Belts and Hoses
Your car’s belts and hoses are essential to the cooling, air conditioning and charging systems, and the engine. Don’t take these routine replacement intervals for granted because they can break down and leave you stranded.
What Does It Do?
The timing belt keeps the crankshaft and camshaft mechanically synchronized to maintain engine timing. Whether serpentine, V-belt or fan belt (the belts on the outside of the engine), they all transmit power from the front of the engine to accessories that need to be driven, such as the air conditioning, the charging system and fans. Radiator and heat hoses carry coolant to and from the engine, radiator and heater core.
Typical Wear And Tear
Key items that affect the replacement interval for belts and hoses:
- Vehicle age
- Belt tension
- Electrolytic corrosion
- Oil contamination
- Failed hose clamps
- Squeaking noise from under the hood during start-up or operation
- Coolant leaks
- Dashboard light will illuminate
- A/C system may fail
- Engine overheating
THE CHANGES OF A DRIVE BELT FAILURE RISE DRAMATICALLY AFTER FOUR YEARS OR 36,000 MILES FOR V-BELTS AND 50,000 MILES FOR SERPENTINE BELTS.
The belts and hoses most frequently used are:
A) Serpentine beltNot all cars use timing belts. Also, some cars may use one serpentine belt for all accessories, others may use a combination of serpentine and V-belts, while others may use all V-belts.
B) Heater hoses
C) Lower radiator hose
D) Drive belt (V-belt)
E) Fan belt
F) Upper radiator hose
G) Timing belt
Reprinted with permission from the Car Care Council: www.carcare.org.