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Flat Spots? Let’s Clear Up Some Myths About That…

January 12th, 2017

So your vehicle’s been sitting for a while…you get in it, start the engine and pull out of the driveway when you notice a hard, rough (but very regular) vibration that only gets worse with speed. It doesn’t feel like it’s coming from the driveline or suspension – so what is it?

Flat spots on tires

It could be that the tires have developed flat spots.

With the weight of the vehicle pressing down on the tires for long periods, a section of the rubber and belts can become softer (or harder) than the rest of the tire. This can be exacerbated by cold weather, or just by parking on a cold concrete floor.

Low-profile tires with short sidewalls can be more prone to flat-spotting, as can tires with an H or higher speed rating. In most cases, you can j ...[more]

  Tags: tires, tire
  Posted in: Tires 101

So You Think Some Traffic Laws Are Nuts?

December 29th, 2016

Yes, there are plenty of traffic laws in certain areas that don’t make much sense. Here, though, we present a collection of traffic laws from other parts of the world that are just bizarre:

--In Thailand, the law states that no driver, male or female, shall ever drive without a shirt.Weird Traffic Laws

--In South Africa, “the driver of a vehicle on a public road shall stop such vehicle at the request or on the signal of a person leading or driving any bovine animal, horse, ass, mule, sheep, goat, pig, or ostrich on such road.” Or face a $500 fine.

--Splashing a pedestrian with water is illegal in Japan.

--In Montana, you can forget about driving with a sheep in the truck unless the sheep has a chaperone... and the state of Alabama had the presence of min ...[more]

  Tags: tips, auto facts
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

A Brief Explanation of Tire Information

December 15th, 2016

Ever wonder what the designations stamped on your tire sidewall actually mean? We’d like to break it down for you.

Let’s take for instance, “P195/60R15 87S”. This is a full service description of a tire.

In this case, “87S” denotes a tire’s load capacity and speed rating. The higher the number, the greater the load capacity – an 87 load capacity means that tire can support 1,201 pounds. Speed ratings range from L (75 mph) through V (149 mph), and an S speed rating means the tire is good for 112 mph. W, Y, and Z-speed rated tires are available for extreme performance cars and are rated as high as 186 mph.

As for the rest of the information:Tire

--“P” denotes Passenger Tire

--195 is the tire’s width from si ...[more]

  Tags: tires, tire pressure
  Posted in: Tires 101

What To Do With Those Old Tires

November 10th, 2016

Every year, about 290 million tires are discarded; of those, about 233 million are recycled in one way or another. Shredded tires can be used for playground surfaces, welcome mats, hot-melt asphalt, bark mulch and even made into building material for “green” construction.

But what can you do with your old tires? Here are some ideas:

--Fill a tractor tire with sand to make a great sandbox for kidsTire swing

--Hang a tire from a rope as a tire swing

--Stack a couple of tires on top of each other, bolt them together and paint them a cheerful color, then use them as a planter

--Lay two rows of tires next to each other, somewhat staggered, and use them for broken-field running as part of football conditioning

--Bolt two tires togeth ...[more]

  Tags: tires
  Posted in: Tires 101

So You Get A Flat Tire...What Now?

June 16th, 2016

Flat TireNobody ever looks forward to a flat tire, and nobody ever says "well, that was a really good time" after having one. You can at least minimize the damage to your tire and danger to yourself, though.

Flats vs Blowouts

If you get a blowout, you'll know about it right away. Sometimes the tire can fail dramatically, with a bang as loud as a shotgun going off. Other times, it might just be a loss of air and a sudden change in your car's handling, followed by vibration, noise and a pull to one side. If it's a front tire that fails, your car might be a real handful to drive until you can get to a stop.

In either case, your first job is to pull off the road as quickly (but safely!) as you can. Don't jam on the brakes or make any sudden mo ...[more]

  Posted in: Tires 101

4 Things About Tires You May Not Have Known

June 7th, 2016

Tires all look sort of the same…round and black…and people tend to think tires don’t change much over the years. That’s really not true, though – engineers and designers are constantly working on advances in tire designs for more miles, better fuel economy and better performance.

Here’s a rundown of current trends in tire technology you may not have been aware of:

  • Tall, skinny tires are coming back. If you’ve ever ridden a beach cruiser bike vs. a racing bike, you know that skinny tires have lower rolling resistance. Carmakers are going in that direction, too – the BMW i3 electric/plug-in hybrid uses Bridgestone Ecopia tires, with higher inflation pressure and a taller, ...[more]
  Tags: tires, tire
  Posted in: Tire 101

Questions You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Auto Repair Tech

March 17th, 2016

Often, drivers are mystified by how their cars actually work. It’s to be expected. Even an older car is a complex machine with many sub-assemblies that all work together to move it down the road.Car questions? Ask them!

As a result, drivers tend to be a little intimidated by auto repair and often tend to not inform themselves by asking the necessary questions of a tech or a garage. Too often, that ends up being a big mistake. Here are some examples of the kinds of things you really should know before any auto repair work starts:

  • Does your shop work on any kind of vehicle? Of course, most shops can service a product from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and the other leading makes. Some makes, however, require a lot more training and experience, o ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Don't Forget Your Spare

November 3rd, 2015
Oh, the lowly spare tire. It doesn’t get much respect. 
 
Today, a lot of vehicles don’t even come with a spare tire anymore, not even the little “donut” space-saver spare. Instead, to cut weight and free up space, they come with a compressor and a can of a Fix-a-Flat-style product in hopes that you can get back on your way again. Great idea, unless your tire has a sidewall puncture or is shredded…
Anyway, if your car is equipped with a spare, you shouldn’t just ignore it. Tires have a shelf life, and time will take its toll on any tire, including ones that are never on the ground. Even brand-new tires have a sell-by date; the industry agrees that tire ...[more]
  Posted in: Tire 101

9 Tips for your Spring Vehicle Checkup

March 31st, 2015

The temperatures are inching upward, the days are getting longer and the first buds are starting to appear on the trees. Spring is on its way, and  soon it’s going to be time to do a little preventive maintenance on your ride. No need to dread it -- it’s all pretty routine stuff!

  1. Air filter - If you haven’t changed your air filter since last year (or can’t remember when you changed it at all), it might be time. It’s an easy and cheap fix, and it pays off in your vehicle’s performance and fuel economy.
  2. Cabin filter - Older vehicles often don’t have a cabin filter, but it can make a lot of difference in how pleasant your vehicle is to drive. Stale, smelly air? Change it!
  3. Wipers -- Get a good look at them. Are they showing signs ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Why Schedule Regular Oil Changes For Your Vehicle?

March 5th, 2015
Many vehicle owners do not take the time to schedule regular oil changes. Regular oil changes are vital to the life of your engine and can extend its performance for years. This is one of the most important and inexpensive things you can do to keep engine protected. Most manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 3,000-6,000 miles, depending on your vehicle use and the type of oil you are using. 
 
Oil Changes are essential to:
  • Lubricate engine to reduce wear and friction
  • Reduce engine temperatures
  • Maintaining proper engine function
With regular oil changes your engine will be protected against much of the harm normal wear and tear will cause. Parts will stay cleaner with less corrosion, which means with regular upkeep there will b ...[more]
  Posted in: Auto Repair 101
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