OEM Mercedes Belt vs Gates

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I am in the process of swapping out the tensioner and other belt pullies on my 2010 Mercedes E550 Coupe. One thing I've noticed and read about is that even though Gates makes the OEM Mercedes-Benz belt, that it is somehow different from the aftermarket Gates belt and that the Gates belt does not work well in this application. Does anyone know if there's any truth in this?

I am not against buying a new OEM belt, but as pretty much everyone on the forum does, we make an informed decision when we buy stuff and that's all I'm looking to do in this instance.

Thoughts?
 
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I would certainly prefer OEM vs aftermarket, but do you know for certain that Gates makes the belt as that model is built in Bremen-Germany.
In any case why not get an OEM kit that would include belt; tensioner and water pump as if the tensioner is gone the water pump is not far behind. The kit would be cheaper than the pieces bought individually.
 
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Gates could have a German factory, too, remember :)

Dayco makes some belts in Italy. German supplier Continental makes belts in Europe, the US, and Mexico.

If you don't want to spend the money on a dealer OEM belt, you might like Continental and Bando.
 
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The Gates Micro V is made in the EU and is AFAIK OE.

Edit: Check the belt number, the one I looked up may have been for a different engine series.
 
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I have the M272 engine in my 2008 E-350 and the 2011 E-350. The M273 has many of the same issues as the M272 as it's just basically the same design with 2 extra cylinders. I used the continental kit for the tensioner/pulleys and belt. Never heard of a different Gates belt. That's the sort of thing you hear all the time to make you think the more expensive part is somehow better. I wouldn't worry too much about the belt, they last so long these days it's probably not an issue. The tensioner/pulleys are well known to go early on the M272/M273, I replaced one set at around 60k. I don't even know where the water pump is on the M272, it's not a common failure item. You also have the oil cooler gaskets and the thermostat in the same location. Wahler does the thermostat. You should also check the oil separator and oil breather cover, when those go, you get oil on the intake flaps and then you will eventually have to replace the intake manifold which is around $700 from FCPeuro. The 3 plugs in the back could also leak oil.
 
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I cannot justify spending extra for an OEM belt. I have had great success with aftermarket belts ( mostly Dayco) and convinced they are as good as OEM belts.
 

Astro14

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For a Mercedes, I would get a Continental belt kit, or OEM, only.

Always do the tensioner and idler(s) pulleys with a new belt. It’s hardly ever the belt that fails. It’s usually a pulley bearing that causes problems. Continental likely makes the Mercedes belt.

Always check prices before buying parts. Mercedes makes the cheapest oil filter, and cheapest fuel filter, for my car. I went with a Mercedes-Benz belt, idlers, and tensioner on mine. They were the same price as aftermarket.

Talk with your dealer parts guys. They give me 15-20% off.
 
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Over the last couple of years I have had problems with Conti belts with poor sizing, squealing and chirping with brand new belts on new pulleys (just my experience). OE, Gates, Dayco W belts, Bando, Mitsuboshi, Optibelt have all been good for me.
Gates makes good belts and hoses, their hard parts are reboxed crap. JM2C
 
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I would say stick with OEM then. It is not the first time I have heard of OEM's having design patents to their pulleys/belts and not allowing their OEM suppliers to offer it in their aftermarket line.
 
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Last set of Contitech belts I received were Hecho en China. They were v-belts for an older application, but they moved at least some of their production there a while back. They've held up fine so far, but the set of German-made CT belts they replaced failed prematurely, with missing teeth, so COO might make as much of a difference as thought.

Never got a chance to try the Gatorback/Elite belts before they were phased out.
 
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Goodyear’s gator back best belt ever made lol
Continental bought out the Goodyear belt business. Maybe that's why the Continental kit I bought 5 years ago is still fine. Only went up in price by $15. Funny how it no longer fits my 2008 but it's listed for the 2010 on rockauto. Difference between the Gates and Continental is that Gates is 2407mm and Continental is 2390mm. Anyway looks like I got Gates parts for my 2011 4 years ago and they're both still fine so far.
 
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If you buy directly from a local parts store they will usually have three or four belts to chose from, with at least one having a lifetime warranty for a few dollars more. I think it’s worth the extra $3 bucks if you’re going to keep it a while, or if you’re worried about it failing again.
 

qdeezie

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I have the M272 engine in my 2008 E-350 and the 2011 E-350. The M273 has many of the same issues as the M272 as it's just basically the same design with 2 extra cylinders. I used the continental kit for the tensioner/pulleys and belt. Never heard of a different Gates belt. That's the sort of thing you hear all the time to make you think the more expensive part is somehow better. I wouldn't worry too much about the belt, they last so long these days it's probably not an issue. The tensioner/pulleys are well known to go early on the M272/M273, I replaced one set at around 60k. I don't even know where the water pump is on the M272, it's not a common failure item. You also have the oil cooler gaskets and the thermostat in the same location. Wahler does the thermostat. You should also check the oil separator and oil breather cover, when those go, you get oil on the intake flaps and then you will eventually have to replace the intake manifold which is around $700 from FCPeuro. The 3 plugs in the back could also leak oil.

Thank you for this information. The car did have a leak in the rear (I believe it's called the Crankcase Vent Valve) and I am taking a proactive approach based on some research to replace some of the seals/plugs you mentioned. I bought that kit from FCP Euro that has all of these components. There is also a leak in the front of the engine from either the oil filter housing or the oil cooler. I am replacing both seals. The belt assembly as a whole looks fine and I am replacing them all as a 'while I'm in there' type of thing. I will certainly take a look at the oil separator components.
 
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qdeezie

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Thank you all for your responses. I will give the Gates a try and report back. There was nothing wrong with the tensioners/pullies or the belt currently on there, but since I am fixing an oil leak and PS fluid leak (on front of the engine), I'm just taking a proactive approach to replace parts in the same area that will eventually let loose at some point. Also, to clarify, there is currently an OEM belt on there and it has 'Gates' on it along with the OEM MB print. That is the reason why I mentioned Gates in the original post.
 

Sam_Julier

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The Gates belts have been the quietest followed by Volvo OE.

The last two sets of Contis have been the noisiest ever. At start up it sounds like a hog being castrated.
 
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Thank you for this information. The car did have a leak in the rear (I believe it's called the Crankcase Vent Valve) and I am taking a proactive approach based on some research to replace some of the seals/plugs you mentioned. I bought that kit from FCP Euro that has all of these components. There is also a leak in the front of the engine from either the oil filter housing or the oil cooler. I am replacing both seals. The belt assembly as a whole looks fine and I am replacing them all as a 'while I'm in there' type of thing. I will certainly take a look at the oil separator components.
You have to remove the pulley to replace the thermostat anyway and it's also a common failure item, failed on both cars in under 100k. Most just stays open so it takes a long while for the car to warm up. I replaced it on one before I even got a CEL, it was just one or two bars below what it was before and took a long time to get there. Yeah, the oil cooler gaskets are cheap. The oil separator is reverse threaded so make sure you do the opposite to loosen/tighten the bolt. While Gates is OEM, not sure that they're that great to begin with if they're failing between 60-100k.
 
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