The Evolution of INA FEAD

6/28/16 / INA

The Evolution of INA FEAD

The development of new engine systems and technologies has led to more and more components requiring power to function, all provided by ever-lengthening poly-v belts following increasingly complex routings. In other words, what used to be called simply the ‘Fan Belt’ is now known as the Front End Auxiliary Drive (or FEAD) system.

Malcolm Short, Technical Services Manager, says: “The INA FEAD range is the most comprehensive in the market, and we continue to improve our portfolio with significant new parts every week, including OAPs. Every fourth car driving on the world’s roads is fitted with an OAP, which is an integral part of the Front End Auxiliary Drive (FEAD), designed to absorb vibrations and fluctuations in the belt system.

“With two million FEAD belt replacements per year the profit opportunity in replacing FEAD tensioners, idler pulleys and OAPs is there for all to see – and as the largest OE supplier of FEAD components with more than 800 references, we continue to offer the best and most up-to-date OE content range in the aftermarket.”

INA says that auxiliary belt tensioners are notorious for being ignored with vehicle manufacturers giving little or no advice about replacing them apart from merely suggesting “check the condition” on recommended service intervals.

It suggests reminding customers that the FEAD tensioners and pulleys that maintain the belt tension driving all of the safety critical components, such as belt driven PAS or brake vacuum pumps, will have done the same mileage as the timing belt tensioners and pulleys which are now routinely changed as a kit. They may also been subjected to worse conditions than the timing belt system, as they are usually exposed and not covered.

Probably the most obvious reason not to ignore the FEAD is that in most vehicle applications you have to remove the FEAD belt and tensioner to replace the timing belt, so renewing it will incur a minimum cost to the vehicle owner. The failure of any component on the FEAD system could also lead to complete and sometimes catastrophic engine failure if the FEAD belt wraps around the crank pulley and enters the timing system.