Don't want us to touch your steering wheel? You may be able to drive your car into the service bay yourself. Click here for details.
Auto Repair & Tires Blog
1) Do you know why tires are black? The rubber used to make them contains carbon black, a material that's also used to create the black pigment of mascara, as well as printing ink and toner.
2) Rubber isn't the only material used to make tires. In fact, there are more than 200 materials in each tire, including steel wire, cobalt, titanium, sulfur and zinc oxide, plus polyester, rayon and nylon.
3) About 290 million tires are discarded in the U.S. each year. Fortunately, 80% are recycled. Many old tires are re-purposed for use as an industrial fuel source, in asphalt or as a gravel substitute. Old tires can also be shredded and used as garden mulch and wastewater filters.
4) Tires are relatively large compared to your vehicle's other components, but only an area about the size of a postcard touches the road surface at any time.
5) You may already know that NHRA Top Fuel dragsters use a lot of fuel in the 4 or 5 seconds it takes them to drive a quarter-mile (about 23 gallons), but they also go through tires quickly. The giant "racing slicks" as they're called must be changed every four to six runs, which means they're only used for about 2 miles on the track.
6) Tires that are six years old or older are more likely to fail due to tread separation, sidewall bulges or other problems.
7) At 70 miles per hour, tires with 1/32" of tread will take 300 feet - or 18.3 car lengths - to stop on a wet road. That's almost twice as long as it takes new tires to stop under the same conditions.
If you don't keep an eye on your weight, you may develop some dangerous health problems down the road.
The same basic rule applies to the tires on your vehicle. If you don't keep an eye on their condition, they may put you at risk for a serious accident.
National Tire Safety Week 2020 is May 18th through the 24th. The event was created by the Rubber Manufacturers Association to remind drivers how important it is to have their tires checked for low tread, uneven wear, proper pressure, and any signs of damage.
If you don't think a quick tire inspection is worth your time at least once per month, think about how much time you'll spend in a repair shop, in a court room, and maybe even in a hospital if your tire blows out at 70 miles per hour.
Please use the occasion of National Tire Safety Week to pull into a Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location near you or schedule an online appointment. We'll be happy to check your tires for signs of potential problems. Then, stop in once a month and we'll check your tire pressure for you. It's one of the quickest and most effective steps you can take to maximize your safety on the road.
Shock absorbers and struts are essential to the safe, smooth operation of your vehicle.
Here are a few signs you may need new shocks and/or struts.
Dives - If you brake hard to stop quickly the front end of your car dives toward the ground.
Squats - When you accelerate quickly from a dead stop, the back end of the vehicle squats or dips, while the front end rises.
Bounces - After you hit a bump in the road your tires react by bouncing.
Instability - When traveling at higher speeds, your vehicle doesn’t feel stable. The body may move up and down or roll from side to side.
Tires - If your shocks or struts are worn you may notice that the tread on one or more of your tires is cupping or wearing irregularly in some other way.
Fluid - Do you see fluid on your driveway or garage floor near the spots where your tires normally are? If so, the seals on your shocks may be broken and leaking.
New shocks will make a drastic improvement in how your car responds to braking and steering, which is important for the safety of everyone in your vehicle. Stop in for an inspection or make an online appointment.
By the way, you should have your shocks and struts checked regularly. And since each vehicle and driver are different, the parts should be replaced as their condition warrants, never based on mileage alone.
Fuel additives are specially formulated to enhance the effectiveness of the gasoline you put in your vehicle. Some additives are already included in the gas you buy. Others are sold separately and poured directly into the fuel tank.
Many additives claim to increase your vehicle's fuel economy, but there's no solid proof that they deliver on that promise. Fuel additives do offer other benefits, though. They prevent the buildup of sludge and other deposits that can compromise engine performance. They also lubricate the working components of the engine to reduce wear and tear.
Before you use a fuel additive, talk with us about the types that are best for your specific engine and the age of your vehicle.
While additives can help, the best way to prolong the life of your vehicle is to follow your manufacturer's maintenance schedule.
Despite the spread of the coronavirus, you still need to drive at least occasionally. That means your vehicle needs to be serviced or repaired now and then. Even the U.S. government recognizes that, which is why they consider ours an essential business.
Here’s an abridged version of the official word:
“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has developed an Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce advisory list…to [ensure] continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”
Among those on the essential workers list: “Employees who repair and maintain vehicles...”
We mention that for two reasons:
1) You have “official permission” to venture out if your vehicle needs to be repaired or serviced.
Here are a few examples.
Two Ways Skipping Oil Changes Can Cost You
Motor oil contains detergents that clean your engine. When the miles add up, those detergents break down, allowing carbon and sludge to accumulate. As a result, a part known as the IVT control solenoid can become plugged. Replacing it costs a lot more than an oil change.
But mileage isn’t the only concern. If too much time passes between oil changes, acids can build up in the oil, which can lead to even more serious engine damage. So, even if you only drive your vehicle a few hundred miles per month, have the oil changed at least once per year.
A Quick Way to Ruin a Tire
Think how you’d feel wearing tight pants on a hot summer day. The word “chaffing” might come to mind. Your tire experiences the same sort of damage if you drive on it too long while it’s underinflated.
Because the air pressure isn’t substantial enough to push the tire outward, the sidewall folds in on itself, which creates more heat and friction than usual. That causes the tire to start rubbing itself away. Evidence of the damage will show up on the inside of the tire as handfuls of rubber pellets or dust.
Do other members of your family drive your car?
Do you let a friend borrow your vehicle now and then?
Do you share carpooling duties a few times each week?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, your car could be full of germs from different sources.
Oh, and don’t forget about the bacteria and other microscopic chums that even you spread throughout your vehicle!
All of this means that you have a good reason to clean your car’s interior at least once a day.
In the era of coronavirus and COVID-19, you may already be vigilant about wiping down counters and phones at home and work, but the passenger cabin of your car can also be a breeding ground for contagious trouble.
In fact, a study by CarRentals.com found that steering wheels are four times germier than a public toilet seat! If you eat in your car, that tidbit might be especially disturbing.
Other hot spots include the gear shift, parking brake and door handles, window cranks, seat belt buckles, and all those buttons and knobs on the dashboard.
Stay away, though, from harsher cleaning chemicals, like bleach and hydrogen peroxide, as well as the ammonia that’s found in many glass cleaners. They can damage vinyl surfaces and upholstery.
Yes, it’s an effort, but a little extra attention each day can help to keep you, your family and your friends healthier now and down the road.
As an essential business, all Mountain View Tire and Auto Service locations are open to continue serving you and your loved ones throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.
You need your vehicle to get to work, to get food for your family, to get to the doctor’s office. And if that vehicle requires emergency service or even some type of protective maintenance like an oil change, you can count on us to help. (See how putting off required vehicle service can cost you money.)
If you'd don't want anyone else to touch your steering wheel, you may be able to drive into one of our service bays yourself. (For the safety of our customers and employees, we reserve the right to limit that offer.) If we need to test drive your vehicle after repairing it, we will wipe down the surfaces we touched as thoroughly as possible.
We have reduced our hours slightly. Temporarily, we're open Monday through Saturday 8am to 5pm. Our Sunday hours will stay the same: 8am to 4pm. (Our Murrieta store at 41590 Date Street and our Fontana store at 17040 South Highland Avenue are still closed on Sundays.)
Please know that we’re wiping down surfaces more than usual, replacing handshakes with friendly waves, and asking our team members to stay home if they notice any symptoms.
And while you’re here, we urge you to use our hand sanitizer, push open doors with your forearm, and keep a little distance between yourself and everyone else in the room. That’s just safe behavior these days.
Thank you in advance for your help in shutting down coronavirus. And thank you for allowing us to serve you. We appreciate that opportunity and your trust.
The bad news: adding a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy will raise your premiums.
The good news: there are steps you and your young driver can take to lower not only the risk of accidents, but the cost of car insurance.
Here are some ideas from Insurance.com.
Take a defensive driving course - Teenagers cost more to insure because they’re more likely to have accidents. If your teen makes the formal effort of taking additional driver’s training, he statistically becomes less of a risk. Many insurance companies will reduce your premium when you pass an approved defensive driving course.
Earn the good student discount - With insurance rates, it all boils down to the stats and, according to the numbers, teens who maintain a B average or better in school are less likely to make a claim. So, if your young driver needs more encouragement to hit the books, tell her about the average 10% discount she might enjoy on car insurance with good grades. Check with your provider for more details.
Drive a slower, safer vehicle - It may not be as sexy as a new sports car, but an older sedan will likely prove to be a safer ride for your teen. As a result, it will cost less to insure.
According to Insurance.com, adding a 16-year-old male driver to your auto policy will bump your premiums by 160%. Adding a female of the same age will cost 125% more. So, anything you can do to reduce your financial liability will likely be worth the effort.
You're sitting in traffic when you notice your car's temperature gauge. The needle is moving to the right, which means your engine is getting hotter.
Vehicles typically overheat in hot weather or while in stop-and-go traffic for long periods, but your engine can run hot anywhere and any time of the year if your coolant level is low or because of electrical problems or a faulty thermostat. Knowing how to react properly to overheating can help you avoid expensive repairs and may even save your engine.
A Few Tips
1) When your air conditioning is on and your car begins to overheat, roll down the windows and turn off the A.C. You'll immediately reduce the load on your engine and help it to cool.
2) If you're stuck in traffic, put your transmission into neutral or park and gently rev the engine. That will force more water and air through the cooling system and help some of the engine heat to dissipate.
3) Turn on your heater and fan to blow heat away from the engine. It may make you a bit uncomfortable, but it will protect your engine.
4) If the engine starts to boil over, pull off the road as soon as it's safe to do so. Then, shut down the vehicle.
5) Never open the hood if you see steam. Let your car cool down for at least 30 minutes before attempting any work under the hood. Use a cloth when removing the radiator cap. And remember that hot coolant is highly pressurized. If you open the radiator cap too soon, fluid will spray out, putting you and others at risk for serious burns.
6) Finally, never add cold water or coolant to a hot engine; it can crack the engine block.
It's important to see us as quickly as possible so we can determine the cause of the overheating and correct the problem. Make an online appointment or visit any of the Mountain View locations in Southern California.
Many people aren't aware of their warranty's expiration date, or how much mileage they can have on their vehicle before the warranty becomes null and void - until it's too late. Here are a few smart tips.
Read, read, read. We can't stress this enough: read your warranty. It usually comes with your owner's manual, which can be a daunting collection of information itself. But take the time to understand at least the basics of your warranty. It includes important information, such as the mileage expiration, the ins and outs of parts coverage, and the recommended service intervals. If you've misplaced your vehicle warranty, check for a copy online.
Stay current with scheduled maintenance. Don't put off regular service, such as oil changes, radiator flushes, air filter replacements, tire pressure checks and others. Most warranties require that you provide evidence of regular upkeep when making a claim, so keep your receipts, too.
Don't be afraid to complain. All aftermarket or recycled parts should be covered under warranties, and they're a common reason why some warranties are initially denied. But under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, it's illegal for companies to deny warranties on that basis, unless the part was defective and caused additional problems in the vehicle.
If the dealership where you bought your vehicle is denying your warranty claim and you know that you meet the coverage requirements (or even if you aren't sure), call the customer service number listed on your warranty.
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