Auto Repair & Tires Blog
With 30 locations across Southern California, we repair a lot of tires each year! There are some tires we can’t repair, though, but not for lack of knowledge or proper equipment.
To be repaired reliably, any puncture to the tread must be one-quarter inch in diameter or less. And tire damage outside of the tread area cannot be fixed in a way that assures safe operation. The reason: the sidewall area of the tire is subject to so much pressure and flexing during driving that current repair methods don’t provide a long-lasting solution.
These are standard tire repair guidelines that we always follow. They also happen to be recommendations of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA).
• We use a rubber plug to fill the hole, then apply a patch on the inside of the tire to add additional strength to the plug and seal the inner liner. The USTMA says that using a plug without a patch is unacceptable.
• Before repairing a tire, we remove it from the rim. Even if the point of puncture is obvious, we inspect the whole tire for additional damage. We also need to access the inside of the tire to apply the patch.
• Once a tire has been repaired, the same area of the tire cannot be repaired again. Multiple repairs near each other can weaken the structural integrity of the tire.
• Tires with exposed metal belts cannot be repaired and should be removed from the vehicle as soon as possible.
• If you drive too long on an underinflated tire - even if it’s newer - the inside of the tire may start to grind away, leaving rubber particles or dust on the inside. That damage cannot be corrected, and the tire may need to be discarded.
If we can help you with tire repair, tire rotation, wheel balancing, wheel alignment, nitrogen tire inflation, free pressure checks, TPMS service or new tire sales, just pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location.
Americans get rid of a lot of tires each year - many tens of millions, in fact. The majority are recycled as fuel, retreads, roadway construction materials and for other purposes.
But with a little effort, you can re-purpose your old tires and put them to work in different ways around your home, yard or office.
There are many YouTube videos that provide inspiration for various projects or show you how to execute them. We pulled together a few of our favorites.
The first video shows 40 uses for old tires, including number 6 - a cool sink design that would be perfect for a man cave or car-themed restaurant.
In this second video, you’ll learn how to make an ottoman / stool from an old tire. You could also twist this idea a bit to make a coffee table from your passenger car tire or a larger dragster tire, which is called a racing slick. That might make a great gift for the NHRA drag racing fan in your life.
Finally, this video shows you how to convert an old tire into a planter that’s suitable for your deck or patio, as well as a dog bed that even the biggest puppy would have trouble chewing through. Take a look.
In late July 2019, the average price for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles was $3.68. And, of course, it may climb higher.
Gasoline prices fluctuate for many reasons: the cost of crude oil, bad weather that interrupts production, strife in oil-producing nations, etc.
And while there’s nothing you can do to lower the cost per gallon, you do have at least some say in how much gas your vehicle uses.
Your control begins with your tires. Underinflated tires require more energy to roll down the road, so they use more gas. Have the pressure checked at least once per month to make sure your tires are operating as efficiently - and affordably - as possible. We’ll be happy to help, free of charge. Just pull into one of our Southern California locations.
Point in the right direction. If your wheels are even slightly misaligned, they’re wasting gas. Imagine if all four of your tires were installed at a slightly different angle in relation to the road. They would literally be dragged across the road surface, instead of rolling smoothly. And when your tires don’t work together as efficiently as possible, your vehicle uses more gas than it should.
Find your balance. When your wheels aren’t balanced properly, they vibrate - sometimes violently. That vibration is energy that detracts from the forward momentum of your vehicle. Once again, it’s an inefficiency that wastes gasoline.
By the way, underinflation, misalignment and unbalanced wheels all lead to premature tire wear, too. So, the monthly pressure checks, along with balancing and wheel alignments when necessary, are investments that can extend the life of your tires and save you money in the long run.
When temperatures rise during the summer months, your vehicle - and even the passengers inside - can be susceptible to heat-related trouble, some of it potentially deadly.
Tire damage - Under-inflated tires are always dangerous, but especially in summer. Tires that aren't properly inflated tend to overheat easier, which can lead to unexpected failure. And the season's higher air temperatures and hotter roads don't help matters.
We always encourage you to pull into any Mountain View location once each month for a free pressure check, but that's even more important advice during the warmer times of the year.
An overheating engine - Whether it's caused by a low coolant level, a leaking radiator hose, or a faulty thermostat, an overheated engine will force you to shut down your vehicle. If your temperature gauge indicates high heat or if steam begins pouring from under the hood, pull off the road as safely and quickly as possible and turn off the engine.
Never try to open the cap of a steamy radiator, as it can release highly pressurized and dangerously hot fluid that can cause severe burns. Once the engine has cooled, you can add coolant, but only when the engine is running. If the hose is blown or the radiator is damaged enough that it won't hold coolant, have the vehicle towed to the nearest Mountain View location.
Cabin temperature - It happens dozens of times each year: drivers leave pets and even young children in hot cars with the windows rolled up, and as the temperature inside the vehicles rises to intolerable levels, tragic deaths occur.
It takes much less time than you may imagine for the interior of a car to become dangerously hot, so please - never leave any animal or person who is incapable of lowering the windows unattended in any type of vehicle. That includes even an older child or an elderly adult who may have fallen asleep in the car.
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.
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