Filter, Belt and Hose Preventative Maintenance
Perhaps the epitome of preventative maintenance is ensuring your filters, belts and hoses are functioning properly. Doing this very simple operation periodically throughout the year will guarantee to save you thousands of dollars.
Let’s look at each in more detail:
Filters - The vehicle’s filters trap particles and contaminants in order to protect the engine and other auto systems.
- Oil Filter - The oil filter traps large dirt particles that might contaminate the oil flowing between the oil pump and the engine. Without the filter, these large particles could damage the engine. The oil filter is replaced with every oil change at Auto Doctors, and is recommended to be replaced every 3,000 miles.
- Air Filter - The air needed by the engine enters the vehicle through the intake system and air filter. The air filter shields the engine from any nasty particles present in the air. Inspect the air filter yearly and replace when necessary.
- Cabin Air Filter - Nobody wants a smelly or unsafe passenger compartment, which is exactly what the cabin air filter helps prevent. Inspect it once a year and replace when needed.
- Fuel Filter - The fuel filter traps contaminants that may damage the injectors or the carburetor. Replace it yearly or ever 15,000 miles.
Belts - Your car’s belts drive the many systems of the vehicle. Belts should be replaced every 60,000 miles, or when they begin developing cracks. Waiting for a belt to rupture can do irreparable harm to your car. Auto Doctors inspects the serpentine belt and V-belts during an oil change.
- Serpentine Belt - This one belt drives nearly all of the vital systems of the vehicle, and its tension is usually adjusted automatically by a tensioner. Auto Doctors inspect the serpentine belt during an oil change.
- V-Belts - These drive many of the vital systems of the vehicle, such as the electrical, heating and cooling, and air conditioning. If the V-belt breaks, it will cause individual systems to stop and can lead to engine overheating.
- Timing Belt - The timing belt synchronizes the movement of internal engine parts such as the camshaft, crankshaft, valves and pistons. The water pump is also often driven by this belt. The timing belt can only be checked by removing certain engine parts, so be sure to have it checked at least every 60,000 miles, as a snapped belt can lead to catastrophic internal damage.
Radiator Hoses - These hoses keep the coolant circulating between the engine and radiator. Auto Doctors checks them during an oil change, and will need replacement when there are cracks, tears or leaks.