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Car Care Guide: Belts and Hoses


Belts and hoses. They’re two parts of your car that you probably don’t think about until there’s a problem.

And by then? It’s too late and you may be looking at some costly repairs. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your vehicle’s belts and hoses before problems strike.

All about belts and hoses

Every vehicle comes with a manual that provides you with the important information you need to care for it. Your belts and hoses serve crucial functions that can land you in big trouble if they fail. Your owner’s manual gives you the recommended number of miles at which you should change these vital components.

The serpentine belt, specifically, turns the water pump, the alternator, the power steering, and the air conditioning compressor. If this belt breaks, you’re stranded – your engine won’t run. Another possible danger is an overheated engine.

Why do belts and hoses need regular service?

Here’s the deal: You can’t always tell that a belt or hose needs to be replaced just by looking at it. They go bad from the inside out.

    Here’s what happens after time:
  • Rubber hoses become brittle and hard from age and extended exposure to heat. They can blister or split and leak.
  • Belts face a similar fate. In addition, a belt that’s loose will deteriorate more rapidly.

Typical service for belts and hoses

    Here’s what you can expect when you take your vehicle in for bet and hose maintenance:
  • Your mechanic will check your belts and hoses for cracks, leaking, or any other sign of trouble at each oil change.
  • Any time you get a new water pump or radiator, the connecting hoses should be replaced, as well.
  • The clamps should be replaced when hoses are replaced.
  • Older vehicles may have a V-belt instead of a serpentine belt. This should be replaced when signs of excessive wear are detected, or between 40,000 and 50,000 miles. Remember – always follow the advice of your owner’s manual.
  • The serpentine belt also needs to be replaced when it becomes too worn OR at 60,000-90,000 miles.
  • Your owner’s manual will tell you when to change your timing belt, though it’s usually also between 60,000 and 90,000 miles.
  • When a V-belt or serpentine belt is replaced, tensioners and pulleys may need to be changed, as well.

Trust your belt and hose maintenance to Conrad’s

You don’t want to leave the care of your vehicle’s important components to just anyone. The skilled auto technicians at your nearest Conrad’s location have the experience to give your car what it needs.

Stop by or give us a call to schedule your next service.

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