When it comes to keeping your vehicle in good shape, your belts and hoses are some of the most important components in your engine because they enable your car to run! These parts can become worn over time from normal use but can be more susceptible to damages and breaks in extreme hot or cold weather. Hot weather can add heat to existing friction, wearing these parts down faster, while cold weather can make these parts stiff and prone to can cracking. By following scheduled maintenance and having regular inspections completed, you can be sure your belts and hoses are in proper working order. While these components don’t require frequent replacements, as you can see throughout our tips below, you should still have them inspected to catch any minor damages before it becomes a more serious issue. Read on to learn about the various belts and hoses that help your vehicle run and how to spot any signs of damage. While you’re at it, schedule a service appointment with Graff Mt. Pleasant and let our GM certified technicians help get your car ready for fall and winter.
Your hoses move liquids vital to your vehicle’s performance, throughout your vehicle. A cracked or damaged hose can cause leaks of vital fluids, like coolant or brake fluid, and can reduce the efficiency of your vehicle. Having your hoses inspected and in good condition means they'll be less likely to suffer damage from the cold weather this fall and winter.
This hose moves coolant through your engine to regulate its temperature. Without it, your engine can overheat and cause serious internal damage, leading to costly repairs. If you experience a decrease in coolant level, smoke coming from your engine, a rising engine temperature, or a bright pool of liquid under your vehicle, you could have a radiator hose leak.
Power Steering Hoses:
Your power steering hose transmits power steering fluid to your power steering rack through the hydraulic system of your vehicle. This system has two different types of hoses: the high-pressure metal hose, and the low-pressure rubber hose. The high-pressure hose transports fluids from the pump to the rack and the low-pressure hose moves fluids from the rack to the pump. Your power steering hose may be broken or cracked if you’re experiencing difficulty while steering, steering wheel vibrations while idling, whining or squealing noises when you turn, or fluid leaks. While there is no commonly recommended service interval for having your power steering hoses replaced, we recommend having them inspected at least once a year.
Your vehicle's fuel line transports fuel from your fuel tank to the fuel pump. They’re typically made out of reinforced rubber but can also be made of plastic or metal. If your fuel hose has a crack or leak, you can experience a loss of fuel efficiency, and your gas tank can empty faster than normal. Fuel hoses aren’t typically part of your vehicle’s routine maintenance, but it is extremely important to have them checked before the end of the fall season. Signs of a cracked or leaking fuel hose can include puddles of gas under your vehicle, smelling gasoline while you drive, hard starts, or your vehicle not starting at all.
Some vehicles have brake lines made of steel and some have brake hoses made of rubber. Most vehicles typically have rubber brake hoses due to the flexibility they provide for your vehicle’s suspension when traveling on uneven surfaces. Brake lines and brake hoses are used to stop your vehicle when you press your foot on the brake pedal. If you experience a loss of braking ability or “soft” brakes, your brake hoses or lines could be broken.
The belts inside your vehicle control components such as your AC compressor, water pump, alternator, your engine valve’s intake and exhaust, and your power steering. A broken belt can completely disable your vehicle, and in the fall, the changing temperatures can make your vehicle’s belts more prone to wear. Damaged, cracked, or frayed belts can still operate, but can have negative consequences such as increasing the chances of your engine overheating. While they don’t require frequent replacements, getting your belts inspected regularly is necessary.
Your vehicle uses two belts: the timing belt and the accessory or serpentine belt. Read on to discover how each belt helps and signs that may indicate that they’ve experienced damage:
Timing Belt: The timing belt, also known as the Cam belt, synchronizes the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft. This helps the engine’s valves open and close at the proper times during a cylinder’s intake and exhaust strokes. Your vehicle should have its timing belt changed every 60,000 – 100,000 miles, or whenever your vehicle owner’s manual tells you to do so. These are a few signs that you may notice if your timing belt needs replacing:
Accessory or Serpentine Belt: Most vehicles usually have one or two drive/accessory belts. The accessory belt, also known as the serpentine belt, gets its name from its snakelike motion it uses around the pulleys of your vehicle’s engine. It transports power to components like the power steering pump, AC compressor, alternator, and many other parts of your engine.
Water, dirt, oil leaks, and excessive heat can cause your serpentine belt to prematurely wear. You should have your drive/accessory/serpentine belt inspected every 10,000 – 20,000 miles and have it replaced every 60,000 – 100,000 miles, or whenever your vehicle owner’s manual tells you to do so.
Signs that your accessory or serpentine belt may need replacing include:
With the increasingly cold temperatures of fall, your vehicle’s components can receive premature wear and tear. Routine maintenance is extremely important in extending the life of your vehicle. Schedule your belt and hose inspection this fall at either of our Graff Mt. Pleasant as soon as you can to enjoy the changing seasons with less stress! Stop by our Buick GMC Cadillac location at 116 N. Mission St., Mt. Pleasant, MI, 48858, or our Chevrolet location at 4580 E. Pickard Rd., Mt. Pleasant, MI, 48858 for any service you may require. Schedule an appointment online or by calling us at our Chevrolet location at (989) 773-3937 or our Buick GMC Cadillac location at (989) 773-3917. We’re more than proud to serve our Mid-Michigan community, including Mt. Pleasant, Alma, Midland, Rosebush, Clare, Ithaca, and beyond!