What the Car Belts and Hoses Do | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What the Car Belts and Hoses Do

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Car belts have all kinds of jobs, from driving the alternator, water pump, power steering, and more. When the belts aren’t working properly, there could be a number of expensive problems that happen. If you’ve never inspected your car belts before, here’s what to look for to make sure they continue to work properly. 

Belts & Hoses

Did you know that you should replace your timing belt every 50,000 miles? It’s one of those parts that you probably don’t even think about, however, it can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere if it suddenly breaks. 

If you hear a high-pitch squeal coming from your car, it could be the serpentine belt, also known as the drive belt. If it is, you’ll most commonly hear the noise when you start the engine or take a tight turn. The job of the belt powers several pumps and fans throughout your vehicle, which means it’s not a part that you can go without. 

Your car also has a variety of hoses that allow coolant to flow between the engine, radiator, and heating block. These hoses are known as upper and lower radiator hoses and heater hoses. In some cars, you can also find a bypass hose. These hoses and clamps should be looked at every six months to ensure they’re working properly. 

Keeping Up with the Belts 

Your car has many different parts that come together to make it run so you can get from point A to point B. The belts play a vital role in your engine, driving the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and more. If any of these parts don’t function like they’re supposed to, it can lead to costly repairs in the long run. According to IDriveSafely, these are the different types of belts found in a vehicle: 

  • V-Belt: this type of belts are commonly found on older cars. It has a v-shape, hence the name, and engines that use these types of belts have several, each when accompanying a different accessory. 
  • Serpentine: most modern cars use a sole serpentine belt for their accessories, which can put additional wear and tear on the component. This part is flat on one side, with several small v-shaped grooves on the other. It will wrap around several pulleys, and the twisting nature is what gave it its name. 
  • Timing belts: these are different than the previous two mentioned. This connects the engine’s crankshaft with its camshafts. It helps synchronize their timing, which gives this belt its name. 

All of these belts can be used for many other reasons too. For example, IDriveSafely mentions, they can drive the oil pump, balance shafts, and more. 

Inspecting Hoses and Belts 

You should inspect these parts regularly to be able to stay on the road. To inspect your belts and hoses, follow these tips from Consumer Reports:

For coolant hoses: 

  • Check the white coolant-recovery tank for proper fuel levels. 
  • When the engine is cool, squeeze hoses with your fingers near the clamps, feeling for soft or mushy spots. Good hoses will be firm. 
  • Inspect for cracks, nicks, bulges usually while hot, a collapsed section in the hose, or fraying.
  • Look for parallel cracks around bends, hardened glassy surfaces, or abrasive damage.
  • Flush and replace coolant according to the owner’s manual. 
  • Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot. 

For belts:

  • Look for cracks, fraying, or splits on the top cover.
  • Check for signs of glazing on the belt’s sides.
  • Twist a serpentine belt to look for separating layers, cracks, or missing chunks. 

If you’re ever unsure of what to check for, Scott’s is here to help you. 

Stop By Scott’s Auto

If you haven’t had your belts and hoses inspected within the last six months, call or stop by Scott’s Auto. With two convenient locations in Fort Collins and Loveland, you can easily bring your car by for a quick inspection. You can make an appointment or just stop on by! 

 

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