Belts & Cooling
There are numerous belts that work in conjunction to keep your engine running smoothly. Rather than one part not working, after a belt has broken, numerous parts can fail at once. It is important to stay up to date with your engine’s servicing because belts can often times fail without warning.
Your cooling system is crucial to keeping your engine running properly. When an engine is not properly cooled many parts can become damaged through high temperature effects such as warping. Engines are cooled in one of two ways; water-cooling or air-cooling. Multiple parts work together to ensure that an engine is properly cooled, so it is important that you maintain these parts.
In the majority of engines there are two belts that control functions of the engine; the timing belt and the serpentine belt. An engine’s timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft and turns both shafts in unison. On the other hand, a serpentine belt provides power for a variety of parts in the engine such as the cooling fan and power steering pump. Wear and damage to both of these belts can easily become catastrophic for your engine.
It is typical for a manufacturer to recommend changing your timing belt every 60,000 miles and your serpentine belt every 55,000 miles. However, these maintenance intervals may vary with each manufacturer or model, so it is important to read your vehicle’s manual.
There are multiple hoses in an engine, which all serve the purpose of moving fluid to and through specific parts of the engine. The most common of these hoses is the coolant hose which, once broken, can cause a vehicle to overheat. The best way to avoid any punctured hoses is to have your vehicle maintained regularly and to have your mechanic check all connecting clamps in addition to the hoses.
Radiator (Cap, Fan Motor & Switch)
A radiator is a type of heat exchanger that allows engine coolant to cool off after being circulated through a hot engine. After passing through the radiator, the coolant then goes back through the engine and the process cycles again. An engine’s radiator cools down coolant by extracting heat from the coolant and releasing the coolant’s heat into the air; which is why it is important for a radiator to receive air flow.
Thermostat (Gasket & Housing)
Through the use of wax and small parts, an engine’s thermostat is able to control an engine’s coolant flow. When an engine has reached a specified temperature, the thermostat opens up and allows coolant to flow through the whole engine.
Water Pump (Gasket, Fan & Clutch)
A water pump is a device that circulates coolant through an engine. The water pump is connected to the crankshaft and is driven by the serpentine belt. Coolant travels through the center of a water pump and through centrifugal force, the coolant travels outwards from the pump. When a water pump is not working correctly, an engine cannot be properly cooled and will result in overheating.