Check Your Belts and Hoses Before the Summer Heat

April 29, 2020 2:55 am Published by Leave your thoughts

We still have a couple months before summer officially begins, so it’s important for you to take advantage of the remaining mild weather to inspect your vehicle and complete some critical maintenance services in Port Charlotte, FL. This will ensure your car will operate well all summer long, despite the potential heat and humidity you’ll likely have to deal with.

It is particularly important for you to pay attention to the belts and hoses in your vehicle. These pieces play a critical role in keeping your vehicle’s important systems cool. They do wear down over time, and if they get too worn down, they could break and cause the radiator to overheat, which will render your car inoperable.

Here’s a quick overview of why it’s important to prioritize the inspection of your belts and hoses before the heat of summer kicks in.

The impact of summer heat on your belts and hoses

Today’s belts and hoses are generally able to withstand normal wear and tear better than those of the past due to improved technology in their design and the materials they use. However, they do still experience wear, and they are particularly susceptible to high temperatures.

High temperatures are tough on both belts and hoses (as well as most other parts of your vehicle). It is the inner tube, reinforcement and cover of the hoses that are particularly susceptible to high temperatures.

Today’s belts have a reduction in the cracking that was often seen on neoprene belts used in past vehicles. It’s crucial you continue to check on the rib wear on serpentine belts, because that type of wear is the most common cause of failure in today’s belts. There are belt wear gauges available that you can use to check the status of your belts and determine whether or not they need to be replaced.

A failure to keep up with maintenance on your vehicle at any time of year can be damaging and costly, but it is the extreme weather and temperature conditions of the summer that can cause belts and hoses to fail sooner than in other times of the year. You should frequently inspect the belts and hoses for signs of wear, including cracks, holes or brittleness. Make sure all idler pulleys are working correctly (no worn bearings, a clean pulley surface that isn’t worn down), and if you have a belt tensioner, make sure it functions correctly and is giving the right level of tension. If you have a fixed drive in your vehicle (no automatic tensioner), make sure it is properly tensioned as well so you can avoid slip and extra wear.

With hoses, always check the condition of the hose by squeezing it near attachment points. If you come across any soft spots, this could be a sign that its reinforcement is breaking down and you may need to replace it soon.

For more information about the toll extreme heat can take on your vehicle, contact Ice Cold Auto Repair today. We’d be glad to tell you more about the critical maintenance services we provide for Port Charlotte, FL drivers.

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