Keeping Belts And Hoses in Great Shape Will Help Your Wallet

Many wear items such as belts and hoses tend to break down due to age, exposure high temperatures, contamination from road debris and fluids from your engine bay such as engine or coolant leaks.  When you take your car to the shop for state inspection or routine oil changes it’s important to have qualified mechanics do the work.  There’s a lot of service centers out there that perform oil changes, state inspections flushes and light maintenance work but rest assured, if they don’t work on the whole car then they’re going to pay attention to items outside of their scope of business.

A Variety of Rubber Parts From Bumper to Bumper

People often think of tires when they consider rubber. Indeed, a significant percentage of cars on the road today use tires manufactured from synthetic or natural rubber. Yet many drivers don’t appreciate that rubber also plays a major role in other parts of vehicles.

Today, several major automotive systems use key rubber components:

Windshield Wipers
Oil Seals
Serpentine and Timing Belts
Fuel Hoses
Automotive AC And Heating Systems
Transmission Systems
Brake Systems
Radiators, And More.

Rubber hoses perform an especially significant role. These parts typically consist of a flexible inner tube secured inside a strong, outer rubber tube. The two-tube arrangement enables the hose to endure considerable pressure and still remain flexible. Rubber automotive parts usually cost less than metal ones.

Higher Prices in The Future?

The cost of hoses and belts depends partly on global rubber markets. After 2008, rubber prices fell sharply.

Rubber began commanding higher prices again in 2016. The governments of three rubber-producing nations (Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia) recently decided to cut rubber production by 615,000 tons in response to low international rubber prices. They hope to raise the price of rubber this year by reducing the available global supply.

Temperatures Play a Big Role In Rubber Component Lifespan

Extreme temperatures from hot engine bays have an affect on hoses, belts and plastics.  Hoses tend be less pliable more likely to leak if disturbed for surrounding repairs.  Proper coolant servicing may help reduce wear and keep hoses healthier longer.  Rubber hoses that deal with liquid and vapor fuel, oil, coolant and crankcase vapors also become brittle and less likely to be removed in one piece as a vehicle ages.  Again, regular oil changes, quality fuels and routine servicing of any related fluids can increase the life of these wear items and in turn reduce the chances of you being stranded on the side of the road.

If an auto already suffers from a cracked or split hose, extreme temperatures aggravate this problem even more. Today, experts recommend checking your vehicle carefully after freezing temperatures to ensure that all the rubber parts remain in good working condition.

Replacing Accessory Drive Belts And Timing Belts

It’s not just the hard to see and appreciate rubber hoses and lines that can be affected by age, temps and fluids.  Belts are also a wear item that usually isn’t found on a pre-determined maintenance schedule.  These are wear items that are replaced “as needed” and in the case of the average drive belt that could mean once every 3-4 years.  The drive/accessory/serpentine belt(s) are responsible for making your air conditioning, power steering water pump and alternators do their job.  That’s typically one or two belts making multiple things work so when it fails all those other components stop too.

North Ridge Station Is A Complete Auto Care Facility

We’re proud to tell our customers we can handle all of their automotive needs.  From belts to brakes, hoses to engines, tires to electrical concerns, we’ve got you covered!  North Ridge Station performs routine maintenance as well as in-depth repair work for most late-model vehicles.   Call us today to schedule your appointment for whatever your ride needs.