Belts and Hoses
Exposure to heat, vibration and contamination makes belts and hoses wear out faster than any other components in your car. That's why regular inspections are so important. Here are the belt and hose types in your car, along with their applications.
Accessory Drive Belts
While some accessories in your car are electrically powered by the charging system, others use the engine itself as their power source. The power for these accessories is delivered by a system of pulleys and belts. Examples of these accessories are:
- Water Pump for engine cooling
- Power Steering Pump
- Air Conditioning Compressor
- Radiator Cooling Fan
- Many late model cars use a single serpentine belt in place of individual belts to drive these accessories.
The hoses that convey your car's fluids are made of two rubber layers with a layer of fabric in between. Typical hoses include:
- Radiator and Heater Hoses - These hoses convey coolant to the engine and heater core.
- Fuel Hose - As the name implies, this hose transports gasoline from the tank to the engine.
- Power Steering Hose - It connects the power steering pump to the steering gear.
Check the owner's manual to see if your driving habits are considered to be "severe service." This type of driving requires more frequent oil changes, warns the Car Care Council. Have the oil changed accordingly, usually every 3-5,000 miles. For less wear and tear on the engine, drivers in cold climes (sub-zero driving temperatures) should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30. Your mom and dad would probably suggest simply moving to someplace warmer.
Description: The typical oil filter consists of a high-strength steel housing containing various types of filtering media. An anti-drainback valve prevents oil from running out of the filter when the engine is off. Today's oil filters have a convenient spin-on design that makes removal and installation easy.
Purpose: The oil filter sifts out contaminants, allowing the oil to flow through the engine unrestricted. Should the oil filter become restricted or clogged with contaminants, they will flow around the filter. This bypassing is a safety mechanism, but you never want to let oil and filter changes go so long that bypassing takes place.
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: For best results, consult your owner's manual, but consider that your driving probably constitutes a severe maintenance schedule. Usually, this means oil and filter changes every 3,000 miles or 3 months. If you change the filter yourself, dispose of it properly. Take used filters to a facility that accepts them. Used filters can be crushed, removing the used oil and the steel part of the filter can be recycled. The oil from one used, seemingly innocent filter leaking into a landfill can taint 62,000 gallons of ground water.
Cooling System Maintenance
What Our ASE Certified Technicians Do
The following components are inspected. Their condition is recorded and compared to manufacturer's specs. Recommendations are made per the Motorist Assurance Program Uniform Inspection Guidelines:
- Interior controls and blower
- Radiator coolant level, hoses, pressure cap and thermostat
- The A/C compressor belt for condition and tension
- Leaks or other damage
- Component condition, leaks or damage
Heating and Air Conditioning Tests
- Pressure test engine cooling system
- A/C system pressures are measured and compared to manufacturer's specifications
- A/C system is leak tested
- Both the heater and A/C are performance tested by checking the outlet air temperature at the discharge vents