Below are brief descriptions of some of the different belts and hoses we
The engine drives some of your vehicle's accessories. Instead of
being supplied by electric power, these accessories rely on a series
of pulleys and belts to operate. Some of these accessories include:
● Power steering pump
● Air conditioning compressor
● Radiator cooling fan
● Water pump
Some vehicles require a single serpentine belt to power these
accessories (as opposed to several individual belts).
Accessory Drive Belts
While some accessories in your
car are electrically powered by the charging system, others use the engine
itself as their power source. The power for these accessories is delivered
by a system of pulleys and belts. Examples of these accessories are:
Water Pump for engine cooling
Power Steering Pump
Air Conditioning Compressor
Radiator Cooling Fan
Many late model cars use a
single serpentine belt in place of individual belts to drive these
If you think of hoses as your vehicle's circulatory system, then
you'll have an appropriate representation of their importance. Hoses
are composed of two rubber layers with fabric in between. Types of
hoses vary on make and model, but typically include:
● Fuel hose (sends gasoline from
the gas tank to the engine)
● Radiator and Heater Hoses -
These hoses convey coolant to the engine and heater core.
● Power steering hose (connects
power steering pump to steering equipment)
You know that long belt
that snakes around the front of your engine? It’s called the serpentine
belt. The serpentine belt is driven by the engine as it turns.
It powers your alternator, air conditioning compressor,
and power steering pump. On some vehicles it also runs
the water pump, radiator fan, and power brakes.
Sounds like a lot of important stuff doesn’t it?
If your serpentine belt were to break on one of our
roads, your battery would die in a few miles. If it runs your fan or
water pump, your engine could overheat. And steering and braking
could be more difficult. Obviously, the best thing is to replace
your serpentine belt before it breaks.
Check your owner’s manual for when it’s recommended that you replace
your serpentine belt – or just ask our service
advisor for assistance. We can inspect the belt as well to
see if it’s in trouble.
You may have been told by a service advisor to look for
cracks in your belt to see if it needs to be replaced. Of course,
cracks are still a concern, but modern belt material doesn’t crack
as often as old belts did. What we look for these days is the
thickness of the belt. There are tools available that measures the
depth of the grooves in the belt to see if it needs replacing.
A worn belt can slip (squeal) or be misaligned, putting undue stress on the
accessories it runs.
Now you can imagine it’s important for the belt to be tight, so
there’s a tensioner pulley on your engine that puts pressure
on the belt to keep it at the right tension. The spring on the
tensioner wears out over time so we recommend replacing the
tensioner pulley at the same time as the serpentine belt.
Replacing your serpentine belt on schedule, or when an inspection
warrants it, will keep you from an unexpected breakdown.
Radiator & Coolant Hoses
and coolant hoses are vital to keep your engine from overheating.
With time and use, hoses become brittle and weak. Don't wait for a
failed radiator or coolant hose to leave you stranded.
Upper Radiator Hose
Lower Radiator Hose
Cooling hoses should be
replaced every 5 years or 100,000 miles.
TIMING BELTS.... WHAT ARE THEY?
Piston engines can generally be divided into two groups-Interference
AND non-interference engines.
If a timing belt breaks on a non-Interference engine the engine will
'free-wheel' and the piston will not contact the valves.
On the other hand, interference engines will not 'free-wheel".
Severe valve train and piston damage can result if the timing belt
breaks while the engine is running.
TIMING BELT REPLACEMENT GUIDE
Most manufactures have recommended replacement Intervals for
replacing timing belts. A typical service Interval in between 50,000
and 60,000 miles. It is important to replace timing belts at
recommended Intervals even if the vehicle has a non-interference
engine. Proper maintenance prevents expensive tow bills and possible
accidents due to loss of engine power while traveling at highway
My friend had a broken timing belt and it was very expensive to
repair his engine.
What can I do to avoid a broken timing belt?
Willoughby Hills Auto Repair Answer:
Well, a broken timing belt can lead to one of the most expensive
engine repairs Willoughby Ohio auto owners will ever face. The good
news is that replacing your timing belt on its recommended schedule
can help avoid those problems. Here’s a brief overview of what the
timing belt does:
Air is drawn into the cylinder of the engine through the intake
valves. After the air and fuel mixture is burned, it’s pushed out
through the exhaust valves. The timing belt, which is driven by the
engine, turns the camshafts which control when the intake and
exhaust valves open and close. It is essential that the opening and
closing of the valves take place at exactly the right time for the
engine to run properly.
Beyond that, on some sedan engines the valves actually extend into
the combustion chamber far enough that they can be hit by the piston
as it moves up and down in the cylinder. When everything is timed
just right – no problem. When the timing is off, the piston will
slam into the valves and cause big (costly) damage for Willoughby
Hills car owners.
The timing belt makes sure everything is timed just right. However,
the belt does have a useful life. Beyond that it can break or slip –
and that’s when the damage can be done. If your vehicle has a timing
belt (some have metal timing chains) it will have a recommended
interval for replacing it, typically in the 60,000 to 90,000 mile
range. Be sure to check your owner’s manual or with your Willoughby
Hills Auto Repair tech to make sure you know when your timing belt
needs to be replaced: there is a lot at stake.
Now, getting to the timing belt requires a lot of labor so it is an
expensive service item, but it is certainly less costly than
repairing a damaged engine. If your timing belt drives your water
pump, change them both at the same time to save labor costs down the
road. Ask your Willoughby Hills Auto Repair service specialist when
your timing belt should be changed and get an estimate for what it
will cost so you can budget for this vital service.
My Willoughby Hills Auto Repair service advisor said I need a new
serpentine belt but I don’t see any cracks in it. Does it really
need to be replaced?
Willoughby Hills Auto Repair Answer:
I appreciate your concern. Old style neoprene belts would crack with
age, making it pretty obvious to Willoughby Ohio car owners when
they needed to be replaced. Nowadays, serpentine belts are made from
a different material that doesn’t crack or glaze the way neoprene
Stepping back, the serpentine belt transfers power from the engine
to various essential accessories like the alternator, power steering
pump, and air conditioning compressor – even the power brakes and
water pump on some vehicles. Modern serpentine belts have several
grooves running their length. These grooves mate with the pulleys on
the accessories. When the belt is within its useful life, it spins
the accessories at the designed speed.
Over time, belt material is worn away. When as little as 5% of the
material is lost, the belt can slip and not properly spin the
accessories leading to detrimental stress and pricey damage.
Using a special tool, your caring Willoughby Hills Auto Repair
service professional can measure the material lost in your
serpentine belt. He will find out if it needs to be replaced.
It’s vital for Willoughby Hills drivers to understand that the
serpentine belt is part of the accessory belt drive system which
also includes the serpentine belt tensioner and any idler pulleys.
The belt tensioner has the same service life as the belt itself, so
if it is time to replace the belt, you should also replace the
tensioner and idler pulleys as well.
A worn belt tensioner can cause belt slip and enough belt-slap to
really hammer the accessory upstream from the tensioner. Running too
long with a worn belt, tensioner, or idler pulleys often causes
excessive heat at the accessory pulleys, resulting in inefficiency,
pricey damage and premature replacement.
Willoughby Hills Auto Repair in Willoughby Hills Ohio can perform an
inspection to see if your belt or tensioner is worn and should be
replaced. Ask your tech if it’s time for a serpentine
belt system replacement.
Willoughby Hills Auto
Repair is a Car and Light Truck repair shop providing automobile
service for foreign & domestic cars
OIL CHANGE SERVICES,
SERVICE, CLUTCH REPAIRS,
AIR CONDITIONING' ELECTRONIC
FRONT END WORK, REPLACE LIGHTS,
WIPER BLADES, BATTERIES, BELTS & HOSES,
WHEEL ALIGNMENT. Serving
Northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Lake County & Geauga County. City
Willoughby & Willoughby Hills,
Mentor, Kirtland & Kirtland Hills, Waite Hill, Wickliffe, Mayfield &
Mayfield Village, Euclid, Highland Heights, Gates Mills, Chardon,
South Euclid and surrounding areas.