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Car Maintenance Tip 11: How To Properly Maintain Your Car’s Belts And Hoses

Most of us don’t think about the belts and hoses inside our cars very often. They may be merely components of bigger systems such as radiators and heaters, but if they fail your car is in for a heap of trouble.

Timing belt

For example, serpentine belts are used to turn the water pump, alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. If it snaps, you could end up stranded. A blown hose can cause an overheated engine and other damage. In order to avoid these unfortunate circumstances, take proper care of your belts and hoses.

  • Rubber hoses deteriorate with age and exposure to heat. Hoses that feel rock hard or mushy need to be replaced. Have them checked at each oil change for hardening (or softening) by simply pinching them.
  • Other indications include squeaking noise during start-up or operation, dashboard light turns on, engine overheating, leaking, visible cracks and blistering.
  • When new hoses are installed, replace the clamps as well.
  • Belts break down with heat, mileage and age. V-belts should be replaced every three to four years. Timing belts should be replaced between 60,000 and 90,000 miles.