Your vehicle’s internal belts and hoses are essential to the engine’s operation and the overarching functionality. Though belts and hoses made for automobiles are constructed of durable materials, they are not infallible. Aside from regular wear and tear, the summer heat can also have a negative impact on your vehicle’s belts and hoses.

Why the Hot Temperatures Pose a Threat to Your Vehicle’s Hoses and Belts

Vehicle hoses and belts are essential to keeping your vehicle cool.  The heat can weaken hose and belt material to the point that they prematurely wear down and break, causing the radiator to overheat, ultimately rendering the vehicle nonfunctional.  The summer heat is particularly harsh on the inner tube of the radiator hose along with the cover as well as the materials within the coolant hose.  Though these materials are meant to be used in harsh conditions, triple-digit heat added to an already hot engine has the potential to cause some hoses and belts to falter.

Instead of assuming your vehicle’s internal components including the belts and hoses will prove perfectly functional throughout the entirety of the summer, assume the worst and hope for the best.  Ideally, all drivers will inspect their vehicle’s hoses and belts for signs of wear and tear including cracking.  The idler pulleys should be in working order, meaning the surface is not dirty or worn and the bearings are in tip-top shape.  It will also help to inspect the belt tensioner to ensure it has sufficient tension.

Belts and Hoses Will Only Last so Long

The hoses and belts under your vehicle’s hood have the potential to wear down, necessitating repair or replacement.  If the summer proves especially hot, these essential components might falter to the point that they fail to keep the cooling system functional.  A broken hose or belt could easily lead to another problem such as radiator overheating that renders the vehicle inoperable.   

The last thing you need is for the excessive heat to lead to a busted hose or belt that prevents the engine from cooling as it should.  If the engine does not cool as designed, the whole system will be subjected to elevated temperature loads, heightening the chances of additional belt, hose, or other engine component failure.  The more the heat increases, the more likely the belts, hoses, and other parts are to fail. 

Pay Attention to the Subtleties of Hoses and Belts

Oftentimes, there are subtle indications that provide clues that a belt or a hose is likely to fail or in the midst of failing.  If you suspect the heat has taken a toll on your vehicle, squeeze the hose by the connecting points to gauge its condition.  If there are soft areas by the connecting points, it is an indication that the heat might have increased to the point that the hose is breaking down.  However, anyone attempting to perform DIY (do it yourself) work on engine components should only do so when the vehicle is cool and the hose temperature has decreased to the point that it is comfortable to touch. 

It will also help to get a sense of whether the blazing hot temperatures have taken a toll on the coolant’s condition.  The coolant should be changed in accordance with the recommendations provided by the manufacturer as it has the potential to impact the condition of the hose as well as the functionality of the water pump and the engine’s cooling capability.

Proactive Vehicle Maintenance Saves Time and Money

Maintaining vehicle belts and hoses, especially when the temperatures jump up to the 90s or 100s, has the potential to save you a bundle of money, plenty of time, and frustration.  Check out the nuances of your vehicle’s hoses and belts once every month or two this summer.  If intense heat is anticipated, be proactive by taking a look at the belts and hoses to gauge whether they are likely to hold strong or require repair or replacement. 

The intense summer heat has the potential to damage a vehicle hose or belt to the point that it requires replacement.  Replacing an internal hose or belt is frustrating, consumes time, costs money, and makes the already hot summer that much more stressful.  High temperatures can directly cause vehicle hoses and belts to blister, crack and suffer other forms of damage that spur the need for immediate replacement.  Instead of wondering whether your vehicle’s belts and hoses have already endured such damage, take a look under the hood for yourself or bring the vehicle to a mechanic for professional analysis.  Above all, be mindful of the components below the hood throughout the summer.  Take preventative measures such as monthly inspections throughout the summer to get a sense of the condition of the hoses and belts, replace heat-damaged components and your vehicle will continue to serve you well even during the dog days of summer.