Auto Repair & Tires Blog
MVP stands for Maximum Vehicle Performance. When you pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service store in Southern California, our car care experts can provide this exclusive service for you free of charge.
The MVP Check includes four steps.
1) We'll look for brake drag. It's a problem that has many causes, including corroded calipers, broken springs, an aging master cylinder, and frozen emergency brake cables. They can all result in brakes that don't fully disengage once you take your foot off the pedal. That “dragging” of the brake shoe can lead to lower gas mileage, as well as premature brake wear.
2) We'll check your tire pressure. Tires can lose two pounds of pressure per month even when there's nothing technically wrong with them. If just one of your tires is underinflated by 10 pounds per square inch, your fuel economy will be cut by about 3.3%. If all four tires are each 10 pounds low, your MPG could easily drop by 10% or more.
3) We'll inspect your air filter. A dirty air filter can rob you of horsepower and, according to some sources, as much as 10% of your gas mileage. Over a year, that could cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted gasoline. That's a whole lot more than the price of a new filter.
4) We'll check your wheel alignment. Whenever your wheels and tires aren't perfectly parallel with each other and perpendicular to the road, your vehicle has to work harder than it should to move forward. It uses more fuel in the process, too. Improperly aligned wheels also shorten your tires' service life.
Yes, there are other considerations that affect your vehicle’s performance and how much gas it uses, from the weight and design of your car, to the speed you drive, even weather and road conditions. But, after your free MVP Check at Mountain View Tire and Auto Service, you'll have the most up-to-date information about four of the controllable factors that impact fuel economy and performance.
Yes, the destination is the goal, but driving there adds another level of pleasure to the experience. It’s that connection to the road and the land. It’s the ability to get out and explore at any point along the journey.
It’s even about delayed gratification. When you take a few days to reach your destination, your anticipation is allowed to build in a slower, more exciting way that can’t be matched simply by hopping on a plane.
To really enjoy traveling long distances, though, you need confidence in your vehicle. Driving a car that you know has older tires or mechanical problems can be stressful, especially when you’re far from home.
"I want to give a big thank you to the guys at the Tarzana location. I truly appreciated the quick service that kept my road trip on schedule. Pretty amazing."
We understand how important your vacation time is, and we don’t want car trouble wasting any of it. So, pull into the Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location near you for a free 12-point inspection and any specific repairs or maintenance you know your car needs. You can also make an online appintment.
Regular, proactive car care helps keep you and your family safer, and lets you enjoy more of life’s travels together.
Have a wonderful trip, wherever you’re headed.
Do you know how to change a flat tire?
If you do, that question may seem a little insulting. After all, there was a time when changing flat tires was just part of driving.
Now we have roadside service, run-flat tires, and Fix-a-Flat, so pulling a damaged tire and replacing it with a spare is not something most people do themselves anymore.
Still, it's good to know how to change a tire in case you don't have easy access to help. The video above provides a clear, easy-to-follow lesson.
But before you can replace a flat, you need to know if your car even has a spare tire. Some vehicle manufacturers don't provide them anymore in order to cut costs and reduce weight.
So, first, look to see if there's a spare in your trunk or under the vehicle. You'll need a jack and a tire iron, too. You may even want to carry a flathead screwdriver to pop off the hubcap. Then, inspect the spare to see if it's properly inflated and in good condition. Check for sufficient tread depth and any cuts or gouges in the sidewall.
Spend a little time this weekend to make sure your spare tire and other equipment are ready for an emergency. Practice using your jack, too, so you're confident you know how it works. Then, share this information with members of your family who've never changed their own tire.
A few weeks ago, I was driving into work. The usual commute. But a dense fog was making the trip difficult. In fact, I almost drove through a four-way stop because my visibility was so limited.
Fog is a low-lying cloud, so it’s no wonder that, when it rolls in, it can make our roads even more dangerous for you and your fellow drivers.
A few suggestions…
1) Slow down. When your visibility is reduced because of thick fog, you have much less time to react to obstacles in the road.
2) Allow more space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you can’t see more than a few car lengths ahead, again, compensate by giving yourself more time to react.
3) Turn on your hazard lights. Those “emergency flashers” make you more visible to other drivers, helping them to see you sooner.
4) Roll down both of your front windows as you pull up to a stop sign. When fog hampers your vision, you need to rely more on your other senses to stay safe. With your windows down and the radio off, you’ll hear oncoming vehicles. If a car sounds like it’s not slowing down, the driver may not realize he’s approaching an intersection.
5) Use your GPS. Even if you’re on familiar roads, thick fog can disorient you and play games with your perception of space by blocking the visual cues you rely on when driving (street signs, landmarks, etc.). Your GPS will keep you notified about your upcoming turn.
6) Eliminate distractions. Don’t text or email, or fiddle with your coffee. Keeping your focus on the road is always important, but especially when you're driving in fog.
During one long weekend each year, we lower the price of every tire in every one of our stores. It's our three-day Presidents' Day Tire Sale, and this year it runs from Saturday, February 17 through Monday, February 19, 2018.
If your tire tread is low, if you want improved handling or a quieter ride, or if you're ready for better-looking tires, stop into any Mountain View store in Southern California. (We'd suggest making an appointment online or by phone first, though.)
Along with saving money on your new tires, you'll pay less for installation, wheel balancing and alignments during our three-day sale. Ask about nitrogen tire inflation, too, to keep your tires properly inflated longer.
And you'll have lots of options. Choose from 17 tire brands, including Goodyear, Cooper, Dunlop, Kelly, Continental, Pirelli, Hankook and many others. Even if we have to special order your tires, you'll still enjoy the sale price.
Not sure if you need new tires yet? Pull in. We'll measure your tread depth for you, visually inspect your sidewalls for cuts and other damage, and check your tire pressure - all free of charge.
If you could give just one gift to express your love for someone this Valentine’s Day, what would it be?
Flowers? Candy? A fancy dinner?
We’d like to suggest an alternative: new tires. Or a brake job. Or maybe a set of headlights or wiper blades.
Those may not seem like romantic gifts at first, but think about this: by making sure your special someone’s car is safe, you’re letting her know how important her safety is to you, and that you want her around for a long time to come.
Does the love of your life put off car maintenance or repair because it’s inconvenient or takes too long? By handling the task for him, you’ll save him time, so he can spend it the way he wants.
We understand that automotive service isn’t sexy, but it is necessary now and then. And when you give it as a gift, you express your feelings in a real and practical way.
Then, when the vehicle is running its best, you can take off together on a romantic weekend getaway.
It's easy to put off a task or necessary purchase when there's no immediate consequence.
But consequences may be coming soon if your tire tread is too low.
Since we don't get much rain in Southern California, your tires don't have to funnel large amounts of water very often. But February is typically our rainiest month of the year with an average of 3.68 inches.
So, if your tire tread is too low, you could easily hydroplane on a rain-soaked highway and lose control of your vehicle. That can be a scary and expensive experience. And for some people, it will be fatal.
Please don't wait for the rains to come to have your tires checked. Pull up to any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location as soon as possible so we can measure your tread depth. While we're at it, we'll check your tire pressure and inspect the condition of your tires. All free of charge.
Invest the few minutes it takes to keep your passengers, your fellow drivers and yourself safer on the road. It's time well spent.
So, you're going to welcome the new year at your favorite club. Or maybe you'll celebrate at a restaurant or a friend's party.
But since you know you'll be driving, you'll only have a few drinks.
Cool, right? Maybe not.
When it comes to blood alcohol content, the legal limit in California is .08%. But you can be charged with D.U.I. even if your B.A.C. is lower than that. The arresting officer can decide if you were showing signs of impairment behind the wheel, such as reckless operation, or driving too fast or too slowly.
Having a D.U.I. on your record is costly enough, but here's the real eye-opener: of the 10,497 U.S. traffic deaths that involved alcohol last year, more than 2,000 of them were caused by drivers with a B.A.C. of .01 to .07%.
That means that just one drink might be enough to turn your car into a killing machine.
One drink and you could take a life.
One drink and your life will be forever changed.
Please, whenever you know alcohol will be a part of your celebration, make arrangements to get home safely: call a cab or a ride service or sleep at a friend's house.
It's your responsibility.
It’s true: synthetic oil changes cost more than conventional oil changes.
But, it’s important to consider what you and your vehicle get in return for that extra upfront cost.
Synthetic oils have a service life of up to 20,000 miles. That’s up to five times longer than conventional oils. In other words, you'd only need one synthetic oil change for every four or five conventional oil changes.
Synthetic oils are specially formulated to provide better protection against friction and oil-related problems, such as oxidation. They also contain detergents and other additives that help your engine run better.
Full synthetic oils are also more effective at preventing engine deposits, including sludge that can form when driving in colder temperatures.
So, yes, the initial price of a synthetic oil change is higher, but you'll typically recoup that extra cost and maybe even more value through your vehicle’s improved performance, a cleaner engine, and longer intervals between oil changes.
Today's vehicles are sophisticated, computer-controlled machines. But even if you're not an ASE-certified technician, there are still a few auto service and maintenance tasks you can tackle yourself - if you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty.
1) Checking tire pressure. This is as easy as it gets. All you need is a reliable pressure gauge and knowledge of your vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire pressure. You'll find that info in your owner's manual or possibly on the driver's door jamb. Check the pressure in all four tires and your spare at least once each month. And don't overfill a tire to compensate for a slow leak. Instead, have the tire repaired as quickly as possible.
2) Checking fluid levels. This is simple, too. Check your car's engine oil, brake fluid and power steering fluid with the engine off, and your transmission fluid with the engine on. One warning: any time you're working under the hood with the engine running, take care not to get your tie, scarf, or any other clothing or long jewelry caught in the fan or any belts.
3) Cleaning the battery. Do you see a white or light blue powdery or crusty substance around your battery terminals? That's corrosion, and if enough of it builds up, it can prevent your car from starting. The good news is that it's easily removed. Just scrub it away with a wire brush, or pour a mixture of warm water and baking soda over the terminals and the corrosion should disappear. Remember, batteries contain dangerous chemicals, so it's always wise to wear gloves and safety glasses when working with or around them.
4) Replacing the air filter. A dirty air filter can lower your gas mileage and affect acceleration, but in most vehicles the filter is pretty easy to change. Read your owner's manual to find its location. Then, check the air filter every three months for obvious dirt or discoloration, or if the engine misfires or makes unusual sounds, if you notice black exhaust, if you smell gasoline when starting the car, or if the “check engine” light comes on.
5) Changing windshield wipers. Depending on how often you use them, wipers typically last six to twelve months. You'll know they need to be replaced when the wiper no longer makes contact with all of the glass, if they start leaving streaks on your windshield, or when they make an unpleasant noise while in use. To replace the wiper blade, follow the instructions on the package.
Sure, it's likely you can handle all of that basic automotive maintenance, but if you're too busy or you just forget, pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location. We're here to provide complete automotive service seven days a week.
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