When compared to other components in your car, belts and hoses have one of the shortest life spans. These items are constantly exposed to engine heat, vehicle vibrations, and harmful chemicals, which all have the potential to cause cracks and leaks. Some symptoms to be aware of for belts and hoses nearing failure include squeaking, screeching, or grinding noises that begin when starting your engine or appear during vehicle operation. It’s worth noting that grinding sounds near belts are usually associated with a bad pulley bearing rather than the belt itself, as the pulley bearing may freeze up and ultimately lead to a belt replacement. Other symptoms of a bad belt or hose include loss of power, leaking coolant or other fluids, illuminated dashboard lights, rising steam from the engine, and air conditioning failure. While routine maintenance of belts and hoses is always important, summertime is an especially important season to keep an eye under the hood due to increased temperatures, which will accelerate deterioration of the rubber components. Since belts and hoses can be difficult to inspect visually, be sure to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for scheduled maintenance.
Heater hoses play a crucial role in a vehicle’s heating system, which operates in conjunction with the cooling system. Running engines produce a tremendous amount of heat that will need to be transferred away from the engine in order to prevent overheating and subsequent breakdowns.
Your car or truck’s radiator hoses, which connect the engine to the radiator, are important components that maintain consistent internal engine temperatures. The upper hose connects to the top of the engine, while the lower hose connects to the bottom.
As the timing belt synchronizes engine processes, the serpentine belt powers peripheral processes in the engine compartment, like the power steering pump, water pump, cooling fan, air conditioner, and alternator. The serpentine belt receives its name from the snake-like path it takes through the various steering and electrical components it powers.
The timing belt, or timing chain in some vehicles, is a drive belt that synchronizes the rotation of the engine’s crankshaft and camshaft with the opening and closing of your engine’s valves. Depending on the vehicle, it may also rotate the water pump.