Auto Repair & Tires Blog
Saturday, February 25, 2017, you’ll save money on every tire in stock at all Mountain View Tire and Auto Service locations in Southern California.
Wet roads are very dangerous when your tires have shallow tread. The grooves in your tires can’t funnel the rainwater fast enough, and you end up riding on a sheet of water with no control over your steering.
Scary? You bet.
Don’t risk your family’s safety. Stop in Saturday, February 25th and we’ll measure your tread depth free of charge. If you need new tires, you’ll save money, no matter which models you choose.
As of the date of this blog post, there’s a good chance that Los Angeles will get some rain within the next few days: 80% on Thursday; 60% on Friday; 60% on Sunday.
And February will be here before you know it. That’s Southern California’s wettest month.
The rainy forecast means that it’s very important to have the tread depth of your tires checked as soon as possible.
In drier climates like ours, it’s easy to let your tire tread wear down to unsafe depths because your tires don’t need to funnel a lot of rainwater.
But once the rain comes, you could easily find yourself on a wet highway with very little traction and no control over your vehicle.
The video above delivers good information, including tips on how to handle your car when it starts hydroplaning. You'll need to click the YouTube link within the player to watch it.
Then, pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location for a free check of your tread depth and tire pressure. It’ll only take a few minutes, and what you learn could prevent a serious accident.
I’ve got somethin’ stuck in my craw.
I’m not exactly sure where my craw is or what its capacity might be. I just know there’s an irritant firmly wedged in there at the moment. And that irritant is this: drivers who hang out in the left lane refusing to pass.
Actually, “hanging out” in the left lane is probably generous. It seems like they’re more interested in establishing a permanent residence.
I can’t count how many times I’ve found myself stacked up behind a relatively slow left-lane driver lately. It’s as if, all at once, the physical laws governing the functionality of rear-view mirrors no longer apply. Because if they could see me behind them - brights-a-flashin’ - those drivers would surely move to the right, right?
Like the law in 28 other states, California’s says you shouldn’t be in the left lane if you’re driving slower than vehicles in the right lane. Even if you're driving the speed limit in the left lane and vehicles in the right lane(s) are moving faster than you are, you’re still at fault. And, if I may, pure evil.
Here’s the actual text from the California Driver Handbook:
“To drive faster, pass, or turn left, use the left lane. When you choose to drive slowly or enter or turn off the road, use the right lane.”
Pretty simple, really.
If you’re not interested in helping to evacuate my rapidly filling craw, you should still keep right to stay safe. Take a look at the quick video below. It explains how slow left-lane drivers - and the responses they prompt from other drivers - can lead to accidents.
A study released in September by AAA and the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center shows no correlation between the use of higher-priced premium gasoline and improved performance in vehicles that are designed to run on regular unleaded fuel.
Yet, says AAA, 16.5 million American drivers used premium gas needlessly more than 270 million times over the previous 12 months. That amounted to more than $2.1 billion in unnecessary spending.
“Premium gasoline is specifically formulated to be compatible with specific types of engine designs, and most vehicles cannot take advantage of the higher octane rating,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automotive Research Center.
Only 16% of vehicles driven in the U.S. require premium gasoline. Seventy percent need just regular unleaded gasoline.
To determine which grade of gasoline is best for your vehicle, check the owner's manual.
For more information, read the article on the AAA website.
Is there a car guy on your Christmas list? Does your wife love NHRA drag racing? Did you draw the name of the office gearhead for this year's Secret Santa?
If so, you might appreciate our fourth annual gift guide for car lovers.
We don't sell any of these products, so we can't vouch for their quality, but you can learn more about them by clicking on their names or images.
Porsche: Origin of the Species ($42.30)
There are plenty of great coffee table books about cars. With a quick online search you're sure to find a title that appeals to your gift recipient's specific interest. This one is highly rated on Amazon and features a foreword by Jerry Seinfeld.
Mustang Belt ($25.95)
Know someone who likes Ford Mustangs AND keeping his pants up? Then this gift is a smart choice. The buckle is an authentic seat belt buckle. Also available: Jeep, Volkswagen and Corvette.
Tire Clock ($42.50)
In 1601, Shakespeare wrote, “Why hasn't someone put a clock inside a tire yet?” Well, someone has. And we're sure just about any car lover will appreciate this gift.
NHRA Women's T-Shirt ($30)
Is there a lady in your life who loves fast
cars? Then make sure she can wear this
heather grey t-shirt to her next drag racing event. It features the world-famous NHRA logo in rhinestones.
Transmission Print ($10.95 - $43.95)
This print features a 1927 drawing of a transmission that Henry Ford submitted to the U.S. Patent Office. It's available in seven sizes, from 8.5 x 11 to 24 x 36.
Remote-Controlled Ferrari ($29.99)
It's not every day you can buy a Ferrari for under 40 bucks. This would be a fun gift for both kids and kids at heart. And you don't need to add it to your insurance policy.
When it comes to buying tires, no one wants to make a snap decision.
So, to give yourself plenty of time to make an informed choice, start researching new tires when your current tires have 4/32nds of an inch of tread left. We'll be happy to measure your tread depth for you, or you can insert a quarter head-first in between each row of tire tread. If you can see any space above George Washington's head, it's time to start shopping.
While you do have lots of options when choosing tires, we suggest buying the same type and size that came as original equipment on your vehicle. Check your owner's manual for that information or give us a call and we'll be glad to look it up for you.
What to Consider When Buying Tires
Prioritize your tire search by first looking for models that keep you and your passengers safe. Short stopping distance, good handling, and a resistance to hydroplaning are all important characteristics.
Then, rank these qualities in order of importance:
You can check price, availability and tread life, plus speed and load ratings with our online tire selector. And if you'd like to kick the tires - literally or figuratively - stop by the Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location near you.
By the way, to help your tires last longer, let us check their pressure once a month. (Nitrogen will keep your tires properly inflated longer and delivers other benefits, too. More details here.)
You should also have your tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. That helps them wear evenly, extending tread life.
RELATED POSTS: Which Type of Tires Should You Buy?
The Basics of Road Hazard Protection
New Tires: Front or Rear Axle?
Your car will often give you signals when something is about to go wrong. If you know what some of those sounds, smells and other signs mean you may be able to prevent an unexpected breakdown and even a more expensive repair bill.
A Squeal or Whining Noise
Do you hear that high-pitched squeal when applying the brakes? If so, you may need new brake pads or shoes. The noise is intentional and is there to let you know that your brakes need attention.
A Sweet Smell
A Rotten Egg Smell
Fluids Under Your Vehicle
Tire and Wheel Sounds
What about a vibration or rumbling noise coming from one or more tires? It may be caused by the wear bars in your tires. They're there to let you know when a tire has reached the end of its service life.
Pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location and describe your vehicle's symptoms to us. We'll diagnose the problem and provide whatever type of care your car needs. You can also make an online appointment here.
Planning ahead for the holidays? If you'll be driving to see family or friends, run down this quick list first to make sure your car is road ready.
1) Check your tire pressure and condition. You'll find the proper pressure for your tires in your vehicle's owner's manual or on the driver's side door jamb. You should also inspect the tread depth, and then check each tire for cuts, bulges, exposed belts and any other problems. Make sure your spare tire's in good shape, too, and that your jack is in proper working order.
2) What about your wiper blades? Do they leave streaks or make an unpleasant noise as they move across your windshield? Is the rubber blade separating from the metal arm? If so, replace them soon. Also, top off your windshield wiper fluid.
3) Check the engine oil, as well as your brake, power steering and transmission fluids. Fill as needed. (Visit our Coupons page to save on your next oil change.)
4) Inspect and, if necessary, change your air, fuel and PCV filters.
5) If you're positive the engine is cool, check the level and effectiveness of your engine coolant. Unless your owner's manual recommends otherwise, top off the fluid with a 50/50 mix of water and coolant.
6) Inspect your belts for nicks and cuts and to make sure they're tight. Check the hoses for bulges, leaks and other signs of future failure.
7) Take a look at your battery for cracks, leaks and any other signs of damage. Check the cables for exposed wire and loose connections. If a white powder has caked around the terminals, remove it by pouring on a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Car batteries can be very dangerous, so wear safety glasses and rubber gloves when working around them. (Here's a coupon for a free battery test and a 15% savings on a new battery.)
With a little knowledge and a few basic tools you can handle all of the tasks above by yourself. But the question is this: will you actually do the work?
Thank you in advance for the opportunity to serve you and your family. Be safe. And happy holidays!
A haunted battery. Shockingly old shock absorbers. A possessed cooling system.
They can all lead to nightmarish road trips and bloodcurdling commutes, as well as unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.
Yes, car parts can die of old age, but they can also be killed by neglect or a lack of regular service.
Proper care and regular vehicle maintenance can save you trick-or-treat bags full of money over the years and keep your vehicle reliably on the road.
RELATED POST: Are You Driving on Zombie Tires?
1) Road Hazard Protection is basically an insurance policy that protects you against the premature loss of one or more of your tires.
2) That protection applies to the person who originally bought the covered tire. The tire must have only been used on the vehicle for which it was originally purchased.
3) For Road Hazard Protection to remain in effect, the tire must have at least 2/32nds of an inch of tread remaining. Tires with less tread are considered dangerous and should be replaced immediately.
4) We fix repairable punctures free of charge, but certain types of damage are not protected, including that which results from fire, theft, vandalism, deliberate abuse, collision, the use of tire chains, mechanical defects of the vehicle, and other non-road hazards.
5) Any tire damage that results from improper mounting by anyone who is not a trained tire professional is not covered. A tire and the rim assembly can actually explode if the tire is mounted improperly.
6) As the owner, you must also take good care of your tires. That includes checking the pressure once per month and maintaining the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure. You must also keep your tires balanced and your wheels properly aligned in order to prevent premature tire wear.
7) When you purchase Road Hazard Protection, keep your receipt and your road hazard protection document(s). If you ever need to make a claim, please bring both documents back to us.
If we can answer any questions about Road Hazard Protection, call or visit any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location. We’ll be glad to help.
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