When and How To Replace Belts & Hoses On Your Car

Rubberized belts and hoses are small but vital parts of your vehicle's engine and related systems. Luckily, they won't bother you much on a modern car when it comes to maintenance. But, eventually a hose could leak, a fitting could come loose, or a belt could stretch. Learn how to care for the belts and hoses properly on your car below! The experts at Capitol Toyota make it easy to get the auto care you need for the best longevity and performance from your Toyota.

A serpentine belt winds around various pulleys to power the engine's important accessories

4. What Belts And Hoses Can Be Found On My Car?

Every car is different, and every engine bay has a different configuration of components and accessories. But most modern Toyota models have a serpentine belt that winds its way around all the accessories in the engine bay, such as the alternator, water pump, power steering pump and more. Some engines are equipped with a timing belt which keeps the engine's movements in sync. There are also brake lines, vacuum lines and coolant hoses running under the hood.

But on Toyota hybrid and electric models, some of these belt-driven systems have been replaced with electric systems, such as electric power steering. That's why it's important to check your owner's manual.

Coolant is being poured into this vehicle's radiator, which will flow through the hoses in the system

3. How Long Should My Car's Belts And Hoses Last?

In most cases, you can inspect a quality belt or hose on your Toyota to last for the whole life of the vehicle. However, Toyota recommends getting the drive belts on your vehicle inspected by a technician at 60,000 miles, and every 15,000 miles thereafter, according to the owner's manual of a 2015 Toyota RAV4. If you have a different Toyota model, consult the maintenance guide that came with the vehicle's owner's manual. Or, just give us a call, and we'll look up the maintenance guide for your particular Toyota model.

2. What Happens If Belts & Hoses Wear Out?

Over time, hose fittings can come loose and cause a coolant leak. Hoses can start to wear out internally from contaminations in the antifreeze flowing through them. And belts can slowly stretch out over time. You might not notice that anything's gone wrong at first, which is why it's smart to have the belts and hoses of your vehicle inspected regularly by a dealership technician familiar with your make and model of vehicle. They can often spot these problems developing, before they can leave you stranded.

When it's time to get the oil changed in your car, don't delay

1. How Can I Keep My Vehicle's Belts & Hoses In Good Shape?

Believe it or not, getting regular oil and filter changes for your engine helps to keep the belts and hoses lasting longer. How? Fresh engine oil that's free of contaminants helps to condition the engine's rubber seals, making them last longer. So does the transmission fluid inside the transmission, power steering fluid in the power steering system where appropriate and so on. When these components aren't well-maintained, they're more likely to leak fluid. When fluids drip onto the engine's belts, the heat and friction can cause the liquid to "glaze" the belt -- leading to slippage, poor engine performance, or worse --  a stalled engine. But routine maintenance can keep your engine free of leaks and tuned for optimal performance, efficiency and longevity with the help of a technician at the Capitol Toyota Service Center.