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Belts & Pulleys In Engines

There are different areas in an engine where you would see belts and pulleys in action. These areas require the belt and pulley system to operate correctly and can be found in virtually all different engine types.

Power Steering

Should you have a newer car, then the chances are that you will have a power steering. The power steering pump inside the car will use a belt and pulley system to spread the power steering fluid all around the steering column to provide easy turning of the wheel. The fluid is picked from the tub of fluid and is forced through the power steering hose. The pump then spreads it back to the tub which houses the rest of the fluid and does this on a consistent basis to allow easy steering.

Air Conditioning

The compressor for the air conditioning is another area which uses belts and pulleys to spread cool air throughout your car. The belt and pulley work in harmony to ensure that the air which is circulated into your car is sufficiently cool/ The air is passed through a condenser along with the refrigerant to ensure the air is set at the perfect temperature. This is an ongoing cycle while ever your air conditioning is switched on.


This uses a pulley and belt system too and works by using the pulley to constantly turn whilst the engine is switched on to recharge the battery of the car. Many functions of the car work from the energy which is produced by the energy generated by the alternator. These include lights (headlights, dashboard lights, stop lights), all which take power from the alternator. Windscreen wipers, electric windows and radios are others.

Water Pumps

The combination of water and antifreeze allow the engine to operate at the correct temperature by cooling the engine appropriately. These are in the radiator when the car or van is not running. As soon as the engine is started, the the water pump pulley is switched on by the belt and the antifreeze and water mixture is pushed through the water pump to cool the engine. The water is recirculated back through the water pump and is cooled by a cooling fan. As long as he engine is switched on, this process will keep running.

In the industry today, these are just a few short examples of places and situations where the belt and pulley systems are at work, from the first pulley to help lift things from a low spot to a high spot, to the modern day belt and pulley mechanisms we see in the most expensive, modern machinery. The belt and pulleys are here to sta for a while longer yet!