Continental advises adding belts and hoses to your winterizing check-list.
Today’s higher engine temperatures combined with a frigid winter lows create more stress on hoses and belts.
“In the winter, the extreme change from hot to cold makes belt and hose products more susceptible to cracking and breaking,” says Tom Lee, Continental’s marketing manager for its North American aftermarket business.
“Almost nine out of 10 radiator hose and fan belt failures create an emergency situation. They frequently happen away from home, increasing both the cost and inconvenience of repairs.”
Poly V belts deliver power from an automobile’s engine to the alternator, fan, various pumps and other equipment. A belt that’s not working properly can cause battery discharge and eventual failure. Hoses, while transporting hot, pressurized coolant to and from the radiator, also serve as a shock absorber between the engine and hose connections, protecting them from damage and a resulting leak.
Continental offers these tips for checking belts and hose before winter:
Turning a belt over with your fingers to expose the underside, look for 1) Glazed sidewalls from oil or aging; 2) Cracks caused by high temperatures, flexing and age; 3) Uneven wear and exposed edge cords caused by pulley misalignment or wobble.
Hoses should be checked for the following conditions: 1) Cracking – usually caused by heat, aging and weathering; 2) Bulging or swelling – usually caused by excessive heat or exposure to oil or grease; 3) Sponginess from exposure to oil or grease; 4) Burst – the result of excessive heat or aging. All of these conditions call for immediate belt or hose replacement.
“Belt and hose products today are more durable, but the operating temperatures under the hood of a car are also higher, creating a condition that is more severe than ever before,” Lee said.
For additional information on maintaining or replacing belts or hoses, visit www.continental-elite.com.