Based on the make, model, and year of your vehicle, you either have a timing belt or a timing chain. If your car has a timing belt, it needs to be replaced every 40,000 to 60,000 miles dependent on the recommendation of your car’s manufacturer. If the timing belt breaks, is can cause serious damage to your engine. If you have a timing chain, be sure to have it checked every 100,000 miles to ensure it hasn’t stretched too much.
If you have an older vehicle, you may have a v-belt which transfers power to essential components, like the power steering pump or alternator. The v-belt should be replaced every 30,000 miles. If you have a newer vehicle, you may have a serpentine belt instead. The benefit of the serpentine belt is that you can wait to replace it every 50,000 miles.
Most hoses last about four years, but they can last longer. Things to look for are if there’s showing signs of wear, cracking, loosening. It’s a good idea to replace them when they show any sign of aging, so you won’t lose vacuum pressure out of your engine or brake system or essential fluids. If you notice spots on the driveway/garage floor, a leak could be coming from the hose.
Mostly, the belts and hoses in your vehicle are quite easy to check yourself. With hoses, you begin with checking them visually. If you see bulges, cracks or they look worn, it’s a sign they need to be replaced soon. When your engine is cold, it’s a good idea to squeeze the hose close to the clamps to see if it is in good condition. The hose should feel and firm. If it’s soft, it’s likely it needs replaced. Always watch out for fraying, splits, or cracks as well.
Some belts are not quite so easy to check. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to take your vehicle to an authorized mechanic for routine maintenance. We will inspect the condition of your belts and hoses to make sure your car is in good working order.
A common sign of a failing belt are odd noises coming from the engine, such as squealing or chirping. This can be an indication that you have a loose or damaged belt or fluid leakage. If the sound occurs only when your heater or air conditioner is on, be sure to check this as they may use a belt as well.
It’s important to have your belts and hoses checked when you get your oil changed. Any damage to your hoses can be evident as soon as you open your hood. The damage can be cracks, or vein-like appearance in your belts or hoses. But there are some belts and hoses that aren’t accessible without searching and poking around, so that’s why it’s a good idea to have a profession check them for you.
If you notice spots on your driveway/garage floor, a broken or loose hose might be the problem. As leaking fluid can come from anywhere, it’s likely it’s coming from the pan or failing gasket. But, an anti-freeze/coolant leak is often coming from a number of hoses attached to it.