How to choose the best timing belt for your car

8 best timing belts.

*Review of the best ones according to editors. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, it is not an advertisement and does not serve as a guide to purchase. It is necessary to consult with a specialist prior to purchase.

Timing belt – a very important component of the engine. Thanks to this belt transmission, the torque is transmitted to various nodes: the fan, the timing mechanism itself, the generator and others, provided by the specifics of the car itself. By technical execution, timing belts are divided into three types: wedge, multi-ribbed and toothed, the most complex from the point of view of design (since its teeth on the entire perimeter must have an involute profile with a minimum error of mutual arrangement).

Due to the widespread use of vehicles with internal combustion engines and belt drives, a large number of companies are involved in the production of timing belts. Accordingly, users are faced with the elementary question time and again: Who is the best? And, conducting its own market analysis, Expertology magazine selected eight of the coolest timing belt companies, which received the highest ratings from users and a panel of experts.

How to choose a timing belt

Choosing a timing belt is generally very similar to choosing any other part: it has its own identifying marks and tags, giving the degree of originality and the accompanying quality of the product. In order to make the right purchasing decision, the editors of Expertology magazine advise to pay attention to four key characteristics:

  1. The numerical designation of the belt. Many people mistakenly believe that timing belts (regardless of type) are made individually and labeled accordingly. In fact, they are cut from a large billet, which is first subjected to a process of applying a differentiated numerical code. Often in the market you can come across belts with a designation in which all the digits are the same – this is a sure sign of counterfeiting and a reason to refuse to buy such a product.
  2. Manufacturer’s hologram and certificate of conformity . As a control mark of the originality of timing belts, manufacturers began to glue special holograms on the boxes, as well as equip each of them with a small accompanying certificate. We advise you to study both the box itself and its contents carefully before buying: in the absence of a certificate, be sure to demand it from the seller. If he is not able to issue one, feel free to refuse to make a purchase.
  3. The price level. An indirect sign, by which you can distinguish a quality belt from a cheap fake. To do this, you should at least superficially know the hierarchy of manufacturing companies – who sells expensive products, and who is in the budget segment. Here it is also worth remembering the main rule: only products that can make money can be counterfeited. Thus, the main risk group is made up of medium- and high-priced timing belts.
  4. Presence/absence of damage to the strap and packing box. The last criterion on the list, but by no means the least important. Before you make your purchase, carefully inspect the belt for cuts (even minor ones), torn teeth, or segmental breakage. Also pay attention to examine the box: there are no rough scuffs or tears, and the manufacturer’s information and hologram are intact. Most often the rubs and defects in the boxes are attributed to delivery errors, but 80% of the time these excuses are untrue.
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Rating of the best timing belts

Nomination place manufacturer rating
Rating of the best timing belts 1 Contitech 4.9
2 Gates 4.8
3 Dayco 4.8
4 Bosch 4.7
5 Lemforder 4.7
6 INA 4.7
7 Optibelt 4.6
8 Hutchinson 4.5


First place goes to Contitech, a division of Continental that underwent liquidation in 2018. In fact, it was a close analogue of Dayco, the only difference being that the development of belts was carried out on the material and resource base of one of the largest manufacturers of car tires. Naturally, there was continuity (both in methods and technologies), in-depth research of peculiarities and development of principally new ways of high quality product manufacturing.

However, the Contitech management apparatus was prudent enough to restrain the rate of saturation of new products with fresh developments, thus avoiding price increases and violation of the delicate ratio of consumer costs to quality. To date, it is unclear how the products of the disbanded brand will be marketed. It is most likely that the rubber-metal products (including gas-distributor belts) will go under the Continental logo…good thing the very essence will remain unchanged.

The best timing belt manufacturers

To synchronize the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft in the engine of the car there is a timing belt. This part requires periodic replacement, which is performed on a scheduled or urgent basis. The best manufacturers of timing belts produce products which remain reliable throughout 90-120 thousand kilometers. The team decided to look into the question – which manufacturers produce consumables worthy of the attention of car owners.

The best manufacturers of timing belts

When compiling the review we studied the products of famous brands, compared the availability of spare parts in the market, availability and coverage of the dealer network. Reviews of the manufacturers of timing belts of car owners and opinions of engine mechanics from service centers were taken into account. The main attention in compiling the top rating was paid to the following parameters:

  • Absence of defects – the product is under load, cuts are not allowed;
  • Assortment – the wider the choice, the easier to pick up spare parts for the machine;
  • The level of protection – the presence of holograms, codes guarantees the purchase of the original;
  • Service life – it affects the operating costs;
  • Equipment – availability of rollers for reliable installation is welcomed.
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The presence of cracks and cuts, poor quality materials, vulnerability to machine oil – companies producing products with such characteristics were excluded from our rating.


The best timing belt manufacturers

In the ranking of timing belt manufacturers, the leading positions are occupied by companies with high scientific and technical potential. Only a company that implements innovative technologies and uses new materials can produce spare parts that meet the strict regulations of automobile companies. The best brands are well represented in Russia and have their own dealer networks to ensure that they communicate with consumers.

Gates .

The American company works in 30 countries, and its dealer network covers 120 countries on all continents. Concern has its own materials science center, which develops materials designed for ultra-high loads. The development of products takes into account the requirements of the OEMs, which are required for durability and heat resistance. The company produces consumables in cooperation with dozens of automobile companies. This makes it possible to buy the timing belt for any car.

The company produces consumables at a low price for owners of used cars, but the basis of the range – the line PowerGrip. The products are resistant to heat, wear and contamination. The performance of the parts exceeds the parameters of the conveyor assembly parts. Highly saturated nitrile, which withstands exposure to oil, grease, and moisture, is used in manufacturing.



  • Precise tooth geometry for effective grip;
  • Low noise level;
  • Three profiles;
  • Fiberglass cord for extra durability;
  • Wear-resistant braid.


High-temperature-resistant HNBR rubber, reinforced with aramid, is used in manufacturing. PTFE impregnation reduces friction losses. This provides a high level of reliability and helps extend the interval between replacements.


The brand is owned by Continental, the manufacture uses technologies developed in the manufacture of automotive tires. Durability and dimensional stability provides fiberglass reinforcement. Accessories are made of synthetic rubber and polyamide fabric, resistant to wear.

The company supplies spare parts to conveyors of European, Japanese and American corporations. The catalog contains OEM belts for cars, commercial vehicles, trucks and agricultural machinery. When developing, the load level and climatic conditions of use are taken into account. There are standard solutions and models for extreme work on the basis of high-temperature elastomers.

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  • Low friction;
  • No noise during operation;
  • Teflon is used for wear protection;
  • Wide range for different classes of equipment;
  • A resource of 60-75 thousand kilometers.


  • Fakes can occur.


  • Improved tensile strength;
  • Does not stretch during operation;
  • No noise;
  • The high quality of the rollers, coming with the set;
  • Clearly marked product;
  • Good protection against counterfeiting.


  • Overpriced.


The American company was bought and operates at the production facilities of Pirelli. The manufacturer sends up to 40% of its products to car manufacturers. The components are produced in 19 plants around the world. According to reviews, the parts are characterized by good elasticity and a perfect match with the shape of the teeth. This ensures easy installation: the car owner can install the belt himself.

The multi-layer PTFE jacket and protective film provide increased abrasion resistance. The copolymers used increase the service life of the part, and the reinforcement makes the shape stable throughout the service life. Brand products are used on assembly lines of Toyota, SAAB, Volvo, Ford, Reno, VW. The company manufactures drive, polycline, wedge models.



  • Smooth, quiet operation;
  • High temperature resistance threshold;
  • Informative marking;
  • Low price.


  • Weak level of protection against counterfeiting.

The brand belongs to the Japanese company Unitta, which is a subsidiary of the leading component manufacturer Gates. The parts are designed for a complete set of cars from Japan. The products are well protected against counterfeiting by heat seal markings on the inside. The company’s engineers paid special attention to the combination of rigidity and elasticity, and selected materials that allowed to increase the service life.

Multilayer construction provides protection against vibration, allows to reduce noise to a minimum. Fiberglass reinforcement guarantees high tensile strength. The brand assortment is actively expanding, with 25-30 new products every year.



  • Fully meets the manufacturers’ requirements;
  • Does not slip during service;
  • Resistant to high temperatures;
  • Does not lose its properties when exposed to oil;
  • Low price.


  • Not the largest range.


This German company was created with the participation of American concern Gates. This has helped the brand to occupy a high position in the global market. The company specializes in the production of drive products for the aftermarket. The basis of the range are parts for vehicles of European and American automakers. The parts have an international certificate of quality, meets the requirements of manufacturers of cars and trucks.

The products are designed to work in difficult conditions and have good characteristics at high speeds. The elongation resistance is provided by the spiral-shaped cord, the construction of which has no negative influence on the flexibility. The shape of the teeth guarantees effective grip on the pulley. There are several series of belts in the catalog made of conventional and high-temperature neoprene, which allows you to choose the spare part to suit the operating conditions.

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  • Wear-resistant outer layer;
  • Wide range of profiles;
  • Fibre-reinforced rubber;
  • Heat resistance;
  • Low price.


  • Weak protection against counterfeiting.

German concern, which owns 39 plants in different countries around the world. It is the official assembly line supplier of Mercedes-Benz, VW, Audi, Opel, Reno, Peugeot. The company’s products are certified by Toyota of Japan. Heat-resistant copolymers and fiberglass cord are used in the manufacture. It provides the tensile strength, resistance to abrasion. The material does not change its characteristics when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays and machine oil.

The company offers repair kits that include everything you need for installation. Full compliance with the geometry of the tooth allows you to install the consumable yourself, without the help of specialists. The most high-tech products are made in Canada.



  • Extended service life;
  • No noise throughout service life;
  • Detailed markings;
  • Durable teeth.


  • Quality depends on the factory.


The German company is part of a large holding company ZF. Parts under this brand are supplied to the assembly line of the leading German automakers. The catalog contains parts for cars made in South Korea, Japan, Russia, and low-cost American cars. Products designed for the aftermarket are not inferior in quality to the originals.

Production uses high-temperature and standard neoprene, which allows offering parts in different price ranges. Fiberglass reinforcement ensures stable performance at high speeds. A protective film prevents microcracks from UV exposure or aging.



  • Strict tooth geometry;
  • No slipping, no noise;
  • Few fakes on the market;
  • Good margin of safety.


  • In recent years, firms have been increasingly involved in packaging other people’s products.

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How to choose a timing belt

Car owners should find a precise answer to the question of what company to put the timing belt for routine maintenance. The reliability of the engine depends on it. Before installing a new part, it is necessary to study the digital markings on its surface, check for damage. It is worth choosing products of famous brands, but before buying you must be sure that you are holding the original and not a fake.

Number designation of the belt

The detail must exactly match its parameters to the original. This determines the functionality, ease of installation, service life. All companies of timing belts mark their products. The code is printed on the outer surface, in the digital designation the basic information is encoded:

  • The shape of the cog;
  • Pitch and height;
  • Presence of a groove;
  • Number of teeth;
  • The width of the product.
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The letters at the end of the numerical designation inform about the materials used in production. If there is no letter code, then the part is made of neoprene rubber. Tables for deciphering the data are available on the websites of all spare part manufacturers.

No mechanical damage

Constant loads place special demands on the durability indicators. Manufacturers make products from high-strength copolymers that are stable at elevated temperatures and additionally reinforced with fiberglass. In order that all these efforts were not in vain, before you buy the components, you need to check the product for no mechanical damage. Microcracks, burrs, notches will inevitably lead to the rupture under high loads. This will cause valve damage and lead to engine overhaul.

Original or counterfeit

It is not difficult to produce a belt similar in shape, it is more difficult to reproduce its technical characteristics. This requires innovative materials, technologies and automated control systems. All this is lacking in businesses that counterfeit original products. The service life of such products is much shorter; the engine can be out of service on the first day.

Products in the medium and high price range are counterfeited. To avoid buying counterfeit, you need to buy parts in brand stores. It is necessary to study the packaging – for protection are applied holograms, QR-codes, digital designation. Original repair kit is made with high quality, the rubber has no peeling, inclusions, mechanical damage. The digital code is applied to the external surface and corresponds to the data on the package. Such a part will last the claimed 60-70 thousand kilometers.

What makes a better timing belt?

There is no universal product: some suppliers save on quality, while others offer parts at a high price. Which timing belt manufacturer will attract the car owner’s attention? The team recommends suppliers of original parts, which produce components for the conveyor assembly and companies that specialize in the aftermarket:

  • Gates – for owners of prestigious cars;
  • Dayco – the best ratio between price and quality;
  • Contitech – the choice of owners of German cars;
  • INA – repair kits from Canada for used cars.

All brands presented in the review are worthy of car owners’ attention. Which set is right for you? Only the most reliable and well-protected brands have earned the title of the best firms in their categories.

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