If you look under your vehicle’s hood, you will see various belts and hoses that are part of your engine. But what do these hoses and belts do for your vehicle? In this month’s blog post, we look at the basic function of belts and hoses and easy ways to keep them maintained.
Belts and hoses are critical components of your vehicle’s engine that help to power or supply various systems and parts of your vehicle’s engine.
Belts are a flexible and strong type of band (flat or grooved) made of rubber. They are connected to at least two shafts in the vehicle engine and generate power through continuous motion.
Your vehicle has different types of belts that serve unique functions, as follows:
- Timing Belt: The timing belt helps to power the camshaft on the vehicle and synchronizes the pistons in the engine. Some vehicles have a timing chain in place of the timing belt.
- Serpentine Belt: The serpentine belt powers major components of the vehicle, including the A/C compressor, the cooling fan, and power steering pump.
- V-Belt: V-belts are smaller belts that provide power to specific accessories or components in the engine. For example, the V-belt may provide power to the alternator. It’s a smaller belt that was designed to operate independently of one single vehicle belt. Not all vehicles may be equipped with v-belts.
Hoses are flexible tubing designed to transport important fluids to various components within your vehicle’s engine. Some of the more common hoses in your vehicle include the following:
- Radiator Hose: This hose carries the coolant between your engine and the radiator.
- Air Intake Hose: This hose brings the oxygen to your engine to help the balance of air/fuel for internal combustion.
- Heater Core Hose: This hose is designed to circulate warm coolant to produce warm air for your cabin air system.
- Brake Hose: The brake hose delivers brake fluid from the metal brake lines to the calipers.
Because many of these hoses may carry heated liquids, they are made of durable rubber products and designed to withstand the heat produced from the engine.
Issues and Maintenance of Belts and Hoses
Belts and hoses are subjected to high heat and friction from motion. These conditions make them susceptible to wear and tear. Belts and hoses can sometimes break or become loosened which diminishes their ability to function.
Typically, belts and hoses do not need replacement very often. Because they need to be changed less frequently, belts and hoses should be part of a regular maintenance routine to ensure you are addressing any premature wear and tear.
Keeping belts and hoses maintained only takes a few key steps, including:
- Inspecting hoses and belts for wear and tear: A periodic visual check can indicate problems including sagging or looseness, cracks or splits, aging, or bulges. For example, belts are connected to various shafts, they are calibrated to a specific tension. When something causes a belt to lose tension, it may sag and cause other engine components to malfunction.
- Maintaining engine fluids: Keping engine fluids at the right levels and changing them on a routine basis can go a long way in preserving the effectiveness of your belts and hoses.
Don’t wait until you are stranded on the road to have your belts and hoses inspected for problems. If you think there are issues with a belt or hose in your vehicle, contact us today at Campus Repair to schedule an appointment and inspection.