Town Tire Pros Blog recent posts.Sat, 11 Mar 2017 14:45:20 -0500en-ushourly1Wheel Alignment? Why?, 11 Mar 2017 14:45:20 -0500TCS<p> A vehicle that pulls to the right is more than just a tiresome annoyance to the driver. It&rsquo;s actually costing you money in terms of excessive drag and rolling resistance <img alt="Wheel Alignment in Gainesville FL " src="" style="width: 250px; height: 141px; margin: 5px; float: right;" />that hurts fuel economy, and it&rsquo;s wearing out your tires prematurely.</p> <p> Your vehicle&rsquo;s front wheels are set to very specific angles for the best possible handling, cornering, road manners and on-center feel. The angles are set by engineers, and that&rsquo;s how your vehicle leaves the factory. Those angles are:</p> <ul> <li> Toe-in, the inward skew of a wheel as seen from above</li> <li> Toe-out, the opposite of toe-in</li> <li> Camber, the inward or outward orientation of the top of the wheel</li> <li> Caster, the fore-and-aft orientation of a wheel in reference to a given point</li> </ul> <p> A hard hit on a curb, pothole or railroad track can be enough to jolt any of these angles out of spec. In extreme cases, it can be enough to actually bend and deform a tie rod, Pitman arm&nbsp; or other important piece of steering gear.</p> <p> So&hellip;are you noticing any problems like these?</p> <ul> <li> Noticeable pull to one side while driving on straight pavement</li> <li> Steering that feels &ldquo;clumsy&rdquo; or &ldquo;heavy&rdquo;</li> <li> Poor &ldquo;returnability&rdquo; &ndash; steering wheel doesn&rsquo;t center itself readily after rounding a corner</li> <li> Uneven wear along inside or outside edge of a tire</li> </ul> <p> At Town Tire Pros, our technicians use an alignment rack where they can take measurements of the critical steering angles on your vehicle. Using those measurements, the tech can then make fine, minute adjustments to gradually bring the wheels back into spec again and neutralize some of the problems you may have been noticing. Many later-model vehicles have adjustable rear wheel angles as well, for a comprehensive four-wheel alignment. Be sure to print out our <a href="">wheel alignment coupon</a> and bring it with you for $10 off any alignment service!</p> <p> If you find yourself fighting the wheel on your vehicle or constantly having to hold it off-center to stay pointed in a straight line, don&rsquo;t just put up with it. <a href="">Make an appointment</a> with us and let&rsquo;s get you driving straight again!</p> /blog/view/wheel-alignment-why/feed0Why Buy Tires from Town Tire Pros?, 25 Feb 2017 15:49:35 -0500TCS<p> Drivers in Gainesville have all kinds of options when it comes to buying tires&hellip;but here at Town Tire Pros, we feel that we offer some real advantages that you won&rsquo;t <img alt="Tires in Gainesville FL " src="" style="width: 250px; height: 167px; margin: 10px; float: right;" />find elsewhere. Such as&hellip;</p> <p> We <strong>guarantee the lowest prices</strong> in town, meaning we actively shop the competition and compare to make sure that we can beat the prices they&rsquo;re offering.</p> <p> We&rsquo;re part of the Tire Pros family of stores. Tire Pros dealers can offer volume discounts and service packages that you just can&rsquo;t find anywhere else. There&rsquo;s strength in numbers, and that&rsquo;s what being part of the Tire Pros network means for you!</p> <p> While we&rsquo;re part of the Tire Pros network, we&rsquo;re still locally owned and operated, with roots right here in the Gainesville and Ocala area. When you spend money with us, your money stays right here in the community rather than going far up the food chain to some distant corporate bank account.</p> <p> We stock tires from top brands like Michelin, Goodyear, Uniroyal and Firestone, in a wide range of sizes for various vehicles and fitments&hellip;and all at a price point that you&rsquo;ll love.</p> <p> Tire Pros offers free wheel balancing and free tire rotations for the life of your tires, helping to ensure even tire wear.</p> <p> So yes, you&rsquo;ve got plenty of choices &ndash; but we feel that we truly offer service, selection, and prices that the others can&rsquo;t match, and there are hundreds and hundreds of loyal customers that would agree. <a href="">Make an appointment</a> with Town Tire Pros and let&rsquo;s talk about your next set of tires! &nbsp;</p> /blog/view/why-buy-tires-from-town-tire-pros/feed0Tips for Traveling With Your dog, 11 Jan 2017 18:32:47 -0500TCS<p> Dogs really are our companions and best friends, and their social nature means they want to do everything and go everywhere with us, including wherever we&rsquo;re <img alt="Seatbelts in Gainesville FL " src="" style="width: 275px; height: 183px; margin: 10px; float: right;" />headed off to in our vehicles. With spring and summer road trips coming up, these are some good tips to make it a little easier, safer and more fun for everyone involved (including the dog).</p> <p> --Be prepared. Whether it&rsquo;s a trip across town or a several-hour journey, you&rsquo;ll need to think of everything your dog might need. That includes treats or kibble, water, toys, his collar and tags (with your current phone number and address) and some doggie bags for when he has to answer nature&rsquo;s call. If the trip is a longer one, be sure to account for time for roadside breaks and bear in mind that puppies can&rsquo;t exactly &ldquo;hold it&rdquo; for very long. Once the excitement wears off, dogs get bored in cars. After awhile, they need a little stimulation in the form of new smells, sights, and sounds wherever they happen to be for a potty break.</p> <p> --Keep him safe. That means he should stay the backseat as much as possible, where he can&rsquo;t interfere with your driving. There are several seatbelt arrangements on the market for dogs of all sizes, and it&rsquo;s highly advisable that a dog be belted in just like humans, in case something happens. And of course dogs love to hang their heads out the window, but you should try to keep that to a minimum. The wind and grit can irritate eyes and nasal passages.</p> <p> --Crate him. It might not sound like very much fun, but if your dog is comfortable in a crate at home, he&rsquo;s likely to be more comfortable in a crate in your vehicle (especially if you have the roominess of a wagon, minivan or SUV). Dogs feel safe in a crate; it helps him stay calm and not get too excitable, and it&rsquo;s likely that once he gets bored he&rsquo;s just going to fall asleep and take a nap in that crate anyway.</p> <p> Wherever you&rsquo;re going this spring and summer, dog or no dog, <a href="">make an appointment</a> with us at Town Tire Pros and let us make sure your vehicle&rsquo;s road-ready. And wherever you&rsquo;re going and whatever you have planned&hellip;have fun!</p> /blog/view/tips-for-traveling-with-your-dog/feed0Make Sure Your Car's Ready For Winter!, 14 Oct 2016 10:01:22 -0400<p> You know that winter and bad weather are coming. Is your car ready? Here&rsquo;s a quick checklist of things to get up to speed on:</p> <p> <strong>Motor oil</strong>: Motor oil has a tendency to thicken in cold weather, making it harder to circulate to upper engine parts at startup. If you haven&rsquo;t ever used synthetic oil <img alt="Driving in the Winter" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 161px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" />before, this might be a good time to start. The flow properties of synthetic oil are a lot more consistent, meaning it doesn&rsquo;t thicken in sub-freezing temperatures or thin out when it&rsquo;s hot outside.</p> <p> <strong>Wipers</strong>: Even the best windshield wipers only last about a year. If your wipers are showing cracks or chips or losing strips of rubber, go ahead and replace them. Don&rsquo;t forget to refill your washer fluid reservoir&hellip;you&rsquo;ll need it once the weather gets bad.</p> <p> <strong>Cooling system</strong>: If you can&rsquo;t remember the last time your coolant was changed, it&rsquo;s pretty easy for a technician to test its condition. Remember that coolant, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and distilled water, prevents freeze-ups in wintertime as well as boilovers in hot weather.</p> <p> <strong>Heater and defroster</strong>: Since the heater is part of the cooling system, a flush of the system will help remove any scale or corrosion that may have built up in the heater core.</p> <p> <strong>Tires</strong>: Make sure your tires are in good shape, with plenty of tread depth, and check the inflation. Remember that air expands when hot, so be sure to check tire pressure when the tires are still cold. That also means they&rsquo;ll lose a couple of pounds of air pressure when the temperatures are really cold.</p> <p> You can&rsquo;t do much about winter weather, but you can at least up your chances of getting through it unscathed when your car&rsquo;s in good shape for winter driving! &nbsp;</p> /blog/view/make-sure-your-car-s-ready-for-winter/feed0No Spare Tire?, 29 Sep 2016 10:12:20 -0400<div> Believe it or not, many new vehicles come without a spare tire. Manufacturers have a few different reasons for that, including weight savings, space efficiency, <img alt="Spare Tire" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" />and cost. When you&#39;re stuck by the side of the road, though, none of that really matters much, does it?&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Instead, these vehicles come equipped with an inflation kit and/or a can of sealant.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Sealant is a gooey substance in an aerosol can that&#39;s designed to coat the inside of the tire due to centrifugal force once you get rolling again, hopefully sealing the puncture. These products, such as Fix-A-Flat, have been on the market for decades and tend to work pretty well on a minor puncture. They&#39;re not a permanent fix, however. Your speed should be limited after using Fix-A-Flat type products, and you should see about getting the tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible. In addition, most of these products freeze at temperatures below 32 degrees and may not be usable in cold weather.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The other alternative on new vehicles is an onboard compressor which usually plugs into the cigarette lighter. These little compressors actually work quite well and can refill a tire in a few minutes&#39; time, getting you back on your way again.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> This is all well and good, but...</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Many times, a tire which fails at highway speed is going to be shredded by the time you can get off the road, or at least permanently damaged and ruined. No inflation kit or can of sealant can help you in that case.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> No tire can be repaired if it has a hole in the sidewall or the shoulder. In that case, you&#39;ve got no other choice but to spring for a new tire.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> You can always invest in a spare tire and a jack if you&#39;re really concerned about it, but in many new vehicles, there&#39;s not even space for a spare. As if that weren&#39;t enough...if you do have a spare in your vehicle, remember spares can lose air over time and can even dry rot if they&#39;re never on the ground. Most experts now agree tires have a life expectancy of about six years before dry rot, ozone, and the sun&#39;s UV rays degrade them.&nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The upshot? You might want to just make sure your AAA membership is paid up!&nbsp;</div> /blog/view/no-spare-tire/feed0Meet Our Staff!, 24 Sep 2016 12:25:43 -0400TCS<p> At Town Tire Pros in Ocala, FL, we&rsquo;ve been serving the community with top-notch auto repair and great deals on premium brand tires since way back in 1959. <img alt="Town Tire Pros in Ocala FL " src="" style="width: 258px; height: 258px; margin: 4px; float: right;" />You can&rsquo;t stay in business that long if you aren&rsquo;t doing a lot of things right&hellip;and we&rsquo;re proud of our staff at Town Tire Pros and their commitment to doing every job right the first time. We thought you might like to know a little more about some of the people who work here!</p> <p> --Brian Decker is the store manager at our Downtown location; Brian has 27 years&rsquo; experience in the automotive service business, 18 years of which were spent here at Town Tire Pros. The Downtown location&nbsp; is well-known for their tires and alignments, and is a key part of the Town Tire Pros family of stores. &ldquo;I love being able to interact with our customers and get to know them,&rdquo; says Brian, &ldquo;and I take a lot of satisfaction from a job well done, knowing that my customers are driving away in a vehicle that&rsquo;s been done right.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> --The company general manager and manager of the Tower Square location is Mark Walters. Mark has spent 16 &frac12; years of his 24 years in the industry at Town Tire Pros. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a real pleasure to come to work every day,&rdquo; says Mark. &ldquo;I look forward to being able to work one-on-one with customers and my staff both. I have been able to forge a lot of solid relationships that way, and it&rsquo;s one of the things that really makes the job worthwhile.&rdquo; The Tower Square location&rsquo;s top services are alignments and headlight restoration work.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> --Go over to our Ocala store and you can meet store manager Sam White. Sam&rsquo;s been in the auto repair business for a full quarter-century, and has been with our group for three years. &ldquo;My customers are my friends,&rdquo; says Sam, &ldquo;and it&rsquo;s a good feeling to know that I&rsquo;m helping people out so they can get their kids to school, go to work and get to the store driving a safe and reliable vehicle.&rdquo; Of all our locations, the Ocala store probably does more auto repair than anything else.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> At Town Tire Pros, we&rsquo;re a part of the community. We have a real stake in what happens here in our town, and we&rsquo;re proud to be available to serve you with great auto repair and tires. <a href="">Make an appointment </a>with us today!&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/meet-our-staff/feed0The Secret To A Reliable Vehicle!, 04 Sep 2016 13:55:46 -0400TCS<p> The average car on the road today is over 14 years old. That tells us two things: cars are holding up better, and people are comfortable with hanging onto them <img alt="Preventive Maintenance in Niantic CT " src="" style="width: 250px; height: 188px; margin: 5px; float: right;" />longer. No car can ever get to that age, however, without the right maintenance!</p> <p> So how do you get that kind of longevity out of a vehicle?</p> <p> <strong>Oil changes</strong>: Just like a generation ago, your engine depends on clean motor oil to coat moving parts, reduce wear and cut carbon/sludge buildup. Use the manufacturer&rsquo;s recommended motor oil, and change at regular intervals.</p> <p> <strong>Cooling system</strong>: Antifreeze contains anti-corrosion agents to prevent the buildup of scale in your radiator and water pump, but the system still needs a flush and refill from time to time. Recommendations vary depending on the vehicle and the brand of antifreeze. If in doubt, it&rsquo;s easy for a technician to use a tester to find out the specific gravity and overall condition of your coolant, and replace it if needed.</p> <p> <strong>Automatic transmission</strong>: Transmission fluid, like motor oil, has a service life. Especially if you ever tow a trailer or haul heavy loads, transmission fluid should be flushed and refilled according to manufacturer&rsquo;s specs.</p> <p> <strong>Body and interior</strong>: Wash and wax your car regularly to protect the finish and ward off rust, and make sure to park in the shade whenever possible to avoid damage to your dashboard and seats from the sun&rsquo;s UV rays. &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Lube</strong>: Many lubrication points on your vehicle, such as the wheel bearings, suspension and driveline, are now permanently sealed and cannot be greased. It&rsquo;s still a good idea, though, to have their condition checked regularly (especially past 100,000 miles) and replace them if needed.</p> <p> We&rsquo;ve got many more tips on how to keep your vehicle together for the long haul &ndash; make an <a href="">appointment</a> with us at Town Tire Auto Service Centers!&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/making-your-car-last/feed0What Are The Best Tires Around?, 04 Sep 2016 11:29:45 -0400TCS<p> There are plenty of great choices for tires these days, far more than there were a couple of decades ago. With such a selection of brands and models and various price points, what are &nbsp;the best tires for your vehicle?<img alt="Goodyear Tires in Gainesville FL " src="" style="width: 250px; height: 167px; margin: 5px; float: right;" /><br /> <br /> Here&rsquo;s a brief breakdown of what experts consider the best tires on the market today:</p> <p> <strong>Goodyear</strong>: America&rsquo;s last domestically-owned tire company has long been a favorite of drivers everywhere&nbsp;and for good reason. Tires like the Goodyear Assurance TripleTread and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season offer great traction, top-notch handling, a quiet ride and great road manners, at a great price point. Dependable and consistent, Goodyear is a strong contender in any ranking of best tire brands.</p> <p> <strong>Michelin</strong>: With a reputation for quality and innovation, Michelin tops many roundups of top tire brands. With excellent tread wear, hard-to-beat warranties, and a huge worldwide dealer network, Michelins (while expensive) are held in pretty high regard.</p> <p> <strong>Continental</strong>: With great performance and an impressive lineup of tires, Continental has consistently been moving up the pack in these types of rankings.</p> <p> <strong>Pirelli</strong>: Long associated with European sports models, Pirelli also offers tires for sedans, minivans, and crossovers. While Pirelli tires aren&rsquo;t known for great tread wear, they&rsquo;re an excellent choice for drivers who like to push the envelope with their vehicles.</p> <p> <strong>Hankook, Cooper, Nokian, Yokohama</strong>: This runoff for 5<sup>th</sup> place is a tough call. Hankook, made in Korea, has some great performance and UHP tires. Cooper is strong in the truck tire category, Nokian specializes in winter tires and Yokohama tires are OEM on many Japanese makes. They&rsquo;re all a bit different, but all great in their individual niches.</p> <p> Is it almost time for a set of tires on your ride? <a href="">Make an appointment</a> with us at Town Tire Auto Service Centers and let us make you a great quote on a set of Goodyear, Michelin, Cooper, Hankook or Yokohama tires!</p> /blog/view/what-are-the-best-tires-around/feed0Benefits You Didn’t Know About Oil Changes, 22 Aug 2016 19:18:00 -0400<p> <span style="color:#000000;">Automotive technology has come a long way since the mid-20<sup>th</sup> century, and so has motor oil. A 1940s-era car didn&rsquo;t feature an oil pump or oil filter. Instead, they relied on dippers on the crankshaft&rsquo;s counterweights, which would then sling oil to coat crucial moving parts. Motor oils in those days weren&rsquo;t designed with detergents and other additives to help keep the engine clean; even with frequent oil change intervals, many cars would be in need of an engine overhaul by the time they reached 80,000 miles.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; float: right; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px;" /></span></p> <div> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">Today&rsquo;s motor oil formulations incorporate additives to suspend contaminants in the oil so they can easily be trapped by the oil filter. Here are a few other facts about motor oil you may not have known:</span></p> </div> <div> <p style="margin-left:38.25pt;"> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; Motor oils contain antioxidants which limit exposure to oxygen for critical moving parts. Oxygen can lead to rust and corrosion.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:38.25pt;"> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; For years, the recommended oil change interval for conventional oil was every 3,000 miles. Today&rsquo;s improved oils can now go for 5,000-7,500 miles between changes; in fact, automobile manufacturers now recommend those intervals.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:38.25pt;"> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; Synthetic motor oils can go much longer between changes and outperform conventional oils in every respect. Synthetics do not degrade and lose their lubricating properties as quickly and can flow better at lower temperatures. In fact, synthetics were originally developed by German scientists during WWII in response to shortages of petroleum and a need for lubricants which could remain fluid in sub-zero conditions on the Eastern Front.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:38.25pt;"> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; Like with other energy sources, bio-based motor oils are being developed. While still far from market phase, motor oils derived from canola, switchgrass, sawgrass and others are likely to be available in the next several years.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:38.25pt;"> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; Moisture tends to accumulate in an engine&rsquo;s crankcase, and motor oil will boil off this condensation as it heats up and the engine reaches operating temperature. For cars driven less than ten miles per day, though, it&rsquo;s recommended that the oil be changed more frequently to avoid the damage that comes from frequent cold startups.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:38.25pt;"> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; The first-ever emissions control device was the PCV valve; the valve redirects hydrocarbon gases from the crankcase back into the car&rsquo;s intake manifold to be re-burned in the engine. The PCV valve became standard on early 60s-era cars and used to need replacement at regular intervals. Today&rsquo;s motor oils are designed to not contaminate and clog the PCV valve.</span></p> <p style="margin-left:38.25pt;"> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; Motor oil shouldn&rsquo;t be easy to ignite and burn; the distillation process used in refineries is called &ldquo;fractional distillation,&rdquo; and separates the desirable elements of motor oil from the more volatile components of crude oil, raising the temperature at which oil will burn.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">We hope you found these facts about motor oil interesting! If you&rsquo;re in need of an oil change (or can&rsquo;t remember your last one), give us a call and let us take care of that for you. Remember, even with the improvements in motor oil technology of recent years, regular oil changes are still the simplest way of making sure you get the most miles out of your vehicle.</span></p> </div> /blog/view/benefits-you-didn-t-know-about-oil-changes/feed0Do Your Homework on Tire Safety, 08 Aug 2016 19:18:00 -0400<div> <span style="color:#000000;">We see it all the time&hellip;people tend to not think about their tires until something goes wrong. Sometimes, this can mean sitting on the side of the road waiting for help, and other times it can mean more serious consequences. Here are a few things to remember for tire safety as the summer winds down and back-to-school season starts.</span></div> <p> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 216px; float: right; margin: 3px 10px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></span></p> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Check your tire pressure regularly. This one is really important. Your car&rsquo;s tires will lose air through the valve over time, and an underinflated tire will hurt fuel economy due to added rolling resistance. Low tires also affect handling and will generate enough heat that they can shorten the tire&rsquo;s lifespan. Get a quality tire gauge (the dial type, not the pencil type) and check the inflation of all four tires once a month. Make sure to check inflation while the tires are cold, and inflate them to the manufacturer&rsquo;s specifications. Tire inflation levels can be found on a sticker, either under the hood, on the driver&rsquo;s door jamb or inside the fuel filler lid.&nbsp;</span></div> </div> <div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Don&rsquo;t mix tires. If you have a tire which fails altogether and can afford to only replace that tire, make sure it&rsquo;s the same size and tread pattern as the rest, and preferably the same brand. It&rsquo;s best to replace all four tires at once, or at least in pairs. Mixing sizes and designs of tires can result in a vehicle that&rsquo;s never going to drive, handle or ride correctly.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Rotate your tires regularly. No vehicle has even weight distribution from front to rear, and front tires will always be subject to more wear due to cornering and braking forces. Switching the positions of the tires regularly ensures even wear and long tire life. Tires should be rotated at 5,000 mile intervals; since oil changes should also fall at around the same interval, it&rsquo;s easy enough to just schedule them both for the same appointment.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Inspect your tires&rsquo; tread depth. 2/32&rdquo; is considered the minimum safe tread depth in most states. Here&rsquo;s an easy way to check that: take a penny and insert it into the tread grooves, Lincoln&rsquo;s head down. If you can see any portion of the top of Lincoln&rsquo;s head, you&rsquo;re below minimum tread depth. Now, try the same test with a quarter. Can you see the top of Washington&rsquo;s head? You&rsquo;re below 4/32&rdquo; tread depth. Insert the penny into the tread again &ndash; if the rubber reaches the Lincoln Memorial, your tread depth is under 6/32&rdquo;.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Inspect the tires&rsquo; condition. Look closely for damage or foreign objects. Examine the tires closely for uneven wear and run your hand along the tread surface to feel for irregularities; any of these could indicate alignment or suspension problems.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Don&rsquo;t let tires be one more thing for you to worry about as you shuttle the kids back and forth to school. Got any questions, or feel like maybe it&rsquo;s time to just break down and buy another set of tires? Make an appointment with us and let us help you out.&nbsp;</span></div> </div> /blog/view/do-your-homework-on-tire-safety/feed0Mark Auto Repair off Your Back-To-School To-Do List, 22 Jul 2016 19:18:00 -0400<div> <span style="color:#000000;">The kids are going to be headed off to school again before you know it, and then of course, the holidays will start coming one after another between Labor Day and the end of the year. There&rsquo;s a lot to stay on top of, and auto repair should be one less thing for you, the grownup, to worry about as the year marches on. Here are some suggestions for things you might want to take care of before it all starts rolling again:&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 199px; margin: 17px 10px; float: right; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Oil Change &ndash; Can&rsquo;t remember the date of your last oil change? Then it might be a good idea to go ahead and set up another one. Dirty motor oil is so loaded with carbon and other contaminants it will begin to form sludgy carbon deposits on internal engine assemblies and moving parts.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Clean motor oil and changes at regular intervals are your single best tool when it comes to keeping your car on the road for a long time.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Tire Rotation &ndash; No vehicle has 50/50 weight distribution between front and rear, and front tires are subjected to different stresses than rear tires due to braking and cornering physics. Tire rotations ensure even wear on all four tires as you change their positions on the vehicle. Tire rotations are recommended at 5,000 mile intervals&hellip;make it simple and just schedule a tire rotation along with an oil change.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Electrical Checkup &ndash; Weather extremes put a lot of stress on your car&rsquo;s battery. It&rsquo;s a good idea to have the battery&rsquo;s reserve starting power checked along with the alternator. In addition, we can check the battery cables&rsquo; connections and clean any corrosion or deposits which might be building up around the cables and posts.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Engine Diagnostics &ndash; Is your Check Engine light illuminated? Even if you vehicle seems to be running fine, the Check Engine light shouldn&rsquo;t be ignored. It can mean something minor like a leaking vacuum line under the hood or a loose gas cap, to a bad misfire or an emissions problem which can wreck your car&rsquo;s catalytic converter. Our technicians at can diagnose and fix any issues which might be triggering that Check Engine lamp.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Belts, Hoses and Filters &ndash; It might seem minor, but a blown hose or a failed serpentine belt can stop you cold. Your air filter, on the other hand, can compromise fuel economy and performance if left too long. Back-to-school is a good time to go ahead and inspect the belt and hoses, and it&rsquo;s easy enough to just replace that air filter and cabin filter while the hood&rsquo;s up.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">They all might seem like little things, but little things can add up to be one big thing&hellip; and a &ldquo;little thing&rdquo; doesn&rsquo;t seem so little if you&rsquo;re stranded in a parking lot or on the side of the road waiting for help. Schedule an appointment and let us take care of your back-to-school auto repair concerns so it won&rsquo;t be one more thing for you to worry about.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> /blog/view/mark-auto-repair-off-your-back-to-school-to-do-list/feed0Seven Things You Need To Know About Tires, 04 Jul 2016 19:18:00 -0400<p> <span style="color:#000000;">We often see customers who are a little overwhelmed by the tire buying process. There are so many types of tires for different vehicles and different driving styles, all at different price points. Here are a few things every driver needs to know about tires:</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 2px; margin-right: 2px;" /></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; A tire is constructed from the inside out, starting at the inner liner. There are 20 to 25 different components in every tire; fabric belts are wrapped around the inner liner, with steel belts, more fabric belts and other materials layered between the tread surface and the inner liner. These layers provide strength, noise suppression and ride quality.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; Newer low-profile tires are popular with many drivers, if only for aesthetic/style reasons. It&rsquo;s important to know low-profile tires may handle better and offer better steering response and cornering performance, but they will also have a harsher ride quality than traditional designs with taller, softer sidewalls.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp; Along with budget, think about your driving style and expectations. Do you prefer a quiet, smooth-riding tire? If so, grand touring or touring tires may be the way to go. Do you like better performance? Consider summer or UHP tires, but remember they will also wear faster than all-season or touring tires. Do you anticipate driving in light winter weather? All-season tires may be a great fit.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp;Remember your vehicle left the factory with a certain size of wheel and tire, and the car&rsquo;s handling, steering response, braking performance and ride quality were all tuned for that specific size. Changing anything in that equation should be done carefully. &nbsp;You&rsquo;re better off in most cases staying with manufacturer&rsquo;s recommendations for tire and wheel sizes.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp;Gas prices may fluctuate, but they are probably never going to be cheap again. Tires are an important part of fuel economy, and some industry experts contend drivers can see as much as a 15-20 percent difference in fuel economy depending on which tires they select. Low-rolling-resistance tires continue to evolve and improve&hellip;and of course, proper inflation to recommended air pressure is crucial to fuel economy.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp;If you drive a light truck, be mindful of how you&rsquo;re going to use that truck. The tire&rsquo;s load rating is important if you expect to haul heavy loads or do any towing. Also consider how often you might want to leave the pavement &ndash; many all-terrain tires are good for light off-road use while still offering a civilized ride and road manners.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">&middot; &nbsp;Tires are still a &ldquo;you get what you pay for&rdquo; proposition. Don&rsquo;t get us wrong, there are plenty of great-quality tires at lower price points, but tires that seem too good to be true price-wise, usually are. Do your due diligence in looking up consumer reviews and ratings before making your decision. And of course, our service advisors will always be happy to help point you in the right direction.</span></p> <p> <span style="color:#000000;">We hope this helps a little in your tire buying process &ndash; if it&rsquo;s time to get some new tires on your vehicle, make an appointment and we&rsquo;ll be happy to get you set up.&nbsp;</span></p> /blog/view/seven-things-you-need-to-know-about-tires/feed0Website Launch Announcement: Town Tire Tire Pros Launches New Site, 22 Jun 2016 19:18:21 -0400TCS<p> We are excited to announce the launch of our new website. The site features a fresh look, easy navigation and more focus on what the customer needs.</p> <p> The new site offers inventory listings with pictures and specs. You can search a variety of ways including by vehicle and size.</p> <p> With the addition of our blog, we are able to help inform and educate our customers on important tire and service information.</p> <p> We invite you to visit our new website today.</p> /blog/view/website-launch-announcement-setting-company-launches-new-site/feed0How To Update Your Auto Repair Routine, 22 Jun 2016 19:18:21 -0400<div> <span style="color:#000000;">Time has a way of sneaking up on everyone, and so does mileage on a vehicle. If you have a long commute or regularly put lengthy interstate trips on your car, you can easily rack up 15-18,000 miles a year. Even though today&rsquo;s cars don&rsquo;t need as much maintenance as cars from a generation ago, it&rsquo;s still something you can&rsquo;t neglect. Here&rsquo;s a reminder of some important milestones for service on your vehicle:&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src=" Blog2.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 20px 10px; float: right;" /></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Monthly&nbsp;</span></div> </div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check tire inflation</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check oil and transmission fluid levels</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check all lights</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check windshield washer fluid</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Every 5,000 Miles</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Oil change (if using conventional motor oil), to prevent deposits from forming inside engine and accelerating wear on moving parts</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Tire rotation, to ensure even wear on all four tires by switching their positions on the vehicle</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Every 15,000 Miles</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Replace air filter</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Replace cabin air filter</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Replace carbon canister filter (if applicable)</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Replace wiper blades</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check battery for reserve starting power, check battery cables for good secure fit and clean corrosion and deposits from posts and battery clamps</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check engine&rsquo;s serpentine belt for signs of cracking, fraying, chunking or excessive wear</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check all vacuum lines and hoses for wear and secure connections</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Every 30,000 Miles</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Flush and replace transmission fluid, change transmission filter</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Flush old coolant from radiator, perform pressure test to check for leaks, replace coolant</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Run diagnostic check on engine &ndash; sometimes the engine&rsquo;s computer can still register a trouble code without illuminating the Check Engine light.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Lubricate door hinges, hood hinges and any other lubrication points on vehicle chassis and undercarriage</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Every 60,000 Miles</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Repeat all above services from the 30,000 mile increment</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Replace engine timing belt, if applicable. Some manufacturers&rsquo; recommendations for timing belt replacement might vary from this interval; also, many vehicles are designed with a timing chain, which won&rsquo;t need replacement for the life cycle of the vehicle.</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check condition of brake pads and rotors</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Every 100,000 Miles</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Replace spark plugs. This is something which used to be needed much more frequently, but today&rsquo;s vehicles can easily go 100k miles on a set of spark plugs.</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Replace coil-on-plug coil packs if needed, and if applicable.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Perform a compression check on all cylinders</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull; Check wheel bearings and CV joints on front-drive vehicles</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">These are all important service intervals to keep in mind in the life cycle of any vehicle. The good news is with this sort of scrupulous attention to maintenance, you can easily keep a vehicle on the road for 200-250,000 miles. It&rsquo;s a pretty far cry from cars of the 1970&rsquo;s and 80&rsquo;s that would be ready for the salvage yard at 120,000 miles. If you&rsquo;re approaching any of these milestones with your vehicle, give us a call and let us take care of your service and maintenance needs!&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> /blog/view/how-to-update-your-auto-repair-routine/feed0Daylight Saving Ends - Check Your Vehicle Lights, 22 May 2016 19:18:00 -0400<div> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 198px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; float: right; margin: 8px 10px;" /><span style="color:#000000;">Prepare for the end of Daylight Saving Time with proper maintenance of vehicle lighting to ensure safety. After November 2nd, clocks &ldquo;fall back&rdquo; which causes most drivers&rsquo; commutes to be in darker lighting, being that dusk will occur during peak hours of evening traffic hours. As winter quickly approaches, vehicle lighting should be inspected to ensure optimum visibility for drivers in dim or inclement conditions that command top quality operations of both lighting and windshield wipers.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">External vehicle lighting serves as an imperative part of enabling vehicle operation and safety during winter months, especially after Daylight Saving Time has passed. Potential for accidents increases drastically as obstacles and obstructions are more difficult to see with winter weather conditions.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">When inspecting a vehicle&rsquo;s lighting system, all lights should be inspected including: parking lights, headlights (high and low beam), turn signals/emergency flashers, brake lights, backup lights, interior lights and instrumentation lighting. Ensuring visibility for both yourself and other drivers is essential for safe driving during winter months as brake lights, turn signals and other informative signals could easily prevent an accident.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">During vehicle inspections throughout National Car Care Month, mechanics indicated maintenance of lighting to be one of vehicle&rsquo;s most neglected repairs. Approximately one of every ten vehicles is suffering from subpar lighting of brakes, turn signals or headlights. Quickly inspect any vehicle with suspected light failure as these malfunctions could be dangerous for all vehicles on the road.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Intermittently clear headlights and other lighting cases of mud and other debris that might have collected on the headlights during use. Cleaning instructions of headlights are clearly stated in each vehicle&rsquo;s owner&rsquo;s manual, with instructions on light alignment and replacement. Headlights can easily be bumped out of alignment by rocky driving conditions or rough terrain; this misalignment can distract other drivers and cause an accident. Headlight restoration can be addressed by different methods of home treatments and professional services. Auto repair specialists should inspect headlights annually to ensure headlights are correctly maintained and properly functioning.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Contact an auto repair specialist to ensure headlights are prepared for Daylight Saving Time&rsquo;s end with cleaning, alignment and overall restoration of headlights to improve safety and travel.&nbsp;</span></div> /blog/view/daylight-saving-ends-check-your-vehicle-lights/feed0Are All-Season Tires Really All-Season?, 22 May 2016 19:18:00 -0400<div> <span style="color:#000000;">We frequently get questions about all-season tires when consumers are trying to make the right purchasing decision for &nbsp;a set of new tires. As the title of the blog asks&hellip;&rdquo;are all-season tires really all-season?&rdquo;</span></div> <div> <div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">The answer is: it that depends on what part of the country you&rsquo;re living in.</span></div> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src=" Blog1.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 212px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 16px 10px; float: right;" /></span> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">All-season tires are a compromise from the very start. They&rsquo;re designed for a forgiving ride, low noise, decent handling and good road manners. Maybe not as much as what a good set of grand touring tires can deliver, but pretty respectable&hellip;and also with an aggressive tread pattern which&nbsp;</span></div> </div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">channels water away from the tire&rsquo;s contact patch for wet-weather traction. All-season tires also have a network of sipes, tiny slits which provide hundreds of extra biting edges to dig in and provide traction in light snow or slush. Their tread compounds are designed to stay flexible in a wide range of temperatures. All in all, if your area has no more than a few inches of snow every year, chances are you can do just fine with all-season tires.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Winter tires, on the other hand, are designed for the sort of winter weather you might see in New England or the upper Midwest &ndash; lots of snow and very cold temperatures. They&rsquo;ve come a long way from the heavy, clunky &ldquo;snow tires&rdquo; or &ldquo;mud grips&rdquo; which might have been on your dad&rsquo;s station wagon, but they still feature deep tread grooves and a tread design that&rsquo;s intended for real winter conditions. Winter tires use a tread formulation that stays flexible at low temperatures for traction, but they shouldn&rsquo;t be used when temperatures get above 40 degrees. In warmer temperatures, winter tires are notorious for premature wear, heavy handling properties and noise. Still, they&rsquo;re good for slush and snow-packed roads, or even light icy conditions. Some snow tires are available pre-drilled for studs for traction in nasty weather. In heavier ice conditions, no tire does well and you should probably just avoid driving altogether.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Summer tires, on the other hand, are intended for warmer temperatures and feature a soft, &ldquo;sticky&rdquo; rubber formulation which offers great traction on wet or dry pavement. They&rsquo;re pretty close in design and tread compound to performance or ultra-high-performance tires; their down side is they shouldn&rsquo;t be used in temperatures below 50 degrees, and usually do not carry the same lengthy tread wear warranty of touring or all-season tires.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">So, to answer the question.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Are all-season tires really all-season? If you live in areas that have a moderately tough winter with some wintry precipitation, the answer will probably be yes. All-season radials are a good enough fit for most drivers that many new cars come equipped with them.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Got questions? Thinking it might be time for a set of all-season tires for your car? Give us a call and let one of our service advisors set up an appointment for you!&nbsp;</span></div> </div> </div> /blog/view/are-all-season-tires-really-all-season/feed0Don’t Forget Your Spare, 22 Apr 2016 19:18:00 -0400<div> <span style="color:#000000;">Oh, the lowly spare tire. It doesn&rsquo;t get much respect.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 14px 10px; float: right;" /></span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Today, a lot of vehicles don&rsquo;t even come with a spare tire anymore, not even the little &ldquo;donut&rdquo; 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&hellip;</span></div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Anyway, if your car is equipped with a spare, you shouldn&rsquo;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 tires that are older than six to eight years old are probably unsafe due to degradation of the rubber. Your spare can sit in the trunk or under the vehicle and dry-rot over time, and even if it doesn&rsquo;t, it can lose air to the point where it&rsquo;s useless.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">If your vehicle has a full-size spare, it&rsquo;s a good idea to include it in the tire rotation schedule, actually putting it on the pavement from time to time. If not, at least check on the poor old lowly spare and let it know that someone cares about it. The alternative, after all, is being stuck by the side of the road with a flat tire and a flat, worthless spare both.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> /blog/view/don-t-forget-your-spare/feed0Squeeze a Few More Miles Out of That Gallon of Gas, 22 Mar 2016 19:18:00 -0400<div> <span style="color:#000000;">If you&rsquo;re past &ldquo;a certain age,&rdquo; you might remember when gas was $1.50 per gallon, or $1.00 per gallon, or 59 cents, or what-have-you&hellip;but the truth is that everything has gotten more expensive. After all, when gas was $1.00 per gallon, a nicely tricked-out Chevrolet Caprice Classic was selling for about $6,000 brand new.&nbsp;</span></div> <p> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 224px; height: 300px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 14px 10px; float: right;" /></span></p> <div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Now that we&rsquo;re well into the 21st century, gas prices are likely to fluctuate, but one thing&rsquo;s for sure: gas is likely to never be &ldquo;cheap&rdquo; again. We know that everyone&rsquo;s trying to get a little more out of every dollar, and whether you&rsquo;re driving a big SUV or a subcompact, there are things you can do to help your vehicle&rsquo;s fuel economy:&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Watch your right foot. This is probably the most important thing on the list. It takes a lot of energy and fuel to get your car moving, whether it&rsquo;s a 5500-pound Chevy Yukon or a 2700-pound Mini. Every time you accelerate hard, you&rsquo;re unnecessarily dumping more fuel into the engine, which can cost you as much as 1 to 3 mpg around town. Remember that you&rsquo;re not in a race and you don&rsquo;t have anything to prove. Consider leaving a little early to get to your destination so that you don&rsquo;t feel like you have to stomp the gas pedal and drive hard to get there.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Think ahead. In many cities, stoplights are synchronized so that driving at a certain speed will get you nothing but green lights. If they aren&rsquo;t, though, or if you see a single red light a few blocks ahead, try to coast and slow down so that the light will be green by the time you roll through it. You can also keep your distance from other drivers and (hopefully) anticipate their next move so that you can avoid braking.</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Use your cruise control. Regardless of how steady your right foot might be, it can&rsquo;t keep your car at the same exact, consistent speed nearly as well as cruise control can. Cruise control can also help reduce driver fatigue on long trips. It&rsquo;s not advisable for heavy traffic, wet-weather or mountainous driving, but if you&rsquo;ve got a long, open expanse of interstate ahead of you, set that cruise control for a reasonable speed and let it save you money.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Slow down. It might be frustrating for some to drive slower, but it makes a big, big difference in fuel economy. Every 5 mph you are driving over the speed limit is costing you more money in fuel. For some vehicles, every 10 mph represents a 15 percent hit on your gas mileage. We know that on many stretches of highway, a driver keeping it at 70 is a rolling roadblock for other drivers, but keep your speed down, hang out in the right lane and let them blow past you. You might get there a few minutes later, but like we said before&hellip;just leave the house a little earlier. Besides, once you get more than 5 mph over the speed limit, you risk attracting the attention of state troopers.</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Unload your trunk. Especially in a minivan or SUV, it&rsquo;s easy to accumulate extraneous junk and forget about it, but every 100 lbs of unneeded weight can cost you one to two percent of your fuel economy. On a long trip, you might be hauling people and luggage, which is understandable&hellip;but around town, get a look in your trunk and chunk any concrete blocks, sandbags, lead ingots or bowling balls you might have forgotten back there.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Streamline your vehicle. Aerodynamic efficiency is a huge part of fuel economy&hellip;that&rsquo;s why our cars now look more like jellybeans than bars of soap. If your vehicle has a ski rack, bike rack, top-mounted cargo carrier or other accessories, take them off unless you really need them.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Cut your idling time. A car that&rsquo;s idling gets zero mpg, and does nothing but sit there and burn fuel. If you&rsquo;re going to be sitting for more than about a minute, just shut the engine off and start it again when it&rsquo;s time to move out. It may be uncomfortable in hot or cold weather, but it makes as much sense as shutting off the lights when you leave a room.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Use your car&rsquo;s travel computer. If your car&rsquo;s equipped with a computer that indicates real-time fuel economy, average fuel economy and Distance to Empty, pay attention to it, especially when your real-time mileage is dropping to single digits when you accelerate. The math on those devices is pretty accurate!</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Check your tires. You&rsquo;ve undoubtedly heard this one before. Underinflated tires mean more friction and rolling resistance, and that hurts your fuel economy. Tires lose a pound or so of air pressure every month, so regularly check your inflation levels and add air if needed. You can find proper inflation levels on your car&rsquo;s driver&rsquo;s door frame, under the hood, inside the fuel filler door or in the owner&rsquo;s manual. If it&rsquo;s almost time for new tires, consider going to low-rolling-resistance tires.</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Keep your car well maintained. If your Check Engine light is on, have it diagnosed and fixed. If you can&rsquo;t remember the last time your air filter was changed&hellip;change it. Newer cars are designed for light grades of motor oil, and heavier grades can actually cut the engine&rsquo;s efficiency.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Use your A/C sparingly. At one time, the rule was to avoid A/C altogether on the highway. That&rsquo;s changed somewhat, as newer A/C systems don&rsquo;t put as much parasitic drag on the engine and vehicle aerodynamics have improved to a point where running with the windows down at highway speed actually creates more drag. Still, if it&rsquo;s a nice day, roll those windows down and enjoy the breeze while you&rsquo;re tooling around town.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Don&rsquo;t drive. If you need a couple of things from the convenience store and it&rsquo;s only three blocks away, just walk down there and back. You can also take the bus, carpool to work, ride a bike and come up with all kinds of other options that don&rsquo;t involve a single person driving a 4000-pound vehicle for a mile or two.&nbsp;</span></div> </div> </div> /blog/view/squeeze-a-few-more-miles-out-of-that-gallon-of-gas/feed0Winter Safety Tips – Don’t End Up In the Ditch!, 08 Feb 2016 19:18:00 -0500<div> <span style="color:#000000;">Some people love winter. They love the snow, the snap in the air, the short days and cozy nights at home. Others can&rsquo;t stand it, for many of the same reasons. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, though, chances are you&rsquo;re going to have to get out and drive in it at some point. We&rsquo;ve got a few suggestions to help you through the winter safely:&nbsp;</span></div> <p> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; margin: 4px 10px; float: right; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></span></p> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Make sure you&rsquo;ve got a well-maintained car. This includes fresh windshield wipers, proper tire inflation, a strong battery, a properly-maintained cooling system and a fresh oil change. If your tires aren&rsquo;t up to the job of winter driving, you might consider switching to winter tires for a while &ndash; just&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">remember to switch back when temperatures get above 40 degrees. The softer tread compound of winter tires will wear quickly in warmer temperatures.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Make sure your car is thoroughly de-iced before you go anywhere. Hot water might seem tempting because it&rsquo;s quicker&hellip;but it&rsquo;s also almost guaranteed to crack your windshield, and room-temperature water is likely to just freeze again. Don&rsquo;t just carve a hole to see out of; make sure your whole windshield is clear. And don&rsquo;t forget the roof! In many areas it&rsquo;s actually illegal to take off with a mattress-sized pile of snow and ice on the roof of the car, waiting to fly off and hit other motorists.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Pack a trouble bag. A good selection of items for a trouble bag would include a sweater, socks, gloves, cap, first-aid kit, flashlight, Leatherman-style multi-tool, duct tape, high-protein snacks and highway flares. If you have room, it&rsquo;s also a good idea to carry a bag of sand or kitty litter as a traction aid if you get stuck.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Now, for the actual driving tips&hellip;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Do everything more slowly. Snow changes the responsiveness and drivability of your vehicle. Drive more slowly, allow more room between you and the next vehicle, brake more slowly, use the gas sparingly and anticipate turns well in advance.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>If you go into a skid, don&rsquo;t panic. Don&rsquo;t stomp the brake or do anything drastic. Correct the skid by turning in the same direction as the skid, ease off the gas and get the car back under control again.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>If the roads are icy, stay home if you possibly can. No vehicle does well on ice. If you can&rsquo;t avoid getting out, just be even more careful than you would on snow.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Is your car ready for winter driving? Give us a call and make an appointment and let us help you make sure about that before the snow flies!</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> /blog/view/winter-safety-tips-don-t-end-up-in-the-ditch/feed0Winter Tires – Yea or Nay?, 28 Jan 2016 19:18:00 -0500<div> <span style="color:#000000;">In a lot of parts of the country, the winters are tough enough that all-season tires just won&rsquo;t get the job done. All-season tires are a compromise; they offer good year-round traction with a quiet ride, good handling and road manners. They tend to perform well in wet weather and light wintry conditions, but when the snow is more than a couple of inches deep, all-season tires are out of their league. That&rsquo;s when it&rsquo;s time to consider winter tires.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 225px; height: 300px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 16px 10px; float: right;" /></span> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">Today&rsquo;s winter tires are a long way from the heavy, noisy, clumsy &ldquo;snow tires&rdquo; or &ldquo;mud grips&rdquo; that your dad might have had on his station wagon 40 years ago. Modern winter tires are designed for noise, handling, steering response and road manners that rival grand touring tires, only with enhanced traction. They accomplish that with deeper, more aggressive tread grooves and a tread pattern that&rsquo;s designed to eject snow and slush for a clean &ldquo;bite&rdquo; with every revolution of the wheel.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">More importantly, the tread compound used for winter tires is substantially different. Grand touring or all-season tires can stiffen at low temperatures, reducing traction. Winter tire formulations are designed to stay flexible even when temperatures are at zero or below, meaning they can still deliver traction in winter conditions. Some winter tires come pre-drilled for studs, which can enhance traction even more in snow and light icy conditions.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">There are a few things to remember with winter tires, however:&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Winter tires often don&rsquo;t handle as precisely as all-season tires, due to their construction. That may not matter much in snow, when handling will be sloppy and treacherous anyway, but it can be a noticeable difference on dry pavement.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Winter tires tend to be noisier</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Winter tires are rather fragile. That same soft rubber compound that helps with traction in snow means that the tires will wear down much more quickly in warmer temperatures. For that reason, winter tires should not be used when temperatures are above 35-45 degrees.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>If you elect to go with winter tires, you&rsquo;ll need to get an entire set and not just a pair. Mixing designs of tires can result in poor traction, uneven and unpredictable performance and a &ldquo;schizophrenic&rdquo; car.&nbsp;</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="color:#000000;">With all that in mind, you&rsquo;re going to be the best judge of whether you really need winter tires or not. If your part of the country gets a few inches of snow that typically melts in a few days or a week, when the weather changes, winter tires might not be a real necessity. If you&rsquo;re in a place like the upper Midwest, New England or the mountains, with snow measured in feet rather than inches and winter temperatures that stay below freezing for weeks on end, winter tires might be a good investment after all. If you&rsquo;re leaning that way on the decision, call us and let us get you the best deal on quality winter tires that you&rsquo;ll find anywhere!&nbsp;</span></div> </div> /blog/view/winter-tires-yea-or-nay/feed0