What is the serpentine belt used for?
The serpentine belt
, also known as the drive belt
or timing belt, connects the engine to key engine components as it provides power to the air conditioning or A/C compressor, power steering pump, cooling fan, air injection pump, and more.
If your vehicle’s serpentine belt breaks, all the engine parts it is powering will stop working, and your engine will start overheating! So you are better off regularly checking for cracks, wear, and stripping to determine if your serpentine belt is in danger of failing. Another telltale sign is a screeching noise coming from your engine, especially during cold morning start-ups, or on sharp turns: this is a warning sound, time to take action! How often should I check the timing belt?
We’d recommend you check the timing belt, or serpentine belt
, every time you change your oil. Under ideal conditions, a belt should last 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Though we’d err on the conservative side and would recommend you change your serpentine belt before reaching that mileage. What is the radiator used for?
Another area to prevent overheating and engine failure is to maintain the radiator
in good condition. The radiator fluid or antifreeze coolant circulating within the radiator draws damaging heat away from the engine, and cools it down. Any obstacle to the fluid circulation leads to overheating. Simply put, a radiator problem will lead to engine problems! What kind of maintenance is needed for a radiator?
An easy way to prevent this is to check the radiator fluid level on a regular basis, as one of the most common causes of engine overheating is low antifreeze coolant levels. To check or add antifreeze coolant, open the car’s hood and locate the radiator fluid overflow container. It is typically a side tank, mounted to the edge of the engine compartment. The container will have places on it to indicate whether your fluid levels are low or high. Before removing the reserve tank cap, you should allow the car time to cool off, especially if the car was just recently overheating. Now you can remove the reserve tank cap and fill with radiator fluid. If the reserve is empty, also add fluid to the radiator. Radiator fluid should be used in a 50/50 mixture with mineral free water. If you regularly find the radiator fluid levels low, then you might have a leak. How do I inspect the radiator and heater hoses?
Also, the radiator hoses
and heater hoses are easily inspected by opening the hood and looking at them. You want to be sure that the hoses have no cracking or splitting and that there is no bulging or swelling at the ends.
If there is any sign of problems, replace the hose using the correct part number for the year, make, model and engine of your vehicle. NEVER USE A UNIVERSAL HOSE unless it is an emergency and a proper molded hose is not available. For either the radiator hoses or the heater hoses, make sure that you route the replacement hose in the same way that the original hose was running. Position the hose away from any obstruction that can possibly damage it and always use new hose clamps
Once you have replaced the necessary components, and after the cooling system is refilled with the proper coolant, perform a pressure test to ensure that there are no leaks.