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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Inspection of all Belts and Hoses on your vehicle

 May 30, 2012

Your belts and hoses are basically the blood line to keeping your engine operating at its peak performance.  When a hose or a belt fails, can or will cause an engine to overheat, loss of power steering and loss of the electrical charging system.  When a hose leaks coolant or the main belt turning the water pump snaps, the entire cooling systems becomes inoperable. If you engine overheats, this could cause serious internal damage to the engine with a very expensive repair bill.

Check your Coolant and heater hoses
Hoses are the weakest part of the coolant systems structural components. Hoses are made of flexible rubber compounds so it can absorb vibrations between the engine and the radiator or the case of a heater hoses, the engine and the body’s firewall. Hoses are designed to hold coolant under high pressure; hoses will fluctuate with different extremes of heat, cold, dirt, oils and sludge.

One of the most common failures of hoses is called electrochemical degradation (ECD), not an easy thing to detect by many automotive experts. The main reason is the damage starts from inside the hoses, causing tiny cracks; acids and contaminants in the coolant can then weaken the yarn material that reinforces the hoses.  Eventually pinholes will develop or the weaken hoses will finally rupture from the intense heat, pressure or the constant flexing.

Basic Maintenance in preventing coolant hose failure
-Always check the coolant-recovery tank often ensures proper fluid level. You will see marks on the tank indicating the proper level of engine coolant when engine is either cold or hot. Keep an eye for white, light green or pink coolant traces in the engine bay, which is residue left from a leaking coolant
-When the engine is cool, squeeze the hoses with your thumb and forefinger near the clamps, this is where (ECD) mostly occurs. A good hose will have a nice firm but pliant feel to it.
-Inspect for cracks, bulges or nicks, do this when the engine is still hot.
-Check for parallel cracks around the bends, hardened glassy surface (heat damage) or it could be abrasive damage caused by hose rubbing.
-Always flushing your coolant system by follow the recommendation on your owner’s manual, this will definitely help prevent (ECD)
-NEVER remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot, also keep in mind that an electrical fan may come on at any time.

Some of the automotive experts suggest that all hoses should be replaced every four years as the compounds in the rubber have hardened and become weak from (ECD) and all the other factors we talked about. If you change your hoses, have your coolant system flushed and checked as recommended in your owner’s manual, you will save much grief and a lot of money on avoidable repairs to your vehicle.

Accessory belts on your vehicle
Many of the same damaging factors that attack and weakened your hose will also have similar effects on your belts, heat, oil ozone and abrasion. With today’s technology  almost every car or truck on the road have a single multi-grooved serpentine belt that operates the alternator, water pump, power-steering pump as well as your air conditioning compressor. The serpentine belt is rated to with stand a life expectation of approximately 36,000 miles or 57,600 klms. The crucial point of a serpentine belt is at 50,000 miles or 80,000 klms. These belts should be change when you see any signs of excessive wear, some of the composite belts don’t show any sign of wear until failure occurs.

Tips for Inspecting belts
-check for any visible cracks, fraying, or splits on the top cover.
-check for any signs of glazing on the belt's sides
-Glazed or slick belts can slip, overheat or crack.
-Also twist the serpentine belt to look for separating layers, cracks, or missing chunks of the groves on the underside of the belt.

When you do encounter any of the above factors you should have your serpentine belt replaced, the length and width  should be the same size. Serpentine belts are kept tight with an automatic tensioner. If you ever hear a loud high pitched whining, chirping or vibration noise, this is a sign your belt tensioner is failing and needs attention and in most case has to be replaced.

Automatic Tensioner
will keep your belt tight and running properly

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Uxbridge, Ontario, L9P 1C3
Phone 905-852-4238

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1 comment:

  1. You made some excellent points in that post. I find this a really
    interesting subject.
    Hoses Toowoomba


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