Gates Automotive: Driving the Future

Did you heard of Gates Automotive?

If you’ve had issues with your car’s cooling system, specifically with the water pump, chances are your mechanic recommended changing the timing belt. Timing belts (or chains) connect the crankshaft and camshaft through a series of pulleys and ensure the engine runs smoothly.

They control the inlet and exhaust valves, essentially synchronising all moving (top and bottom-end) parts working to burn the fuel and air mixture to produce power. Should the belt crack, not only is there a risk of overheating (and the water pump failing) but also complete engine failure just a few seconds later. 

A company synonymous with all things belts is American giant Gates. This is the company that introduced the first V-belt a century ago, a simple but innovative design that revolutionised power transmission in dozens of industries.

It now runs things like the AC and power steering in your car, compressors, and power tools and machinery in light and heavy industries. 

Most people, though, come across the Gates name through timing belts. This is, after all, the company that supplies OEM timing belts and timing belt kits to 34 car manufacturers worldwide. It’s the core of the company’s business, but you can find a range of Gates auto parts and components for power applications and fluid delivery in many other areas. 

Gates PowerGrip Timing Belts


Timing belts have largely replaced chains in overhead engines. Belts are lighter, quieter, more efficient, and don’t need lubrication. Plus, they don’t succumb to corrosion. These are prerequisites in current cars that are designed to push more power from smaller displacement engines. 

The stresses timing belts endure, such as higher temperatures and engine speeds, meaning they should be reliable, durable, and designed for optimal engine efficiency.

This is where the company’s PowerGrip timing belts come in. They’re sourced by dozens of car makers, including all major American, European, and Japanese brands, as OE equipment in millions of new cars sold globally.

The success of the PowerGrip belt is due to the construction and use of innovative materials. PowerGrip timing belts are made of HSN (Highly Saturated Nitrile) and were first introduced in mass-produced cars by the Gates Corporation in 1985, replacing polychloroprene. The material is much stronger and outperforms polychloroprene in the typical high-temperature settings in modern engines.

The belt construction consists of precision-formed teeth that enhance performance by perfectly mating to the sprocket grooves and significantly reducing noise. Tooth profiles vary. Traditional trapezoidal teeth have been replaced by belts with curvilinear and modified curvilinear profiles to prevent slippage and ensure optimal power delivery.

The belts are further strengthened with fibreglass tensile cords for increased flexibility while resisting elongation under heavier engine loads. Lastly, the backing material reinforces the belt, prevents grease, oil, and moisture accumulation, and reduces wear. 

Gates RPM Belts

While the PowerGrip lines are the perfect OEM replacement for tired standard timing belts, the company’s RPM belts add a notch or two to deliver ultimate performance. These Racing, Performance, and Muscle (RPM) belts are made to standards seen in typical racing applications.

The belts are stronger, can handle higher temperatures, and are designed to perform at very high engine speeds. This is what you want in cars modified for more power. 

Constructed of HNBR (Hydrogenated Nitrile Butadiene Rubber), the RPM timing belts are up 3 times stronger than standard variants, have three times the heat resistance, and are ideally used in interference (or “non-clearance”) engines with high power output. 

The belt tooth jacket is strengthened with high-performance nylon to reduce wear and is paired with high-strength tensile cords and an uprated HSN compound.  

Serpentine Micro V-Belts

These are Gates auto parts that additionally place the company ahead of the competition. Accessory serpentine belts are what drive parts like the air-conditioning, power steering and alternator.

The company leads the sector by providing high-performance belts that meet and exceed even the highest OE standards and tolerances. The Gates car parts are known for very low noise, a common customer complaint when it comes to rival brands, as well as virtually non-existent vibrations or harshness.

The belt core is made using an Aramid cord to prevent elongation, a patented rubber over cord made of EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene monomer) to reduce wear and cracking, and a patented undercord that optimises performance and reduces possible misalignment noise.

Fusing the different sections is a specially formulated adhesion gum. The belts are miles ahead of typical serpentine belts made of polyester tensile cord. 

The belts are essential components in cars with forced induction (turbo engines burning either gas or diesel) and engines tuned for high RPMs. 

Tensioner and Idler Pulleys

Gates Automotive offers complete timing solutions. Their DriveAlign automatic tensioner pulleys increase performance and belt longevity by always providing the right amount of tension. They’re made with rigid OE tolerances and specs, consisting of patented labyrinth seals to protect internal components, and will easily meet or exceed OE requirements in terms of longevity. 

PowerGrip idler pulleys prevent belt slack and keep belts aligned. Both types consist of durable steel and thermoplastic construction for high durability, exceptional heat dissipation, and unrivalled dampening.

Pulleys need to withstand exposure to chemicals, dirt, salt spray, and other contaminants lurking in the engine bay while keeping belts performing at their optimum. 

Save Time and Money with Gates Belts and Water Pump Kits

Engineered kits made by Gates consisting of belts and pulleys will save you considerable amounts of money and provide guaranteed and consistent performance over the long term.

Kits are sold for all major car makes and models and come with the option of extended warranties for peace of mind. Opting for a kit also implies shorter installation times and lower labour costs. One less visit to the mechanic. 

Kits can also be complemented by water pumps manufactured to OE standards. Gates sells both electric and engine cooling water pumps, either separately or in kits. 

These, too, are made to the highest quality. All pump components (seals, bearings, housings, and the pump as a whole) go through stringent quality tests to ensure no leakage and that they perform as advertised, even under the most demanding driving conditions. The use of premium alloys equates to limited lifetime warranties on some products, which rivals just can’t match.

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The Vast Gates Parts Inventory


Gates produces a range of heater hoses, designed for temperature ranges between -40F and 257F and long service lives while enduring high pressures and the impact different chemicals and additives have in a range of coolants.

You’ll also find radiator hoses, coolant thermostats, radiator caps, fuel tank caps and a range of Gates automotive parts made to OEM and high aftermarket requirements. 

If your car is nearing its service interval, or you need parts replacements that will last, Gates offers tried and tested products made to the highest standards, without the matching high prices seen in its competitors. Parts are sold for all major car brands and are widely available. 

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