Auto Repair & Tires Blog
There are plenty of interesting numbers associated with cars. Here are just a few.
1) Los Angeles County is home to 10.16 million people and 7.76 million vehicles.
2) Of the 50 U.S. cities with the highest number of vehicles per household, 36 are in California. On average, there are 1.8 vehicles per American home. Murrieta, California tops the list of cities with 2.36 vehicles per address.
3) At any given time, the tires on a typical family car only contact about 100 square inches of the road. That space is about the same as your two feet placed side by side.
4) Did you know that electric cars are not a new idea? The electric motor dates to the 1820s and the first practical electric vehicles appeared in the late 1850s. The technology continued to develop through the early 1900s when cheap gas made vehicles with a combustion engine more appealing.
5) The first parking lot in Los Angeles opened in 1917. Today, the area's nearly 19 million parking spaces take up 14% of Los Angeles County’s land.
6) You are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash if you text while driving. While looking at your phone for just five seconds, you can drive the distance of a football field.
7) More than 95.6 million vehicles were produced around the world in 2018. More than 25 million of those were commercial vehicles.
8) Think a gallon of gas is expensive? A Starbucks Venti Latte is $4.15. Based on that price, a gallon of the beverage would cost you $26.56.
If you’re like us, you need reminders now and then: smartphone alarms, a to-do list, an old-school string around the finger.
And that’s exactly what National Tire Safety Week is - a reminder of just how important it is to take care of the tires on all your vehicles. Or, you can let us do it for you.
“Spending just a few minutes each month on maintenance can make all the difference in your tires’ safety, [service] life and performance,” according to the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), the organization behind Tire Safety Week. “You don’t need to be an expert mechanic. Just stick to the essentials.”
To remember those essentials, think of the acronym P.A.R.T. It stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread.
Alignment - When your tires are perfectly aligned, they roll down the road easier with less resistance and less wear. Learn more.
Rotation - Strategically changing the position of your tires on your vehicle every 6,000 to 8,000 miles helps them wear evenly, which allows them to last longer. Learn more.
Tread - So much of caring for your tires is about extending tread life. When the tread is just 1/16th of an inch deep, the tire needs to be replaced.
National Tire Safety Week 2019 only runs from May 20th through May 27th, but we’ll be glad to check your pressure, tread depth and tire condition free of charge any time you visit one of our Southern California locations.
Driving can be risky business, primarily because of all the variables you may encounter: changing road and weather conditions, the unpredictability of other drivers, even the possibility of your own vehicle’s mechanical or tire failure.
Also, there’s one type of driving environment you might not consider dangerous, but it can be. Tens of thousands of accidents occur each year in parking lots and parking garages.
One reason why: distractions. A survey found that more than 60% of people questioned feel comfortable programming their GPS and about half would text, send an email or use social media while driving through a parking lot or garage.
To reduce your risk of an accident, treat parking lots just like the road.
• Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to stop or honk your horn.
Because of your proximity to so many cars, take extra care while driving through parking areas. Remember that young kids can dart from between vehicles in the blink of an eye. And be prepared to stop for backing cars whose drivers may not see you or other oncoming traffic.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th. Whether the woman you’ll be celebrating is your mom or the mother of your child, we have a few car-related gift ideas to consider.
Surround her with beautiful music - Give her a subscription to a satellite radio service for her car. She’ll think of you every time she’s enjoying her favorite channels.
Spend quality time with her - Drive your favorite mom to a scenic spot and treat her to an old-fashioned picnic and a couple hours of relaxing conversation.
Clean it up - Wash and wax her vehicle, vacuum the carpet and seats, and treat the interior surfaces with a protectant. Or, have the car professionally detailed. You might want to fill it up with gas, too.
Fix it up - Bring her car to us so we can perform any necessary service or repairs. She’ll appreciate that you’ve made driving safer for her and her passengers.
Plan a weekend road trip - Would she like to get away on her own or take a friend? Either way, you can make the hotel or B&B reservations. Order a few gift cards from local restaurants, too, plus tickets to a concert or play. Oh, and make sure her favorite flowers are waiting in her room.
Earth Day comes but once a year - each April 22nd - but you can reduce your environmental impact every day you drive by making a few vehicle-related adjustments.
Pull your foot off the gas. As soon as you see a red light in your lane, take your foot off the gas and coast to a stop. It’s called decelerating and it’ll reduce your gas consumption, while prolonging the life of your tires and brakes.
Run as many errands as you can after sundown. There’ll be fewer cars on the road, which means you won’t waste as much gas stuck in traffic. And since the temperature will be lower, you may not need to use your vehicle’s air conditioner.
Carpool to work whenever you can. Then, take that idea one step further: grab a few friends and go grocery shopping together. Think how many car trips that would prevent over the course of a year!
Buy a bike for short trips. Not only is riding great exercise, it’ll save you gas money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Maximize your vehicle’s efficiency. Change your dirty air filter. Make sure your wheels are aligned. Replace those old spark plugs. And check your tire pressure at least once per month. Or, we can take care of all those tasks for you. Just pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service store in Southern California or make an online appointment.
But, putting off scheduled maintenance can cause minor problems to grow worse. For instance, riding on underinflated tires for too long can destroy the tires, even if they’re brand new. And driving when your car is low on oil will do serious damage to your engine.
Even minor problems can make your vehicle more expensive to operate. A dirty air filter, misaligned wheels, old spark plugs and - again - underinflated tires can all cut your gas mileage and cause your engine to work harder than it needs to.
For all those reasons, it’s a good thing there are two Car Care Awareness Months. Each April and October, the special designations remind you to invest some time in your vehicle to keep it running its best for as long as possible. If you’re as busy as we are, you need those reminders now and then.
So, before the summer travel season begins, pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location. We’ll be happy to provide a free 12-point inspection of your vehicle, including a check of your tires, brakes, suspension, shocks, struts, exhaust, air filter, headlights, bulbs, wipers, belts and hoses. We’ll perform a battery test, too.
Happy Car Care Awareness Month! See you soon.
Flying cars? Really?
Maybe not next week, but, yeah, eventually. At least that’s what Goodyear is betting on. In fact, they’re already planning for airborne cars now.
The company debuted its new concept tire, the Aero, at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show in mid-March. Goodyear refers to it as a “two-in-one tire designed for the autonomous flying cars of the future.” It will work “both as a tire for driving on the road and a propeller for flying through the sky.”
The spokes are one of the key elements of the tire’s split personality. Since the Aero does not inflate, the spokes support the weight of the vehicle while its on the road and then serve as fan blades that provide the vertical lift necessary for the vehicle to fly.
The tire also employs magnetic force to create frictionless propulsion. They say that allows for rotating speeds high enough to move the vehicle on the ground and through the air.
Also built into this smart tire: light-based, fiber optic sensors that monitor road conditions and other metrics, plus an embedded A.I. processor to analyze data streams and suggest either driving or flying mode based on traffic conditions.
Science fiction? Right now, sure. But it was Orville Wright of the Wright Brothers who said, "No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris.”
Never say never.
If you, too, could use a quick review of some of California’s road-related regulations, check out this list.
Distracted Driving - You already know it’s illegal to use a cell phone while you’re behind the wheel unless it’s in hands-free mode. But did you realize that drivers under 18 cannot legally use any type of wireless communications device while driving? That includes any two-way messaging device, pager, tablet or laptop.
Bicycles - When driving past a person riding a bike, you must leave at least three feet between your vehicle and the bicycle.
The Move Over Law - Passing a police car, fire truck, ambulance, tow truck or Caltrans vehicle that’s on the side of the road? State law requires you to slow down and move out of the lane that’s closest to that emergency response vehicle, if it’s safe for you to do so.
Headlights - Sure, you turn on your lights when night falls, but California law also requires you to light up when your windshield wipers are in continuous use and/or when visibility is less than 1,000 feet.
School Buses - When a school bus is displaying flashing red signals and/or a signal arm and has stopped to load or unload children, you must bring your vehicle to a stop whether you’re approaching the bus or in the same lane as the bus. You do not need to stop, however, if the bus is on the opposite side of a divided highway.
Headsets - Since the ability to hear horns, sirens and even voices from outside of your vehicle is so important, wearing headsets or earplugs in both ears while driving is not permitted, unless the device is used to aid hearing.
The storms that passed through our area in mid-February 2019 left plenty of destruction in their wake, including severe damage to many vehicles.
New Channel 3’s Sarah Trott called on Mountain View Tire and Auto Service’s Palm Desert Monterey location for a reaction, as well as advice for drivers dealing with wet roads. See her report below.
Today’s tires are designed and manufactured to last longer than ever before. But to get the most value out of them, you still need to have them rotated.
Tire rotation is a simple idea. Each tire’s position on the vehicle is strategically changed on a regular basis so that the wear is evenly distributed over the surface that rides on the road.
Your tires may need to be moved from side to side or front to back /back to front, or they might need to be re-arranged in a more complicated way. The proper rotation pattern depends on the type and number of tires you have (four or six), and whether your vehicle is front-wheel or rear-wheel drive.
The most difficult aspect of rotating your tires may be remembering to have it done. Just bring your vehicle into a nearby Mountain View location every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or request a tire rotation each time you have an oil change, whichever comes first.
By the way, tire rotations are free if you bought your tires from us or if you have this coupon. See you soon.
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