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Everything You Should Know About Belts and Hoses

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Belts and pulleys are an integral part of any internal combustion engine. Working together, they help to keep components, such as your water pump, A/C, alternator, and steering, working together in harmony. Worn or failing hoses could result in your losing vital fluids that ensure your engine properly works. Worn or failing belts can throw off the timing of your vehicle, keep the alternator from charging, or cause breakage within the system itself.

When to Check Your Belts

It’s important to inspect the belts in your vehicle regularly. If you notice any of the following, have them replaced immediately:

  • Cracking – Worn rubber belts can begin to crack, leaving weak spots in the belt. If you notice 3 or more cracks within a 3-inch span of your vehicle’s belts, it’s time for a change.
  • Squealing or Squalling – These sounds could be signs of a worn belt, pulley, or tensioner, wearing. In either case, if you hear these sounds, it’s time for an inspection.
  • Rust Bleed – If you notice rust bleed around your tensioner or pulley, it’s a sure sign that the part is weakened and should be replaced.
  • Excessive Movement – If there is oscillation or excessive movement of the belt while in service, it’s likely that it has been stretched over time. Replacing it will improve the performance of your system and prevent damage down the road.

Replacing belts when they show signs of excess wear is a simple and inexpensive way to ensure that your engine keeps running at peak performance for a long time.

What Do Hoses Do? When Should They Be Replaced?

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Hoses in your engine are responsible for moving air and water throughout the system. This is essential for not only heating and cooling your cabin, but for keeping your engine from overheating as well. Hoses should be inspected regularly for signs of wear and replaced as needed.

There are a few simple things to look for when inspecting your own hoses for wear or damage:

  • Puddles – Fluid on the ground under your vehicle is never a good thing. A quick inspection will tell you whether you have a loose or ruptured hose, or if there’s something bigger that needs attention.
  • Oxidization – Over time, certain hoses become brittle due to their exposure to high temperatures within the engine compartment. Check for discolored hoses, or hoses that display signs of cracking to the terminal edges. If you see these, it may be time to consider a replacement.
  • Rough Idle – A bad idle could mean a leaky vacuum hose. If the engine isn’t getting enough oxygen for proper detonation, and you’ve already checked the air filter, it may be time to have the vacuum hose replaced.

Trust Fisher Service for All Your Vehicle Maintenance Needs

When your vehicle is ready for a tune-up, Fisher Service not only provides belt and hose replacements, but the whole gamut of maintenance and repair services your vehicle might need. Contact us to schedule an appointment or for answers to further questions. We look forward to getting your vehicle back in tiptop shape!