Belts and Hoses: Maintaining Your Car

When your car breaks down on you, there are a number of factors that could be at fault, but one of the common reasons is failure from belts and hoses. Our qualified service technicians are going under the hood to offer more insight on why these seemingly small belts and hoses are so important to maintain, or risk some costly repairs later down the road.  

Coolant Hoses and Heater Hoses

These flexible, rubber tubes have an important job, being the mode of transportation coolant from the engine to the radiator and back again. The engine pushes out hot coolant through the radiator hose to be cooled in the radiator. Once cooled, the coolant is sent back to into the engine to help regulate and displace the heat.

For this process to continue seamlessly, each of these hoses must not be damaged. It's best to have your hoses inspected by a professional each year after three years of wear. The upper hoses are likely to deteriorate quicker than the lower hoses, but we recommend replacing all hoses in the same visit.

If we find signs of wear that indicate the need for replacement, like cracks, swells or soft spots from electrochemical degradation, we can install new hoses for you, along with new radiator clamps and while we're in there, perform a coolant flush to ensure your radiator is running smoothly!

Accessory Belts

There can be a number of belts in your car used to enable the accessories for your car to run properly. From the timing belt inside the engine, which synchronizes the camshaft movement, to the Serpentine or V-belts, used to rotate a number of working components, these belts need to be inspected to catch wear early and prevent breakdowns that could seriously damage your engine and cost major bucks to repair.

 The types of belts utilized in your car will depend on how old it is. According to Consumer Reports, "Almost all cars and trucks built today have a single multi-grooved serpentine belt that drives the alternator, water pump, power-steering pump, and air-conditioning compressor. Older vehicles may have separate V-belts that drive the accessories." A V-belt will typically last about 4 years or 36,000 miles before needing replaced, compared to a serpentine belt, which can last closer to 50,000 miles. For the timing belt, check your OEM for that service or replacement interval and be sure to have it replaced before or on that recommended interval. This is one service that really pays to be proactive with and invest in.

During an inspection, we'll check each of the belts under the hood for cracks, splits, fraying, glazing or separating. If there's an issue with the tension of the belt, we can get that tightened or replace the belt with a new one. We can also inspect and maintain or replace the belt tensioner if needed, to ensure proper tension of your belts to their corresponding components.


If you're having any problems with you belts and hoses, or think it's about time for an inspection / checkup, give the St. Marys Chrysler Service Department a call at (888) 646-6489 or schedule your next appointment online and use the Belts and Hoses Special above for extra savings.