Vehicle Belts & Hoses service starting at $29.95 | The belts and hoses specialists at Gary’s Automotive are backed by 38 years of exceptional service. As Ottawa’s premier repair shop, we specialize in timing and serpentine belt repairs as well as many other belts and hoses components. We now offer FREE visual drive belts inspection with no purchase necessary. That’s a value of $29.95! Our free inspection is brought to you in part by our commitment to offering our customers exceptional service and repairs at affordable prices. Call and book your appointment today! For service you can count on, book your appointment today!
The Driving Forces Of Your Engine
Many people would be surprised to learn that multiple components in their vehicle are operated by a few belts and hoses. Driven by the engine, these vehicle belts and hoses power everything from electrical systems to brakes. Unlike some other aspects of your engine, a belt or hose won’t let you know it’s failing, it will simply brake or begin leaking. Due to this, preventative maintenance is your best friend, and will ensure your driving is safe and secure for thousands of kilometres. For help with all your vehicle belts and hoses, visit a Gary’s Automotive today!
Belts do most of the driving in your vehicles engine, and hoses are responsible for delivering fluids and air to vital areas. Both systems are simple, but incredibly important for everyday driving.
The most important belt you can find under your hood is the timing belt. This belt is responsible for keeping your engine in sync, so that it doesn’t completely blow itself up. It might be odd to think that thousands of tiny explosions are kept in order by a small rubber belt, but that is exactly what your engines timing belt does. Timing belts are rubber that has been reinforced with metal or synthetic weaves to ensure it lasts longer. In each cylinder of your engine there are valves that let in fuel and air, and let out exhaust fumes. The timing belt is attached to both the crankshaft (the shaft that moves your vehicles pistons up and down) and the camshaft (the shaft that controls the opening and closing of the intake valves for fuel and air, and the exhaust valves of spent fuel). The timing belt harmonizes the two shafts and ensures that the right valve is opened or closed depending on where the piston is in the combustion cycle.
In some vehicles, the timing belt is replaced by a chain. Chains are more durable than belts, but they are more expensive, heavier, and louder than a traditional timing belt.
Some performance vehicles feature direct drive options, which forgoes the belt or chain all together and uses timing gears to control the crank and camshafts. Direct drive has many advantages over traditional systems, such as reduced noise, better efficiency, better performance, and higher durability. The only downside for a direct drive system is that it needs a specific motor, capable of handling wide variants in speed.
The timing belt is important for your vehicle to drive, but it’s the serpentine belt that covers everything else. A serpentine belt takes the energy generated from the rotating engine and transfers some of that to the alternator, which charges the vehicles battery. The serpentine belt also powers a wide range of other systems, such as brake and power steering pumps.
The major hoses found under your hood allow for engine cooling. The radiator has inlet and outlet hoses that transfer coolant to and from it. This is important because it keeps your engine operating at a good temperature, and the movement of coolant can also affect the temperature of your vehicle’s cabin.
If your vehicles hoses are going to fail, it will most likely be where the hoses connect to the engine or to the radiator. This makes checking these hoses easy, as you just have to look where hoses come out of the engine and into the radiator.
For the most part, diagnosing a leaking hose will be simple. You may see fluids dripping and pooling on your driveway or garage. Fortunately, different fluids are different colours, and can be easily identified. If you suspect a leak, place some cardboard or newsprint under your vehicle and identify the dripping fluid by colour:
Reddish/brown: Transmission fluid – Vital for ensuring smooth shifts in automatic vehicles.
Lighter reddish/brown: Power steering – Used to make steering considerably easier.
Light brown: Brake fluid – Provides stopping power to your brakes.
Yellow/green/pink: Coolant – Keeps your engine from overheating.
Clear: Water – Leaking water isn’t a sign of any major issues, but engine coolant can be water based, so getting repairs is recommended.
Black: Oil – Oil prevents engine seizure. Running on low or no oil can result in engine damage, even failure.
When Is It Time For Service?
While a timing belt should last upwards of 100,000 kilometres, having your belt checked along with other components during a regular inspection can’t hurt. Replacing a timing or serpentine belt isn’t something you want to be stuck doing on the side of the road, and a sudden failure can render your car inoperable.
Hoses can be replaced any time you suspect a leak. As mentioned above, checking what type of leak can prepare you for the service you need. It can also help in determining how to get service. If you’ve suffered a massive brake fluid leak, then driving a long distance for repairs might not be the best idea.
For all your under the hood service, count on Gary’s Automotive for fast service on your vehicle belts and hoses!