How to Check for Worn Belts and Hoses During Automotive Maintenance and Repair

Learn how to inspect your car's belts & hoses regularly! Follow these tips from Christian Brothers Automotive & Hoesly Eco Automotive experts.

How to Check for Worn Belts and Hoses During Automotive Maintenance and Repair

Enameled or slippery straps can slip, overheat, or crack. It's difficult to keep track of all the car maintenance services your vehicle needs to keep running, but belts and hoses are among the most integral parts of your engine. If a belt breaks or a hose leaks, the engine could stop working or be seriously damaged. Damage to belts and hoses accelerates and even causes deterioration that causes other mechanical failures.

To avoid unnecessary car repairs, follow these tips for inspecting belts and hoses. The inspection of the coolant and heater hoses should be performed regularly. The hoses are made of flexible rubber to absorb vibrations between the radiator and the engine, but they are prone to damage by dirt, oil, mud, and extreme temperatures. When you check the hoses for wear and tear, look for cracks around the bends, as well as bumps, crevices, and fraying. Use your sense of touch to detect any irregularities or inconsistencies in the hose.

Wait until the engine has completely cooled down and then gently tighten the length of the hose for brittle or soft spots. A good hose will be firm but slightly flexible. Most mechanics recommend changing the hoses every four years, but you can find specific recommendations for your vehicle in the owner's manual. It is also recommended to replace all the hoses when one of them fails. The accessory belt can be damaged in a similar way to how the hose is damaged.

Many modern cars have a slotted belt that drives the air conditioning compressor, power steering, water pump and alternator. Modern belts tend to be more durable than those of older vehicles, but they need to be inspected periodically despite the age of the vehicle. Start the belt inspection by checking for breaks, frays, or cracks. Check the top cover for signs of glazing, as glazed belts are known to be vulnerable and wear out prematurely due to high temperatures. Not all damage to hoses and belts can be verified with a quick visual inspection, so it is essential that an expert mechanic evaluate the condition of the operating parts of the engine. Newer vehicles use serpentine belts, which drive most engine parts.

When checking serpentine belts, check for cracks, frayed, or exposed threads. Older vehicles use V-belts, so you'll want to flip them over and check for glass, cracks, or excessive wear. Exposure to heat, vibration, and pollution causes belts and hoses to wear out faster than any other component in the car. That's why regular inspections are so important. Here are some tips on how to inspect your car's belts and hoses:

  • Turn a serpentine belt to see if there are separate layers, cracks, or missing parts of the grooves on the bottom.
  • Look for cracks around bends in hoses as well as bumps, crevices, and fraying.
  • Gently tighten the length of a hose for brittle or soft spots.
  • Check for breaks, frays or cracks in accessory belts.
  • Check top cover for signs of glazing in modern belts.
  • Inspect serpentine belts for cracks, frayed or exposed threads.
  • Flip V-belts over to check for glass, cracks or excessive wear.
If you're uncomfortable checking your car's belts and hoses yourself or you're not sure what signs to look for, visit an ASE-certified professional technician at Christian Brothers Automotive in Clermont or Hoesly Eco Automotive.

For your next auto repair service or regular car maintenance service call Hye-Tech Auto in Covina today at (62) 332-5452 and remember to mention one of our special online offers to save money. Proper maintenance avoids costly towing bills and possible accidents due to loss of engine power when traveling at highway speeds. So make sure you inspect your car's belts and hoses regularly!.