Winter Maintenance (Part 2)

Last time we began discussing the essential winter maintenance care that will ensure your Acura is ready for winter. We discussed the availability of generic parts and how you should always insist on genuine OEM parts. If you happen to do your own maintenenance, the Acura parts experts at Acura Express Parts.com will have everything you need to maintain and repair your vehicle. Generic parts are common and many are made without the same quality control as genuine Acura parts. With the other guys, you never know what you are going to get and they definitely do not offer anything like the factory 12 month,12000 mile warranty that backs our parts. The winter chill takes a toll on your car, as does the summer heat, and as a result of the vast range of temperatures, it is critical that winter maintenance is performed.

Last time we discussed oil and coolant, the lifeblood of your engine, and the fact that these fluids are critical to proper operation. The amazing thing about an engine is the symbiosis that occurs. We take it for granted when we turn the key, the engine will fire and the car will move. If everything is not in the ideal position, the engine will not start and you will be calling a tow truck. An often overlooked part of this system is the rubber parts. Ok, so that is not the technical term for these parts and they are generally referred to as belts and hoses.

Belts and Hoses

We have all heard it, the shriek of a belt when a car starts or the squeal when turning a corner. The offending party is not necessarily the belt, but the belt is designed to be the weakest link in order to protect the engine from damage. Think of your belt like a circuit breaker in your home. Your belt needs to be inspected at regular intervals to prevent breakdowns. The nice thing about your engine’s belts is that they are relatively easy to access and inspect. Back in the olden days, cars used to have multiple belts that generally drove the fan for the cooling system, the power steering pump, the A/C, and the alternator. Today, vehicles generally have a single, serpentine belt, this belt is threaded through a maze of pulleys and tensioners. If any cracks or splits are observed the belt should be replaced.

Hoses are somewhat more difficult to simply look at and determine if they are bad. Hoses are just as important as belts in the fact that they deteriorate just as belts do. A good indication of a belt issue is when a distortion appears in the hose. This signals that the hose is preparing to burst because of a weak spot. If any abnormalities in the hoses are observed it is necessary to replace them. If you have any questions about your rubber parts under the hood of your Acura, please give us a call or order online at Acura Express Parts.com.