Video Blog

 


Tires

Don't Neglect Your Spare (Spare Tire Care)

Sep 12, 2021

If you've ever had a flat tire, then you know welcome it is to have a spare tire that is properly inflated, in good shape and easy to get to.  Problem is many of us don't even give our spare tire (if we even have one) a second thought.

If you have an SUV or truck with a spare, it may be mounted outside the vehicle, such as on the tailgate or underneath the vehicle.  All of them, especially those underneath, take the brunt of debris, moisture, salt and dirt from the road surface, a potpourri of corrosion potential.  The hardware that holds these on can rust into a solid mess, making it hard for you or even a roadside assistance service to get off. 

If you have one of those, have it checked and maintained at your vehicle repair facility on a regular basis.  They should be lubricated and cleaned periodically, and some recommend doing this service every time you have your tires rotated.  If the spare is the same size as the tires on the vehicle, it may be a good idea to have it rotated with the others. 

Some vehicles have compact spares that are in a small well in the trunk or some other spot. Most drivers don't pay any attention to them.  Over time, air leaks out of those spares, leaving them flat when you most need them.  When you have your vehicle in for service or routine maintenance, ask your service advisor for his or her advice on making sure the spare is inflated properly and cleaned, usually at least twice a year.

You may not know it, but your vehicle may not have any spare at all.  Instead, it may have an inflator kit that you are supposed to use to inflate and seal a flat tire.  That sealant has a limited life span and should be replaced every few years.  Check with your service advisor to make sure the kit is up to date and will do the job when called upon.

Manufacturers know a flat tire's always a possibility.  No matter what contingency solution they've included with your vehicle, keep it in shape and in good working order.  When you need it, you'll be very glad you did.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



'Tis the Season (Tires)

Aug 29, 2021

We all know about winter tires.  But did you know there is such a thing as summer tires?

Most people have all-season tires on their vehicles.  They work pretty well in a variety of weather conditions.  But if you want better handling and performance, you might consider switching to summer tires.  Here are a few things you should know about them.

Summer tires are good for high-performance vehicles like sports cars and luxury SUVs, but they don't have to be limited to those. They have a different tread pattern than all-season tires, with generally shallower grooves and more rubber that contacts the road.  The rubber is made of a stickier compound good for taking corners at higher speeds.  Plus it is engineered so it stays firmer the hotter the temperature gets. 

Here's a bonus.  That design also works well in warm, wet weather.  It makes sense, since more the more rubber that's touching the concrete or asphalt when it's slippery out, the better the traction. 

There are some things to be aware of with summer tires.  They often have asymmetrical or unidirectional tread patterns.  That sometimes limits the way these tires can be rotated on a vehicle.  Another thing to remember is it is NOT a good idea to use summer tires in any wintery conditions.  They lose traction as the temperature heads toward the freezing range and below since that rubber that's designed to stay firm at warm temperatures gets hard as a rock when they freeze.

But in warmer weather, summer tires can increase your braking and cornering capabilities.  Plus you'll notice more grip at faster speeds and higher temperatures than all-season tires.  So think about discussing summer tires with your service advisor to see if they'd be a good fit for the type of driving you do.  He or she will offer you some choices that are designed to meet your vehicle's specs.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



The Flat Fix that Fits (Tire Repairs)

Aug 01, 2021

Can you think of anyone who likes getting a flat tire?  Of course not.  But when one of your tires winds up with a flat or leak, whether it be from things like hitting a curb, running over a nail or picking up a sharp stone, it's time to have someone who knows what they're doing take care of it.

If you're thinking you'd like to avoid having to buy a new tire, you wonder if a patch or plug will suffice.  It depends where the puncture is and how big the hole is.  Most tire experts will say if the hole in the tire is less than ¼ of an inch or 6 mm, a patch can work.  But a patch likely won't work if the compromised part of the tire is on its shoulder or sidewall.

Here's why.  The shoulder of a tire is the part between the sidewall and tread and it's usually rounded.  It's under a lot of pressure, more than even the sidewalls. And because of that curved shape, it's hard to get a patch or plug to hold.

The sidewall is the side of the tire.  Sidewalls flex a lot when you drive, and the strain can cause a patch or plug to loosen up.  A weak spot in a sidewall is much more likely to fail and cause a blowout.  So if you have damage in the sidewall or shoulder, that tire is a good candidate for replacement, not repair.

If you have a cut or gash in your tire, it's possible the cords that strengthen your tire have also been cut.  That weak spot can spell trouble, and this type of damage usually means you should get a new one.

Your service advisor can tell you what the appropriate action is to take when you have tire damage.  You may be able to get good results with a patch, or you may have to replace one or more tires.  Your safety is riding on them.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



What's in a Number? (What Tire Numbers Mean)

Jan 01, 2021

You've probably never paid much attention to the writing on the sides of your tires, but they contain a wealth of information.  There's a long combination of letters and numbers that can tell you a whole lot about what tires your vehicle was designed to be riding on.  Let's check out this example found on an SUV: P245/70R17 108T.

The first letter, P, means it's intended for passenger vehicles.  If there's no letter, it means it's a metric tire.  If there's an LT at the beginning or end that means a tire designed for light trucks.

Moving on to our example, the 245 shows how wide the tire is in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall.  The number that follows in our example, 70, means the height of the tire is 70% of its width.  The letter after that in our example, R, describes the type of tire (on this vehicle, radial).  Following that is the diameter in inches, in our SUV example, 17 inches. 

How much load the tires' sidewalls are designed to take is what that next number is all about (108 in our example).  The higher the load index, the more weight the sidewalls can take.  And the last letter is the speed rating of the tire, in our example, T.  The further along in the alphabet that letter is, the higher its speed rating.  So now you know what those letters and numbers mean.  But why are they important?

When you are getting ready to replace those tires, those numbers are telling you what the original equipment was when your vehicle was new.  Sticking with the same rated tires is always a good idea.  If you don't know what you're doing, trying different sized tires and wheels can cause real issues when it comes to performance and safety, considering all the computerized systems now found on vehicles.  When in doubt, consult your service advisor when it comes to buying new tires.  He or she knows what those tire numbers and letters mean… and a whole lot more.

The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com



No Fountain of Youth (Aging Tires)

Dec 13, 2020

Can you think of anyone who enjoys aging?  Wrinkles where you don't want them, gray hair, eyes that won't focus any more, no stamina. 

Believe it or not, your tires age, too, and they don't get better the older they get.  And here's the important thing to know, even if they can still pass a tread depth test, they may simply be too old to be safe 

Here's the best way to understand this.  Have you ever found an old deck of playing cards with a rubber band wrapped around them?  Try stretching the rubber band.  SNAP! It's all cracked and brittle.  And you haven't stressed that rubber one bit since the time you put them in that drawer.

Now you know what's happening to your tires.  Rubber ages.  Just like us, the day we come into the world, we start to go downhill (no pun intended).  Oh, engineers are able to make a tire last longer than ever before.  But that gas that keeps us alive—oxygen—seems to love to chemically mix with some components in rubber.  Oxidation causes rubber to become hard and brittle.  The rubber band test.

Is there an age test that can tell you when a tire is tool old to roll? Well, not really.  They don't all age the same.  Hot climates can make tires wear out more quickly.  Some experts say a tire can last up to 10 years but should be inspected every year after the age of five.  Others say tires should have an expiration date at six years old.

Since no one would ever ask a tire its age, how do you know how old one is? Believe it or not, tires made after the year 2000 have a date code stamped on either the inside or the outside of the sidewall.  It's a four-digit numbers; the first two tell you the week, the second two tell you the year. So if it has the number 1916, it was made in the 21st week of 2016. 

Another way to find out if your tires still have enough life in them is to have your vehicle service facility inspect them.  They look for signs of age, such as developing cracks in the rubber, the condition of the sidewalls and, of course, that old standby: tread.  If it's time to "retire" them, discuss options with your service advisor.


The Car Doctors of the Antelope Valley
226 West Avenue I
Lancaster, California 93534
661-949-8484
http://cardoctorsav.autovideotipsblog.com




Archive

October 2021 (2)
September 2021 (4)
August 2021 (5)
July 2021 (4)
June 2021 (4)
May 2021 (5)
April 2021 (4)
March 2021 (4)
February 2021 (4)
January 2021 (6)
December 2020 (4)
November 2020 (5)
October 2020 (4)
September 2020 (4)
August 2020 (5)
July 2020 (1)
June 2020 (1)
May 2020 (2)
April 2020 (1)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (4)
January 2020 (5)
December 2019 (5)
November 2019 (4)
October 2019 (5)
September 2019 (3)
August 2019 (3)
July 2019 (2)
June 2019 (5)
May 2019 (2)
March 2019 (4)
October 2018 (1)
September 2018 (5)
August 2018 (4)
July 2018 (5)
March 2018 (1)
February 2018 (4)
January 2018 (5)
September 2017 (1)
August 2017 (3)
July 2017 (5)
June 2017 (4)
May 2017 (3)
April 2017 (2)
March 2017 (4)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (5)
December 2016 (4)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (5)
September 2016 (4)
August 2016 (5)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (4)
May 2016 (5)
April 2016 (4)
March 2016 (4)
February 2016 (11)
December 2015 (3)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (4)
September 2015 (3)
July 2015 (2)
June 2015 (5)
May 2015 (2)
April 2015 (4)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (4)
January 2015 (5)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (4)
September 2014 (5)
August 2014 (5)
July 2014 (4)
June 2014 (2)
March 2014 (1)
February 2014 (4)
January 2014 (2)
December 2013 (4)
November 2013 (4)
October 2013 (5)
September 2013 (4)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (4)
June 2013 (4)
May 2013 (3)
April 2013 (5)
March 2013 (4)
February 2013 (19)
January 2013 (5)
December 2012 (4)
November 2012 (5)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (4)
August 2012 (4)
July 2012 (5)
June 2012 (4)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (4)
February 2012 (5)
January 2012 (4)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (3)
October 2011 (3)
September 2011 (4)
August 2011 (4)
July 2011 (4)
June 2011 (5)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (4)
March 2011 (5)
February 2011 (3)
January 2011 (4)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (3)
October 2010 (2)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (3)
June 2010 (5)
May 2010 (4)

Categories

Air Conditioning (13)
Alignment (16)
Alternator (4)
Auto Safety (6)
Automotive News (9)
Battery (14)
Brakes (14)
Cabin Air Filter (7)
Check Engine Light (4)
Cooling System (17)
Customer Detective Work (1)
Dashboard (3)
Diagnostics (5)
Diesel Maintenance (2)
Differential Service (3)
Drive Train (9)
Emergency Items (1)
Engine Air Filter (2)
Exhaust (8)
Fluids (18)
Fuel Economy (7)
Fuel Saving Tip: Slow Down (2)
Fuel System (46)
Headlamps (4)
Inspection (8)
Keys to a long lasting vehicle (4)
Maintenance (55)
Monitoring System (3)
Oil Change (3)
Older Vehicles (4)
Parts (8)
Safe Driving (1)
Safety (7)
Serpentine Belt (5)
Service Intervals (9)
Service Standards (12)
Shocks & Struts (7)
Steering (14)
Suspension (3)
Timing Belt (6)
Tire Rotation and Balancing (1)
Tires (5)
Tires and Wheels (42)
Transmission (7)
Warranty (1)
What Customers Should Know (65)
Wheel Bearings (1)
Windshield Wipers (8)
Winter Prep (2)