Belts, Hoses,and Engine Coolant

December 18th, 2014

Adding monthly hose and belt checks to your car’s regular maintenance schedule will help you avoid serious engine problems.

They might not seem like a lot, but your belts and hoses take the brunt of the duties your vehicle performs. Belts kick-start the alternator and help operate the water pump. Meanwhile, the hoses carry gas, air, brake fluid and anti-freeze. Your engine depends on these vital elements to do their job and do it well. 

How to check car belts and engine hoses

Newer vehicles use serpentine belts, which drive most engine parts. When checking serpentine belts, look for cracks, fraying and exposed threads. Older vehicles use V-belts, so you’ll want to turn the belt over and look for glazing, cracking or excessive wear.

Pinch radiator hoses to check for rigidity. A good radiator hose is flexible and won’t stick together when pinched. Check for swelling at the connection to the engine or radiator. Hoses that carry power steering fluid and brake fluid shouldn’t be swollen, so replace immediately if they are.

Engine coolant or radiator fluid is an essential element of your vehicle’s cooling system. Also called antifreeze coolant, it is responsible for cooling your engine while your car is running. During winter, it prevents the engine from freezing if you park it outside. Changing the engine coolant on time is vital to keep your car in good condition.

 

When to Replace Engine Coolant

Engine coolant contains antifreeze liquid and water. After extensive use, it may accumulate dirt and various contaminants or it may turn acidic, which will not only prevent your car from functioning properly, but could also damage the engine.

Car manufacturers advise drivers to change the engine coolant every two to three years, or after an average of 24,000-36,000 miles.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this can also be influenced by how and where you drive your car. For instance, if you live in a hot climate and use your vehicle often, you might need to replace the engine coolant sooner. Experts recommend you do this before you hit 15,000 miles.

What You Need to Do

You can take your car to an auto shop to have your engine coolant changed by a mechanic, or if you feel comfortable about it, you can do it yourself. The process is not complicated, and if you haven’t done it before, you can learn it easily. To be on the safe side, you can ask an experienced person to assist you the first time you attempt to do this.

If you do not feel comfortable checking or replacing your hoses and belts and engine coolant, stop by Halls Service Center today and we will get you taken care of. 

  Posted in: Auto Repair 101