Car Care Guide: Belts and Hoses
Belts and hoses are the unseen heroes that keep things humming under your hood.
Today, most experts suggest that they be replaced at regular intervals to keep you from breaking down. Losing a belt while you’re driving can be dangerous and can leave you stranded.
For example, in today’s vehicles, the serpentine belt alone is responsible for:
- The water pump.
- Your alternator.
- Power steering.
- Air conditioner compressor.
Older vehicles could easily overheat if a hose blows out, causing expensive or even irreparable damage to the engine.
Why do belts and hoses need service?
Belts and hoses will usually fail from the inside out, which means you won’t be able to tell what’s going on from a look at the outside.
There are a few telltale signs, however. Rubber hoses can become hard and brittle after prolonged exposure to extreme heat and cold. They can also blister or split.
Belts are also damaged by age and time. As they become loose and start to slip they deteriorate more quickly.
These maintenance tasks will keep your vehicle running up to speed when done regularly:
- Check hoses annually. Your trusted mechanic will be looking for hardening or softening. If a hose is hard or squishy, it’s time for a replacement. Leaking, cracks, and blistering also indicate problems.
- When hoses are replaced, the clamps should be, too.
- Serpentine belts and V-belts should be inspected yearly to make sure they’re not too loose, frayed, cracked, or showing signs of glazing.
- The timing belt will need to be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, but always defer to your owner’s manual recommendations.
Clean fluids keep your vehicle running smoothly. It’s critical that each fluid is filled to the appropriate levels so that the corresponding components can do their jobs efficiently.
Belts and hoses
Follow the maintenance tips above to protect your investment. Though your vehicle’s belts and hoses may not be at the top of your mind, they’re vital components that keep your car running and keep you safe.
You don’t have to handle everything on your own, though. The skilled auto technicians at Conrad’s have the experience to check your hoses and belts and make recommendations for replacement.
They’re also able to help with other regular maintenance tasks, as well as all your tire needs.