a writeup might be a few years in the coming since I'm def going to run it to 50k+ miles to see how it holds up. Or, I might abort early if I see signs of premature failure and wear.

    I guess I'll be a hypocrite in the next few years since I'll want to run without a timing belt cover so I can keep a constant eye on it. Everyone, do as I say, not as I do!
    #7
  8. Defiant

    Defiant DSM Wiseman

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    I'm convinced you can't buy a "bad" timing belt. It's not a product that can just be "knocked-off" like a waterpump with a cheap bearing/seal cassette. If a manufacturer is going through the effort of going into timing belt production, it's a quality product.
    #8
  9. No_Skillz

    No_Skillz Proven Member

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    Interesting thought. I had just assumed that knocking off a timing belt would be alot easier than a turbo or something.
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  10. need2boostpsi

    need2boostpsi Proven Member

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    i have a Napa timing belt on my car right now, i chose the Napa belt over the OEM for the reasons the OP stated in the first thread. most of the time you can tell if a product was cheaply made, belts are a little harder but a fine attention to detail and you can notice a good Timing Belt.
    #10
  11. JWoodley

    JWoodley Proven Member

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    Gates makes the best belts, hands down. Greddy and probably even the HKS timing belts are Gates.
    #11
  12. wont_luz

    wont_luz Proven Member

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    I run a dayco timing belt on my car for now. I just change it more often, say once per year, just to make sure, but I put on about 25kmiles/year anyways. When I get a built motor or head or start making real power I'll just get a greddy timing belt.
    #12
  13. JusMX141

    JusMX141 Moderator

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    I've been in the auto parts business for over 10 years now. You'd be surprised how many companies will build parts for another company and relabel them. Wix makes NAPA filters, Peak sells AntiFreeze under a cheaper brand called "All Weather".

    I wouldn't doubt for a second that Gates or Dayco manufactures belts then relabels them for store brands. The question here would be when you buy an Autozone belt, are you getting a true Gates quality belt, or is the rubber softer or have they done something else to cut corners and keep costs low.
    #13
  14. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    ..and NAPA belts are made by GATES... and I love the NAPA Gold oil filters.

    I would only say if one uses anything outside of OEM, I would recommend a more shorter belt changeout frequency - like 30 to 40k miles instead of the OEM of 60k.

    -DSM
    #14
  15. nuclearr

    nuclearr Proven Member

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    ok I have worked at a chrysler dealer and have intalled a timing belt from Autozone the belt from other supplyers the mitsu belt is much beter than anything else, other than spending the big dollars on a kevlar belt wich I personaly recomend especialy if you plan on any hp mods. I have broken several belts I even had a mitsu belt get half worn and still work (when i say half worn the belt was half as wide as normal due to a bent pully).

    dsm1g90 I agree with that but I say that for stock as well I have seen many break right at 60,000 also wihile you have it down make sure to change the water pump!! youll regeret it if you dont. I will go out shortly and you will have to take it back down
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  16. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    Yep, did that all with the last belt changeout 4k miles ago - all pulleys, adjuster and the pump. Interestingly enough, of all of the other belt changeouts I've done on other makes of motors, this is the only one make that the pump replacement is highly recommended when doing belt changeouts.

    thx - DSM
    #16
  17. cano86

    cano86 Proven Member

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    My Timing belt is from Autozone as a matter of fact all my parts from the rebuild in my engine are from Autozone and from personal experience I do like them, I beat on my car a lot and always take it to the max and non of those parts have failed on me. "Knock on wood as stated above" like this afternoon on my way to work I tapped it at 135 and thats something I do on almost a daily basis and not racing just driving and there is no leaks on gasket or other parts malfunctioning.
    #17

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