Ownership How to Inspect Car Belts and Hoses

17:38  19 may  2017
17:38  19 may  2017 Source:   Consumer Reports

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Inspect for cracks, nicks, bulges usually while hot), or a collapsed section in the hose and oil contamination, or fraying near the connection points. Many of the same elements that attack hoses also attack belts —heat, oil, ozone, and abrasion. Almost all cars and trucks built today have a single

How to Check Belts . The belts in your car 's engine drive such components as the air conditioning You need to do more than just visually inspect the belts . www.consumerreports.org/cro/ cars /tires-auto-parts/ car -maintenance/ how - to - inspect - belts - and - hoses -1205/overview/index.htm.

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A belt or hose failure can cause an overheated engine, loss of power steering, and loss of the electrical charging system. If a hose leaks coolant or the belt turning the water pump snaps, the cooling system is inoperable. If the engine overheats, it can suffer serious internal damage that requires expensive repairs and can ruin a summer vacation.

Overheating can occur anytime, but usually happens in the summer. Underhood temperatures are much higher, and heat can trigger or accelerate deterioration of rubber compounds.

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The Hoses Approximately every 10-15,000 miles you should check the hoses on your non-running car (make sure you don't do this while the car is still hot). Return to " How To Winterize Your Car In Ten Easy Steps."

How many times have you gotten in your car and simply gone where you needed to go, never thinking about all the moving parts in your automobile that make it possible? Belts , just like hoses , are easy to inspect .

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When it comes to car maintenance, inspecting the belts and hoses is one task that often gets overlooked. To help you with this task, here’s a basic guide to inspecting your car ’s belts and hoses

Coolant and Heater Hoses

Hoses are the cooling system's weakest structural component. They are made of flexible rubber compounds to absorb vibrations between the engine and radiator, or, in the case of heater hoses, the engine and body's firewall. Designed to hold coolant under pressure, hoses are also subjected to fluctuating extremes of heat and cold, dirt, oils, and sludge. Atmospheric ozone also attacks rubber compounds.

The most damaging cause of hose failure—electrochemical degradation (ECD)—isn't easy to detect. According to engineers for the Gates Corporation, a parts maker, ECD attacks hoses from the inside, causing tiny cracks. Acids and contaminants in the coolant can then weaken the yarn material that reinforces the hose. Eventually, pinholes can develop or the weakened hose may rupture from heat, pressure, or constant flexing.

Some easy, basic maintenance can help prevent coolant hose failure:

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Midas repairs and replaces car belts and hoses including timing belts , serpentine belts , coolant hoses and more. When it comes your car ’s belts , always have a professional inspect your car ’s belts . Q: What are the different types of belts in my car , and how often do they need to be changed?

  • Check the white coolant-recovery tank often to ensure proper fluid level. Marks on the tank indicate the proper level for when the engine is cold or hot. If the tank is low after repeated fillings, suspect a leak. Also check for white, light green, blue, or pink coolant tracks in the engine bay, which is residue left from leaking coolant.
  • When the engine is cool, squeeze the hoses with your thumb and forefinger near the clamps, where ECD most often occurs. Feel for soft or mushy spots. A good hose will have a firm yet pliant feel.
  • Inspect for cracks, nicks, bulges usually while hot), or a collapsed section in the hose and oil contamination, or fraying near the connection points.
  • Look for parallel cracks around bends (caused by ozone), a hardened glassy surface (heat damage), or abrasive damage (hose is rubbing).
  • Flush and replace the coolant according to the owner's manual. Clean coolant is less likely to support ECD.
  • Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot, as the hot coolent will be under pressure. Also, be aware that an electric cooling fan can come on at any time.

The upper radiator hose fails more often than any other hose, followed by the water pump bypass hose (if your vehicle is so equipped), and the outlet heater hose from the engine to the heater core. Experts recommend, however, that all hoses be replaced at least every four years or when one fails. Always use replacement hoses designed to fight ECD. Trademarks will vary among hose manufacturers. (Gates uses "ECR" for Electro-Chemical Resistant). Look for a "Type EC" label on the hose or its packaging. That is a Society of Automotive Engineers standard signifying "electrochemical." Most vehicles built after 1993 come with ECD-resistant hoses.

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of car equipment, a failure to check your belts and hoses can result in an overheated engine, loss So you'll only have two belts to inspect . Primary Inspection – Use your hands to feel around the Tension can be tested by pressing down on the belt . Look for how much “play” or space the belt has

General Auto Repair Brakes Belts and Hoses Transmission Service Auto Electric Oil Change, Overheating Problems. Just call on the phone and ask! A yellow page is a good tool to bring to inspect a car !

Accessory Belts

Many of the same elements that attack hoses also attack belts—heat, oil, ozone, and abrasion. Almost all cars and trucks built today have a single multi-grooved serpentine belt that drives the alternator, water pump, power-steering pump, and air-conditioning compressor. Older vehicles may have separate V-belts that drive the accessories. The Car Care Council says chances of a V-belt failure rise dramatically after four years or 36,000 miles, while the critical point for a serpentine belt is 50,000 miles. Any belt should be changed when it shows signs of excessive wear. But many new composite belts don't show signs of wear until the failure occurs.

Here are tips for inspecting belts:

  • Look for cracks, fraying, or splits on the top cover.

  • Look for signs of glazing on the belt's sides. Glazed or slick belts can slip, overheat or crack.
  • Twist a serpentine belt to look for separating layers, cracks, or missing chunks of the grooves on the underside.

Replacement belts should be identical in length, width, and number of grooves to the factory belt. Serpentine belts are usually kept tight with an automatic tensioner. Signs of a belt-tension problem include a high-pitched whine or chirping sound and vibration noises. Without proper tension, belts will slip and generate heat or fail to turn the accessories.

If in doubt, check with a qualified technician about any cooling problems, and always consult your owner's manual for routine maintenance procedures.

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