Belts, Tensioners, Pulleys & Hoses
Does your engine squeal when you first start the engine or does it squeal when you turn the steering wheel all the way? Are you hearing a whirring or growling noise from under the hood? Are you loosing coolant, power steering fluid or transmission fluid. Then you may have trouble with belts or hoses.
Exposure to heat, vibration and contamination makes belts and hoses wear out faster than any other components in your car. That's why regular inspections are so important. Here are the belt and hose types in your car, along with their applications.
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
- Suplemental Air Injection (Smog) pump
- Vehicles may use as few as 1 and as many as 4 belts to drive these accessories.
All drive belts have to have the right amount of tension. Too little and the belt will slip, causing heat that will destroy the belt. Too much and the bearing in the accessories driven by the belt may meet an untimely death. Some belts have pulleys mounted on a spring-loaded arm that applys the right amount of tension. The pulley bearing can fail, the arm pivot eventually wears out and sometimes the tensioner spring can break.
Engines that have timing belts require periodic replacment. At best, when the belt fails, you'll be stranded by the side of the road. At worst, failure of the timing belt will let the pistons hit the intake and/or exhaust valves causing a few thousands of dollars of damage.
Some pulleys are made of a center hub with an outer metal ring held together with a rubber cushion. The rubber can come loose causing failure. Tensioner pulleys and Idler pulleys spin on there own ball bearing which can fail, making a whirring or growling noise. Eventually noisy bearing fail. Sometime the pulley falls off which can damage other things under the hood. Sometimes the pulley locks up and stops spinning. This will burn off the belt in a heartbeat, at best leaving you stranded or at worse causing your engine to overheat which can cause damage that requires engine replacement.
The hoses that convey your car's fluids, fumes and fresh air, are made of two rubber layers with a layer of fabric in between. Typical hoses include:
- Radiator and Heater Hoses - These hoses convey coolant to the engine and heater core.
- Fuel Hose - As the name implies, this hose transports gasoline from the tank to the engine.
- Power Steering Hose - It connects the power steering pump to the steering gear.
- Evaperative Emission Hoses - traps the fumes from the gas tank in the activated charcoal canister to be burned later under computer control.
- PCV hoses which flushes fumes from inside the engine by allowing in filtered fresh air.
- Vacuum Hoses which supply vacuum to various components operated by vacuum. Most power brake systems us vacuum and the power source.
Does your engine squeal or growl? Are you loosing coolant, power steering fluid or transmission fluid? Then bring your vehicle to Clearview Tire & Auto Service for a correct diagnosis and professional guaranteed repairs which includes our Certified Auto Repair Nationwide Warranty. We're in Hopkinsville, not far from Ft. Campbell and we've been here since 1952. Most repairs include one year FREE towing and roadside assistance, good 24/7 coast-to-coast.