Belts and hoses are vital to keeping your engine at its best

A damaged hose can cause fluid leaks that can affect your vehicle’s performance.
A damaged hose can cause fluid leaks that can affect your vehicle’s performance. | File photo

April is National Car Care Month, and this is a great time for you to pay extra attention to your car’s belts and hoses. 

Belts and hoses are among the most important parts of your car’s engine. Without them, your car will not run as effectively as it should. 

Generally, an engine’s belts are responsible for controlling your air conditioner's compressor, alternator, engine valve intake and exhaust, power steering, and water pump. If the belt is damaged, it can create havoc on your vehicle.

On the other hand, an engine’s hoses are mainly responsible for moving essential fluids -- such as coolant and brake fluids -- throughout your car’s entire system. A damaged hose can cause fluid leaks that can affect your vehicle’s overall performance.

While these parts are prone to wear-and-tear due to frequent use, extreme heat or cold can worsen their condition as well. Thus, it is important to also check on your belts and hoses to know their condition and provide solutions before any small issues worsen. 

Belts should be inspected every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Ideally, they should also be replaced every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, but that depends on their condition. However, if you notice an overheating engine, loss of power steering, or an odd sound while accelerating, there's no need to wait for the right time to change your accessory belts. 

Meanwhile, a decrease in cooling level, presence of smoke from the engine, high engine temperature, or a puddle of liquid under your vehicle indicates a radiator hose leak. You may need to replace your fuel line if your vehicle does not start, if you smell gas while driving, or you use gas faster than usual. Lastly, your old brake hoses should be changed when you notice a loss of braking ability or your car does not brake as effectively as before. 

Hank Graff Mt. Pleasant will cater to your car’s needs, including any concerns on your belts and hoses. To request an appointment, visit their website -- http://www.hankgraffmtpleasant.com -- and their friendly and accommodating personnel will take it from there.

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Hank Graff Family of Dealerships 116 North Mission Street Mount Pleasant, MI 48858