Are You Taking Care Of Your Car's Belts And Hoses?

Although the belts and hoses are crucial to a car's operations, they are often not thought of until they malfunction. When that happens, there is a good chance that another component is damaged. To help you protect your car's belts and hoses, here is what you need to know.

Why Are the Belts and Hoses Important?

The belts are part of a pulley system that helps to power various systems in your car. Without them, accessories, such as your air conditioner and alternator, would not work. There are different types of belts under the hood, including the serpentine and timing belt. Each one can last for years, but they could expire before that without proper maintenance.

The hoses are as equally important as the belts. The hoses are part of the system that transports fluids throughout your car. For instance, fuel and coolant travel through the hoses. Without the fluids, your car could experience several problems, including brake troubles and overheating.

The hoses are usually made of rubber, which means that over time, they can start to crack. When the hoses crack, fluids are not being transported to the right locations. A simple inexpensive replacement of the hose could turn into an expensive repair. For instance, without the coolant reaching the engine, it could overheat and need to be replaced.

How Can You Maintain Them?

One of the first steps you can take to care for your belts and hoses is to inspect them periodically. If you notice wear and tear, you should have them replaced. With a hose, you might notice swelling, cracking, or a lack of flexibility. A belt might look frayed or have splits to indicate it is time for replacement.

Inspecting the parts as the weather changes is especially important. The changes in weather can cause an acceleration of damage that has already occurred. For instance, a swollen hose could crack in extreme heat.

To protect your hoses, check the fluid levels in your car regularly. Frequently being low on fluids, such as oil and coolant, can cause the rubber hoses to become inflexible. If your car has been low on any fluid on several occasions, consider having the affected hose changed.

When you have your scheduled oil changes, ask for the coolant to be flushed. Coolants can pick up contaminants over time that can accelerate the deterioration of a hose.

Talk to an auto mechanic, such as at Powers Transmission Centers, about other ways to protect your belts and hoses.