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What You Need To Know About Your Vehicle Belts and Hoses

What You Need To Know About Your Vehicle Belts and Hoses

Posted On 11 Jul, 2018

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Nobody ever wants any bad surprises when they go out trying to buy a car. And by this we mean, choosing between a few used cars. While these vehicles are significantly cheaper to obtain, they might hold some hidden defects. It is obvious that we can’t cover all the areas and teach you exactly what to watch out for when selecting a car, but we can at least help. This is why our focus will be on the belts and hoses of used cars.

No this isn’t a saying – the belts and hoses really matter and being familiar with them and what is normal and what isn’t is crucial.

Here’s Where to Begin Your Inspection

Start with the Heater and Coolant Hoses. The heating and cooling system of a car is a complex set of parts with the weakest point being the hoses. This is because those components are generally soft since they are made of rubber. Keeping in mind that these hoses are subjected to sudden drops and raises of temperature, it is only normal to expect them to deteriorate. Look for:

1. Parallel cracks
2. Inspect for nicks and bulges
3. Squeeze the hoses with your thumb to check for soft spots

Accessory belts are also attacked by interesting fluids and substances. We are talking about dirt, mulch, oil, abrasion, and others. The problem with accessory belts is that they do not age well, and they get worn out pretty quickly. Serpentine belts should be changed every 50 000 miles or so while V-belts can hold up for about 36 000 miles.

Even if you do not find any cracks in the belts, there is one more test to be made with cars for sale. Just start the engine and press the throttle. If there is a screeching sound coming from under the hood, there’s a good chance that the belt is coming off. If a pro has it checked, they will surely tell you whether the belt has to be replaced right away.

Timing belts are the last component we will review. These are not present in every vehicle, but if they are there, they need to be inspected. The purpose of a timing belt is to connect the camshaft and the crankshaft. It is typically tucked away behind a cover, so a mechanic has to inspect it. Change it every 70 000 miles if you don’t want to have a pricey engine repair.

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