Hoses & Belts

The rubber hoses and belts on your car are the parts that will wear out before anything else on your vehicle. Why? They are subjected to constant exposure to heat, vibration, as well as chemicals that make up the various fluids in an automotive system. As a result these components will invariably crack, leak, fray, peel and eventually fail. If the hoses and belts are not properly maintained and replaced when appropriate, this could mean problems for your vehicle. Simply evaluating the visual condition and appearance of your hoses and belts is not enough! Diligent inspection is required, and Island Tire & Automotive Services is here to provide that service. Here is a sample of how we ensure hose quality when we conduct a free Courtesy Check on your vehicle:

  • Search for clear indications of damage (leaks, cracks, hardening, or softening)
  • Test cooling system for leaks using state-of-the-art pressure technology
  • Record hose condition for future reference
  • Search for clear indications of damage (cracking, glazing, softening, or peeling)
  • Check the depth of serpentine belts for excess wear using a proper belt gauge
  • Test for correct tension
  • Test for correct alignment
  • Record belt condition for future reference

It is essential to inspect your vehicle's hoses and belts on a regular basis because a damaged or worn piece often has serious effects on the condition of your vehicle. A leaking hose or a broken belt will cause you more trouble than an overdue oil change ever will! The following is a brief description of some of the different and belts that Island Tire & Automotive Services personnel inspect when we perform a free Courtesy Check on your vehicle:

Rubber hoses are used to supply the vital fluids to your cars’ engine and other systems. Many of these hoses are constructed of layers of rubber with various types of reinforcing fabric to strengthen the hose. Many hoses are specially molded to fit within the tight spaces in your engine compartment. While there are many types of hoses, which vary on make and model, they typically include the following:

  • Heater hoses (provides coolant to & from heater core)
  • Oil & Transmission cooler hoses (deliver oil & ATF to & from the cooler core)
  • Fuel hose (sends gasoline from the gas tank to the engine)
  • Radiator hose (delivers coolant to engine)
  • Power steering hose (connects power steering pump to steering equipment)
  • Intercooler boots (connects air pipes on turbocharged engines to the intercooler)

Also known as “Drive Belts”, your engine drives virtually all of the vehicle's accessories through a series of pulleys and belts. Many older vehicles will use several “V-belts” while many newer vehicles use a single serpentine belt to power these accessories (as opposed to several individual belts).

Some of these accessories include:

  • Water pump
  • Power steering pump
  • Air conditioning compressor
  • Radiator cooling fan
  • Alternator

Tire Maintenance & Repair

The most important thing you can do to get maximum life out of your tires is to properly maintain them. That includes maintaining proper tire inflation pressures as well as having them inspected and rotated by Island Tire & Automotive Services.

Check the pressure in your tires monthly, including the spare. The proper inflation level for your vehicle can be found in one of these places:

1) Vehicle’s door jamb decal
2) Owner’s manual
3) Inside fuel hatch filler cap (in some vehicles)
4) Glove compartment door (in some vehicles)

Note - The inflation pressure on your tire’s sidewall is a maximum limit designed for maximum weight loading. It is NOT a pressure to be maintained for extended periods of time in a light truck, SUV or passenger vehicle.

Check your tire pressure when tires are cold – before you have driven one mile or after the car has been stopped at least 3 hours. Avoid using or relying upon air gauges that are attached to the air line at gas stations – they are subject to abuse and are often inaccurate. Under-inflated tires cause 600 deaths and 33,000 injuries each year, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Impacts with road hazards such as a pothole, curb, or debris, may cause hidden damage. If you experience any of the following symptoms including: Air loss, vibrations, bulging of the sidewall, unusual or localized wear please contact Island Tire & Automotive Services at once.  All of these can be signs of hidden damage, which can cause tire failure at a future (surprise) date with little or no warning.

A damaged tire may be repaired, rather than replaced, if all four of the following conditions are true:

1) The puncture is less than ¼" in diameter;
2) The puncture damage is only in the tread section;
3) The tire has not been driven while flat;
4) The tire has over 3/32” of remaining tread depth.

In order to complete a safe repair, the must be removed from the wheel and inspected from the inside. This is necessary because internal damage is not visible while the tire is mounted.

This tire would have been repairable except that it was driven for several miles with low pressure which has literally destroyed the tire carcass from the inside out. (The rubber debris at the bottom of the picture has been ground away from the now visible reinforcing fibers.)

Do not accept a “plug-only” repair. Such repairs are unreliable and void tire manufacturer’s warranty coverage. “Plug-only” repairs can and frequently do lead to tire failure. The only acceptable way to properly repair a tire puncture involves patching the tire from the inside and filling the puncture hole. That is why a tire repair at Island Tire & Automotive Servicesmay take a little longer; however, we only want to do it the right way.

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