Belt and Hose Care
The tooth-lined strip of rubber known as the timing belt, which synchronizes the motion of the valves and pistons, was introduced as a quieter and lighter alternative to a timing chain. But if it’s allowed to break, you could be facing disaster… and a costly repair.
At best, a broken timing belt can bring your engine to a sudden stop. At worst, it can cause pistons and valves to collide, bending the valves and breaking the pistons.
Be sure to replace this belt every 100,000 km. At the same time, chance and related idlers, tensioners and pulleys to do a complete job. If you only change one belt, you could be ignoring the original cause of the failure or wear.
While the replacement is labour-intensive work, it will still be less expensive than rebuilding your engine!
Inspect belts and hoses every 3 months/6,000 km
Replace every three to five years
Accessory or serpentine belts transfer the power of your engine to a wide variety of components. They turn the alternator that charges your battery, drive the water pump that circulates your coolant and spin the fan that draws air through your radiator.
In general, they should be replaced every three to five years – even if there are visible signs of wear – while tensioners should be replaced at the same time. Belts that are too tight can damage bearings in the alternator and water pump, while stretched belts could fail to move components at the proper speed.
And never use a belt dressing to eliminate noise.
The hoses that deliver antifreeze/coolant from your engine to your radiator will degrade from the inside out over time, through a process known as electrochemical degradation. And it won’t matter how many kilometres are on the odometer.
When it’s time to replace your hoses, be sure to replace them all at once. If one hose has failed, chances are pretty good the others are not far behind. Be sure to change your hoses, radiator cap and hose clamps whenever you change antifreeze or a radiator.