How do you break in a new Can-Am belt?

Breaking in a new drive belt for your Can-Am X3 side by side utv is crucial if you want to get the best performance and longest life out of it. You can also break in any spare belts you have lying around. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step or you’ll be sorry later.


Buy the right belt with our Can-Am UTV drive belt buying guide

Now, breaking in a belt isn’t just about putting in a set number of miles and avoiding high engine RPMs. It’s about flexing the belt in the correct direction so that it wears and mates to the proper angle of the sheaves and friction. This wear needs to happen under low load and temperature because belts run hotter when first installed and are more sensitive to high loads until they break in.

So, to break in a belt properly, you need to use low gear (if available) while varying speeds and avoiding wide open throttle for 5 to 10 miles. If no low gear is available, vary at moderate speeds while avoiding wide open throttle for 50 miles. The goal of break-in is to achieve a high number of flex cycles under low load while maintaining low temperatures.

Now, even with a proper break-in, it’s still possible to damage a belt with excessive heat or spin-burn. Spin-burn or hourglassing is a result of not using low gear when tires are stuck in mud or sand or when loading or unloading your vehicle. An engine misfire often indicates belt slippage because of spin-burn. So, inspect your belt for hourglassing, jerky or hesitant drive-away or acceleration, loose cords, missing cogs, cracks, abrasions, thin spots or excessive wear. Compare belt measurements with a new drive belt, and replace if necessary.


Buy the right belt with our buying guide on finding your Can-Am X3 belt

If you do need to replace your belt, We recommend the Can-Am OEM UTV drive belts, which are designed and tested specifically for their off-road vehicles. Always clean any debris from the PVT intake and outlet ducts and from the clutch, clutch covers, and engine compartments if a belt fails. Verify the clutch rollers are tight and rolling smoothly and the weights are not notched or loose. Ensure the seal on the clutch cover is in good shape, not twisted or torn, and installed correctly.

And finally, if you accidentally ingest water into the PVT system, use the following instructions to dry it out before operating:

  1. Position the vehicle on a level surface. Place the transmission in PARK.
  2. Remove the drain plug from the outer clutch cover. Allow the water to drain completely. Reinstall the drain plug.
  3. Start the engine.
  4. Apply varying throttle for 10 to 15 seconds (we suggest 5-6,000 RPM) to expel the moisture and air-dry the belt and clutches. Do not hold the throttle wide open for more than 5 seconds.
  5. Allow the engine RPM to settle to idle speed and then shift the transmission to low range.
  6. Test for belt slippage. If the belt slips, repeat the process. Your vehicle requires service as soon as possible. See your authorized Can-Am Dealer.

So, there you have it. Take care of your belt and it’ll take care of you. Don’t be a fool and skip the break-in or you’ll be singing the blues later on.

Related Questions About Can-Am X3 Drive Belts

Can I Replace a Can-Am Drive Belt Myself?

Yes, you can it ain’t rocket surgery. You can swap out a Can-Am drive belt yourself. No need to fork over your hard-earned cash to a mechanic. Just grab your tools and get to work.

How Do I Know My Can-Am X3 CVT Belt Is Worn?

One of the most common injuries that X3 and riders face is a worn-out drive belt. You check for glassy sides of the belts. Also, sluggish acceleration or jumping suddenly can be a sign of a worn belt

How Long do Can-Am X3 drive belts last?

When it comes to the Can-Am X3, one question that always seems to be on people’s minds is just how long that drive belt can hold out. Will it last you for hundreds of miles of trail riding, or is it more likely to give out on you just when you’re starting to hit your stride?

Why do X3 belts break?

X3 belt breakage can be attributed to several reasons, including overloading, harsh riding conditions, poor maintenance, or manufacturing defects. Overloading the vehicle or carrying excessive weight can strain the belt, causing it to fail. Similarly, riding in harsh conditions like extreme heat or dust can accelerate belt wear and reduce its lifespan. Lack of maintenance, such as not keeping the belt clean or ignoring signs of wear, can also lead to belt breakage. In rare cases, manufacturing defects may cause premature belt failure.

What does a failing drive belt sound like?

X3 belt breakage is a problem that can have several culprits. It could be due to overloading the vehicle with too much weight or putting it through the wringer in harsh riding conditions. Riding in extreme heat or thick clouds of dust can speed up the wear and tear on the belt, causing it to fail sooner. Neglecting to keep the belt clean or ignoring warning signs of wear and tear can also lead to breakage. And, in some rare instances, defects in the manufacturing process may cause the belt to fail before its time.

How do you break in a new X3 belt?

If you want to keep that X3 of yours runnin’ smooth and strong, you gotta give that belt the break-in it deserves. Don’t go slammin’ down the pedal and expect everything to work like a charm. No, sir. Take it easy for the first 5 to 10 miles, keep it in low gear if you got it, and vary them speeds. If you ain’t got low gear, take it moderate for 50 miles. And don’t forget, it ain’t just about the miles. Keep them engine RPMs low and steady, and you’ll be good to go.

Why do my belts keep ripping?

Why do my Can-Am drive belts keep ripping? Well, it could be due to overloading the vehicle or carrying too much weight, harsh riding conditions such as extreme heat or dust, poor maintenance, or even manufacturing defects. Take good care of your belt and avoid straining it, and you’ll have fewer problems.

How much does it cost to get a drive belt replaced?

If you’re handy enough, you can replace your X3 drive belt for less than two hundred bucks. Just grab a new belt for around 150 and some tools, if you don’t already have some, for 30 bucks, and you’re good to go.

Should you wash a Can-Am CVT belt?

Washing a new drive belt before installation is a hotly debated topic. But if you insist on giving it a bath, use warm, soapy water and let it air dry before you slap it on.

Are Can-Am Maverick belts directional?

New belts don’t give a damn about direction, but used ones sure do. Directional arrows on some belts are just a reminder to put it back on the same way if you ever take it off. To prolong your belt’s life, it’s wise to always run it in the same direction.

Can you drive with a worn Can-Am drive belt?

Can you drive with a worn Can-Am drive belt? Well, you can, but it’s like walking around with a ticking time bomb in your pocket. You never know when it’s going to go off and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. So, if you value your time and sanity, it’s best to replace that worn belt before it’s too late.

What happens if you don’t change your Can-Am drive belt?

Well, friend, if you don’t change your Can-Am drive belt, you’ll eventually find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere with a busted belt and a sour mood. A worn-out belt can break unexpectedly, leaving you high and dry on the trail or in the field. Not to mention, a damaged belt can cause other issues with your vehicle’s performance, leading to costly repairs down the road. So, don’t be a fool – keep that drive belt fresh and enjoy your ride without any unnecessary headaches.

Will a broken Can-Am drive belt destroy my engine?

No, it won’t destroy your engine. The rev limiter will kick in and you may get a light on your dash. Just shut her down and clean out the old drive belt and replace it with a new belt. Disconnect the battery to clear the dash light then reconnect it and get on with your day.

Can you spray wd40 on X3 belt?

Don’t do that WD40 is a lubricant and your UTVs drive belt works with friction applied to the belt. A lubricant reduces friction and would defeat the purpose of the belt.

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