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Auto Services

Hoses & Belts

Coolant Hoses include the upper radiator hose, lower radiator hose, heater hoses and bypass hose (some engines). Coolant hoses are made of reinforced synthetic rubber made to withstand heat, vibration, pressure, and cooling system chemicals.
 
Purpose: Coolant hoses provide a flexible connection for coolant flow between the engine and the radiator and the engine and the heater core.
 
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: The coolant hoses should be inspected at least twice a year, both in the spring and in the fall. Hose clamp connections should also be checked to ensure that they're secure and free from leaks. Although hose condition has historically been determined from the outside of the hose, research shows that hoses really begin to break down from the inside out. This process, called electrochemical degradation (ECD), generates fine cracks in the wall of the hose tube. These fine cracks extend from inside the hose tube to the outside, close to one or both ends of the hose. Coolant can then seep through these cracks and attack the hose reinforcement. Eventually the condition worsens to a pinhole leak or a burst hose. Coolant hoses should be replaced at least every four years, or more often as needed. It's also a good idea to change any hoses that connect to a part of the cooling system that's being replaced. For instance, it's wise to replace both of the heater hoses when replacing the heater core. If you decide to service your cooling system yourself, use extreme caution: Opening a hot radiator or coolant reservoir/overflow tank can cause severe burns. Be sure that both the engine and cooling system are cool before you begin any heating/cooling system maintenance or repairs. It's possible that your car may be equipped with an air bleed for the cooling system. Unless the cooling system is bled properly, air may stay trapped in the system and cause erratic temperatures, or in extreme cases, engine or cooling system damage. If you're unsure about any aspect of cooling system service, don't take a chance. Have your car looked at by a Raffield Tire Technician.
 
Drive Belts are made of reinforced, high-tensile strength cords and synthetic rubber. They connect the engine to front-mounted accessories. Belts come in two different types: The traditional V-belt (cross-section of belt has a V-shape) and the serpentine belt (also called Poly-V, Poly-Rib, Multi-Rib, and Micro-V belt), which uses multiple Vs for more positive contact with its mating pulleys.
 
Purpose: Drive belts provide power to engine-mounted accessories like the power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, mechanical cooling fan, and air injection pump. Serpentine belts are now used on almost all vehicles.
 
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: Studies show that the chance of a drive belt failure rises dramatically after four years or 36,000 miles for V-belts, 50,000 miles for serpentine belts. This doesn't mean that the belts shouldn't be inspected before then, though. The belts should be checked every time the oil is changed. When checking V-belts, a slipping belt usually has shiny sidewalls (glazing) caused by heat from sliding in the pulleys. The glazing often causes a chattering, slapping or squealing noise. Because the glazing hardens the belt, it's prone to cracking and early failure. Belt slippage often occurs because of low tension, the wrong belt, or grease or oil. Missing chunks, or separating layers of the belt often hint at a dousing of oil or grease. The source of the oil or grease needs to be corrected before installing a new belt. A V-belt with any of these conditions should be replaced as soon as possible. On serpentine belts, inspect the belt closely for any cracks in the ribbed area. Also check the backside of the belt for grooves, fraying, or splitting. Although random cracks across the ribs are a sign of normal belt wear and don't mean the belt will fail immediately, it's a good idea to replace the belt the next time your car is serviced.
 
"Fan Belt" is the traditional term for what today is called a drive belt. Drive belts are made of reinforced, high-tensile strength cords and synthetic rubber. They connect the engine to front-mounted accessories. Belts come in two different types: The traditional V-belt (cross-section of belts has a V-shape for V-shaped pulleys) and the serpentine belt (also called Poly-V, Poly-Rib, Multi-Rib, and Micro-V belt), which uses multiple Vs for more positive contact with its mating pulleys.
 
Purpose: Drive belts provide power to engine-mounted accessories like the power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, mechanical cooling fan, and air injection pump. Serpentine belts are now used on almost all vehicles.
 
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: Studies show that the chance of a fan belt failure rises dramatically after four years or 36,000 miles for V-belts, 50,000 miles for serpentine belts. This doesn't mean that the belts shouldn't be inspected before then, though. The belts should be checked every time the oil is changed. When checking V-belts, a slipping belt usually has shiny sidewalls (glazing) caused by heat from sliding in the pulleys. The glazing often causes a chattering, slapping or squealing noise. And, because the glazing hardens the belt, it's prone to cracking and early failure. Belt slippage often occurs because of low tension, the wrong belt, or grease or oil. Missing chunks, or separating layers of the belt often hint at a dousing of oil or grease. The source of the oil or grease needs to be corrected before installing a new belt. A V-belt with any of these conditions should be replaced as soon as possible. On serpentine belts, inspect the belt closely for any cracks in the ribbed area. Also check the backside of the belt for grooves, fraying, or splitting. Although random cracks across the ribs are a sign of normal belt wear and don't mean the belt will fail immediately, it's a good idea to replace the belt the next time your car is serviced.
 
Upper & Lower Radiator Hoses are made of reinforced synthetic rubber made to withstand heat, vibration, pressure, and cooling system chemicals.
 
Purpose: Radiator hoses provide a flexible connection for coolant flow between the engine and the radiator.
 
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: The radiator hoses should be inspected at least twice a year, both in the spring and in the fall. Hose clamp connections should also be checked to ensure that they're secure and free from leaks. Although hose condition has historically been determined from the outside of the hose, research shows that hoses really begin to break down from the inside out. This process, called electrochemical degradation (ECD), generates fine cracks in the wall of the hose tube. These fine cracks extend from inside the hose tube to the outside, close to one or both ends of the hose. Coolant can then seep through these cracks and attack the hose reinforcement. Eventually the condition worsens to a pinhole leak or a burst hose. Coolant hoses should be replaced at least every four years, or more often as needed. It's also a good idea to change any hoses that connect to a part of the cooling system that's being replaced. For example, it's wise to replace both of the radiator hoses when replacing the radiator. If you decide to service your cooling system yourself, use extreme caution: Opening a hot radiator or coolant reservoir/overflow tank can cause severe burns. Be sure that both the engine and cooling system are cool before you begin any heating/cooling system maintenance or repairs. It's possible that your car may be equipped with an air bleed for the cooling system. Unless the cooling system is bled properly, air may stay trapped in the system and cause erratic temperatures, or in extreme cases, engine or cooling system damage. If you're unsure about any aspect of cooling system service, don't take a chance. Have your car looked at by a Raffield Tire Technician.
 
Timing Belts: Many of today's engines use timing belts, but not all. Some engines still use a timing chain and sprocket arrangement. A timing belt is a precision component with teeth that mesh exactly with its mating sprockets. Especially critical is uniformity of the teeth and their spacing. The belt's teeth are precision molded from a special rubber compound for good mesh and long life. The belt's inherent tensile (stretch-resistant) qualities come from high strength cords that run parallel with the direction of belt travel.
 
Purpose: The timing belt maintains crankshaft-to-camshaft synchronization, keeping valve operation matched to piston position. On some engines, the belt also drives other components. These include the oil pump, water pump, and balance shafts.
 
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: Check your car's owner's manual for information on timing belt maintenance. Manufacturers generally recommend a certain mileage for belt replacement. If the timing belt is not replaced at the suggested interval, the belt could break, leaving you stranded and possibly causing major engine damage. If you're having the timing belt replaced, consider replacing other parts that may be accessed at the same time, such as the water pump, timing belt sprockets, and tensioning pulleys. Check with a qualified Raffield Tire Technician if you have questions about your car's needs for timing belt maintenance.

 

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