When it comes to a properly functioning vehicle, your belts and hoses play a key role. That is why at Graff Bay City we want to make sure your belts and hoses are taken care of, especially during your Fall Car Care preparation. In Michigan, the fall season’s temperatures can vary and change rapidly. One day you may not have to wear a jacket and the next day there could be frost on the ground. Like other car parts, your belts and hoses can be affected by the weather change. Extreme cold or extreme heat can cause your belts and hoses to crack, become frayed, or wear down quickly. Having poorly working belts and hoses can lead to further damages in your vehicle and may end with costly repairs.
By including an inspection of your car’s belts and hoses in your Fall Car Care appointment, you can have your vehicle ready for the indecisive weather that comes with the fall season. On this page you will learn about the different belts and hoses your vehicle uses to run, and learn about the risks of damaged parts. Continue reading to see how routine maintenance on your belts and hoses should be completed for Fall Car Care!
The belts in your vehicle are a key component when getting your vehicle to run properly. They work with other parts of your vehicle including: the alternator, the power steering system, the AC compressor, the water pump, and the engine valve’s intake and exhaust. If a belt, like the timing belt, brakes, your vehicle could be disabled completely. As you prepare for the colder weather ahead, you will want to make sure your vehicle’s belts are ready for the temperature drop. In colder conditions your belts are more prone to wear. If you have a belt that is showing signs of wear, such as fraying or cracking, it can still operate, however, you put your vehicle at risk of becoming damaged.
There are typically two types of belts that work with your vehicle, the timing belt and the accessory belt (also known as the “drive” or “serpentine” belt). Below we give you a closer look into how these belts function in your vehicle and how to detect warning signs of damage.
The timing belt can also be referred to as the “Cam Belt” and it coordinates the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft. The timing belt helps the engine’s valves open and close during the cylinder’s exhaust and intake strokes. Not all vehicles have a timing belt, some have a timing chain instead. It is recommended to have your timing belt changed every 60,000 – 100,000 miles. Every vehicle is as unique as you are! Check your Owner’s Manual for specific guidelines on when to have your timing belt or chain serviced.
Here are some signs your timing belt may need maintenance:
Accessory or Serpentine Belt:
Many vehicles have two different types of accessory belts. Accessory belts get their name “serpentine” belts from the snake like shape they form around the multiple pulleys in the vehicle’s engine. The accessory, or serpentine, belt works to power other parts and components of your vehicle like the power steering pump, AC compressor, alternator, and more. Your accessory belt can become worn when exposed to different elements like water, road dirt, excessive heat, or oil leaks. It is recommended to have your accessory belt inspected every 10,000 – 20,000 miles or have it replaced every 60,000 – 100,000 miles. You can also reference your Owner’s Manual for specific mileage.
Here are some signs your accessory belt may need maintenance:
Having routine maintenance done on your hoses in the fall season is very important because of the weather change. After being exposed to extreme weather conditions, your hoses can wear down faster. Once corroded, they can begin to crack, causing a lack in performance efficiency. Vehicle hoses transport different types of liquids throughout your car and are a key component when it comes to your vehicle running correctly. Have our team of service experts perform an inspection by scheduling a Fall Car Care appointment today!
The radiator hose moves coolant throughout your engine to help regulate the temperature. Without the use of coolant, your engine can overheat and cause serious damage to your vehicle. Signs of a damaged radiator hose include: engine overheating, smoke coming from your engine, a drop in coolant levels, or a bright colored liquid under your vehicle. Contact our Service Center at Graff Chevrolet Bay City for an inspection if you experience any of these warning signs.
The fuel hose is what transfers fuel from the tank to the fuel pump. The different types of fuel hoses are made of reinforced rubber, metal, or plastic. Due to wear or damage, your fuel hose can become cracked and might leak, resulting in a loss of fuel efficiency. This can also be damaging to your wallet, because your gas tank will empty faster than normal. Signs of a crack or leak in your fuel hose include: vehicle not starting, vehicle having hard starts, smelling gasoline, or having puddles of gas under your car. Your fuel hose are not typically part of a routine maintenance inspection, but by having it checked you will be better prepared for the road ahead as fall approaches.
There are different types of brake hoses used for vehicles. Some cars have a brake hose made of rubber and some have brake lines made of steel. Brake lines and hoses are used to transport brake fluid from the wheel cylinder to the calipers. Typically, brake hoses are used because they provide more flexibility for the vehicle’s suspension when traveling on uneven roads or when you turn the steering wheel. Signs of a damaged brake hose or line include: soft brakes when pushing on the brake pedal, or not having the ability to brake at all. Brakes are one of the largest safety components of your vehicle, so it's important to have your brakes checked periodically, and during your Fall Car Care to prevent accidents from occurring.
Power Steering Hose
The power steering hose works to move the power steering fluid through the hydraulic or pressurized system to the power steering rack. The hydraulic system has two different types of hoses: the high-pressure hose that moves fluids from the pump to the rack, and the low-pressure hose that moves fluid from the rack to the pump. Signs of a damaged power steering hose include: difficulty when steering, steering wheel vibrates when idling, you hear a whining or squealing noise when turning, or you notice fluid leaking.