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This article on serpentine belts says:

"Vehicle manufacturers recommend inspection and replacement of the serpentine belt between 60k and 90k miles. Advances in material technology allow some belts to last more than 100k miles."

What were the advances in material technology?

As always on Stack Exchange, I did my own research before coming here, and I did find that neoprene belts were replaced with EPDM belts in the early 2000s. Perhaps the "advance in technology" was simply switching to EPDM rubber, but when I looked into when this "technological advance" took place, I see that EPDM was introduced in 1962 and became popular in the 1970s: So if EPDM is the aforementioned "advance" in technology, I wonder why it took until the early 2000s for it to be used for serpentine belts, was there a further advance in technology needed (?) or was it just that it was too expensive, or not enough in demand, or simply no one yet thought of using it for this purpose? I can imagine that if cars back then weren't lasting beyond 60-90k miles anyway, there would be less reason to switch to a material that lasts longer, and maybe that is indeed the reason, but most cars in the 1990s did last beyond 60-90k miles (albeit perhaps with lower resale value as a percentage of the original cost).

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I don't know for sure, but would bet the real advance came in using Kevlar for the backing material, versus nylon or whatever they used before for cording. 60k is still (to my knowledge) is what is considered the lifespan of a serpentine belt ... with Kevlar, I'm pretty sure it can last much longer. I don't know this for sure, but believe it's what the deal is. Maybe someone with more understand will have a better answer, so leaving this as a comment. Jun 30, 2021 at 1:32
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    Down to google: aramid fibres daycoproducts.com/dayco%C2%AE-poly-v-serpentine-belts
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 30, 2021 at 4:47
  • Solar Mike's link seems like an advertisement for Dayco's latest belts, but makes no step towards answering the question of what advance in material technology has occurred. Jul 7, 2021 at 17:33

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