While your engine may play the leading role under your hood, it relies heavily on a strong supporting cast in its power generating performance. That is why it is important to take your vehicle in for regular maintenance inspections and have components like belts and hoses checked.
Not only does your engine rely on the performance of your belts and hoses, your power steering systems depends on them as well. In addition to normal wear, belts and hoses are subject to ongoing heat, vibration, and corrosive chemicals, all of which can lead to cracks and leaks that shorten the service life of these essential components.
Knowing when to Replace the Belts and Hoses
As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to have your belts and hoses checked at every other scheduled maintenance appointment. In between maintenance visits, pay attention to signs that your belts and hoses may have issues, such as the engine squealing when the car is started or noticeable fluid loss from under the car. If you notice any of these signs, check the condition of your belts and hoses, after the car has completely cooled down:
Look for signs of wear – you can also feel the condition of the belts and hoses, checking for cracks, fraying, splits or brittle areas.
Watch for places on the hoses and belts where the rubber is slick looking – these spots can cause a belt to slip and may be precursors to overheating and cracking.
Check the belt pulleys – look for rubber deposit build-up spots or worn spots that could catch the belt and cause it to snap.
Test the belt tension – the tension on the longest length of the belt should be tight, with little or no give.
If the belts or hoses are comprised, there’s a good chance that they will snap or break at any time. They should be replaced by an auto professional as soon as possible. Your technician will replace them with new, quality belts and hoses, making sure they are secured tightly using clean, reliable gaskets and clamps, which are secured tightly around the hoses.
If you suspect you have a problem with your belts and hoses, or are in need of regular maintenance services, contact us today.