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Car maintenance question
Old 06-23-2017, 02:15 PM   #1
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Car maintenance question

In their section for auto maintenance, Consumer Reports recommends this Tips on How to Maintain Your New Car - Consumer Reports (may require subscription)
Quote:
Replace the Drive Belts and Hoses

Do this every two to three years, even if they don’t show any wear. If a belt becomes noisy, have it adjusted.
Do the auto enthusiasts here change hoses and belts with this frequency? How about the non-enthusiasts?
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:18 PM   #2
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Ummm, no.

But while I do maintenance and some repair work on my vehicles, I am no auto enthusiast so my response may not count. I do carry a spare hose and belt in the trunk just in case.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:20 PM   #3
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I don't, never have. I do replace hoses ~every 10 years, and the serpentine belt at ~ 70k miles just on general principles because they're critical parts and not all that expensive.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Ummm, no.

But while I do maintenance and some repair work on my vehicles, I am no auto enthusiast so my response may not count. I do carry a spare hose and belt in the trunk just in case.
OK, I didn't mean to exclude any opinion and modified my post.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
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Changing belts and hoses every 2-3 years seems excessive - at least based on my track record. I've owned a number of vehicles for 120,000+ miles or 8-10 years (whichever comes first) and can't recall ever having a problem with a hose. I do keep an eye on the serpentine belt and have changed those around the five to six year point.

I recall talking with a local mechanic ~20 years ago about replacing the hoses in a 6 year old car my daughter was about to head out to college in. He said he didn't recommend it as the compounds they were now using to mfg hoses lasted for many years. That jives with my experience.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:37 PM   #6
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My rule of thumb is:

Replace hoses every 80K mile, but inspect them at lest once a year for signs of excessive wear or deterioration. Same for Fan, AC and power steering belts. Timing belts (not chains) They recommend usually every 90K miles and they usually change the water pump and tension pulleys "while they are there". I have never heard of anyone breaking at timing belt and the water pump usually goes out before so they do the timing when they replace the water pump. However, if your engine is a "interference" engine and the timing belt breaks then you will cause damage to the valves ($$). If the engine is "non-interference" then you are just stranded and will need a tow.... I have a 104K miles on the Tundra and it is a interference engine. Will be doing the timing belt soon as will as water pump & tension pulleys.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:40 PM   #7
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I don't qualify as an enthusiast, but I've never changed hoses or belts proactively, and we've had several cars for 8-12 years or 100K-160K miles. I DID change timing chains as recommended years ago, but no longer necessary with the cars we have. OTOH, hoses and belts aren't terribly expensive, so combined with some other service it might not be a bad idea every 10 years, every 2-3 years is probably overkill. FWIW
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:41 PM   #8
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The plastic radiators normally last about 5-7 years at this point I replace the hoses and thermostat at the same time. If the car is over 10 years, I will also replace the temperature sensor since it controls the fan and the computer uses the resistance to adjust the fuel ratio.
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:59 PM   #9
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The answer is no.

I looked at the article and it's full of old wives tales (in my opinion).

Who writes these articles?

They recommend flushing the coolant system and changing out the fluid every two years? Huh? Most newer cars use lifetime fluids and aluminum blocks and radiators with a coolant change at 120,000 (or not). Ethylene glycol coolant is a thing of the past as modern cars use special organic acid compounds that are car specific.

Taken from Chilton article:

Quote:
Organic Acid Technology (OAT) is a Long Life Coolant (LLC) / Extended Life Coolant (ELC) widely used in Europe before its introduction in North America. OAT is usually EG. The generally recommended replacement interval is five years or 150,000 miles; find out what the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations are for your car or truck.
The best thing to do is follow the maintenance schedule that came with your car.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:21 PM   #10
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I changed 'all' my hoses on a car at around the 10 year mark... but then the day that me and DW were going to the airport on our honeymoon... a hose breaks!!!

I was loosing coolant, but not fast enough for me to stop from getting to the airport...

When I got home and took it in (someplace else) they said that it was a small hose that was very difficult to get at and they said it had not been changed... I probably paid to get it changed but it was not...

I have changed the serpentine belt on a few cars when they say they are breaking (usually chipping or cracks)... I do not do it based on time or miles...
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:43 PM   #11
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Latest ride is a 2009 that just hit 100k. Changed the serpentine belt, but all the hoses looked good, so they aren't being changed. This car sits in a climate controlled garage as well, so I am sure that doesn't hurt.

The longest I owned a car was a Ford Ranger that I had for about 12 years (a little over 200k miles when I got it) and it was NEVER in a garage. I changed the serpentine belt twice, the timing belt once and never changed the hoses...never had an issue.

So, as long as they look OK and pass the "feel" check, I leave the hoses alone.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
In their section for auto maintenance, Consumer Reports recommends this Tips on How to Maintain Your New Car - Consumer Reports (may require subscription)
Do the auto enthusiasts here change hoses and belts with this frequency? How about the non-enthusiasts?
That seems very excessive and basically unaffordable. The hoses and belts themselves are not THAT expensive, but the labor to replace them adds up to many hundreds of dollars, depending on make/model

I follow (at most) the owner's manual recommendations.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:25 PM   #13
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Replace belt(s), hoses, stat and antifreeze every 5 years. Three years sounds too conservative for me.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:37 PM   #14
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My feeling is that if something has been working well, is in good shape and is at very low risk of failure, it's probably more risky to replace it. What if it's installed wrong, or you get a defective belt, or something else breaks doing the work? Preventative maintenance is good, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" keeps me from accelerating that maintenance.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:44 PM   #15
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The manual that came with my Kubota tractor said to replace all rubber parts yearly. I bought it in 1993 and sold it in 2017. Never replaced a single rubber part, never had a failure. The recommendation from CU seems excessively pessimistic.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:56 PM   #16
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Stick to the manual seems like pretty good advice.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:31 PM   #17
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I think I'm more of the type to look at it often but leave it alone if it doesn't need repair. The one thing I'm adamant about is replacing parts that are tangential to any repair. For example, if the radiator goes bad, then any hose that's removed should be replaced. Also any that are easy to get at since you're in there anyway. The most significant cost in most situations is labor so I'm not going to skimp on parts when someone is already under the hood.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:49 PM   #18
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Back in the day, I could change belts and hoses. No longer. SO, unless I see something (or hear something) I count on my mechanic to warn me of impending disaster. I DID have to be towed one time for a broken serpentine belt. That was a lot cheaper than changing all the belts and hoses at the specified intervals.

If absolute reliability is what you require, I suppose you might follow a protocol of regular changing of belts/hoses. Of course, that assumes you have a competent mechanic who gets it right every single time. Otherwise, one mechanic screw-up will beach you just about as often as a failing old belt/hose. Naturally, YMMV.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:00 PM   #19
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96 Cadillac SLS, 84K miles, 98 Lincoln town Car 124K miles.

Foolish me... Brought the lincoln in for a 7500 mile oil change, and let the guy con me into looking at the serpentine belt, which looked fine, but was told it was old and dry.... So he went ahead with the waterpump,and power steering belt, too dumb to loosen the belt tensioner, forced the s belt, which broke on my way home... caused a tow, and then was told it was my fault for not lubing the tensioner, and then tried to charge me $500 for all the mistakes his so-called mechanic made. Met his match with this old man.

Anyway, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Will change coolant @ 150K miles, and will never flush the power steering or transmission fluid. have never replaced hoses. I DO change brake fluid when relining brakes. While others have different opinions, I have never, and will never replace tires because the rubber is "dry". Tires on both cars are more than 10 years old with good tread.

Calculate my (per car) expense, including depreciation, (orig cost) repairs, and maintenance @ $1306/car per year since purchase.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:53 PM   #20
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I stopped reading Consumer Reports 4 decades ago.
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