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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.
Car Care MonthSpring cleaning may not be your favorite way to spend a day, but isn’t it nice when the work is done and your house is fresh and tidy? 
You can enjoy that same feeling with your vehicle. 
April is National Car Care Month. It’s the Car Care Council’s annual reminder to check your vehicle to make sure it’s safe, running efficiently and - well - fresh and tidy. 
For instance…
How’s your tire tread? If it’s not deep enough to funnel rainwater quickly, you could easily end up hydroplaning and losing control of your car. 
Wipers working? Streaks, that annoying chattering sound, and a lack of full contact with the windshield may mean it’s time for new wiper blades and a better view of the road. 
Are you cool? If your air conditioning isn’t gettin’ the job done now, it’ll be worthless by July. Stop in now for an AC system repair or re-charge.  
Ridin’ rough? If the drive into work seems a little bumpier these days or your stopping distance has increased, you might need new shocks or struts
Any other noises, rattles, shimmies or shakes? If so, pull into one of our Southern California locations or make an online appointment right now.
After we’ve got her back in shape, treat your car to a professional wash, wax and detailing. Just like taking good care of your home pays off, maintaining your vehicle keeps its resale value high, and makes driving safer and more enjoyable. 

Tire Sale
The rain kept a lot of people away last weekend! So, we’ve extended our Presidents’ Day Tire Sale for one more day!

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.

Find your location here. And find your tires here.

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.

RELATED POSTS: February Rain Can Mean Trouble for Drivers
Are You Driving on Zombie Tires?
Driving Could Get Very Dangerous in Southern California

Drive in the right lane

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.

RELATED POSTS: This is Why I Had an Accident
If There's a Teenage Driver in Your Home, You Need to Know This
What You Can Do to Prevent Auto Accidents

Save on Gas
Want to save more money at the pump? Stop paying for premium gas if your car doesn't need it.

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.

(Learn how to save money while driving in and around Los Angeles.)

“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. 
Gift Idea Porsche BookWe 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. 
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. 
Gift Idea Mustang Belt and BuckleMustang 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 CorvetteGift Idea Tire Clock
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 T SHIRT
Gift Idea Transmission PrintIs 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. 
Gift Idea Remote Controlled Ferrari
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.
New Tires from Mountain View
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: 

  • Appearance
  • Brand
  • Price
  • Ride Comfort
  • Rolling Resistance
  • Tread Life
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.

Vehicle SymptomsYour 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
Does it come from under the hood and get louder or higher-pitched the faster you drive? If so, it likely means that one of your belts is about to break. And since many newer vehicles use just one belt to drive the alternator, AC compressor, power steering and water pump, the car will pretty much shut down if that belt breaks.

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
If you notice a sweet scent around your vehicle, you may have a cooling system leak. The smell comes from the ethylene glycol in the coolant. The problem could be a leaky hose or even a crack in your radiator. If you don't take care of the problem, your engine could overheat.

A Rotten Egg Smell
A dying battery may give off a gas that smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. Not only will a dead battery leave you stranded, but the escaping acid can also damage other parts within your engine compartment. So, have your smelly battery checked and/or replaced as soon as possible.

Fluids Under Your Vehicle
A reddish puddle under your vehicle can signal a leaky transmission. Brown or black spots under the engine suggest an oil leak. And a green puddle at the front of your car indicates a coolant leak. By the way, even a small amount of anti-freeze/coolant is lethal when ingested by pets and children, so it's especially important to remove it from your driveway or garage floor.

Tire and Wheel Sounds
Have you noticed a sound coming from one of your tires that seems especially loud at certain speeds? You might need a new wheel bearing.

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.

Check Tire PressurePlanning 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.

Check Engine Coolant5) 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?

If not, pull into any Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location or make an appointment. We'll take care of the vehicle inspection and any necessary maintenance tasks for you.

Thank you in advance for the opportunity to serve you and your family. Be safe. And happy holidays!

Is Your Muffler Dead
Nothing is more terrifying during the Halloween season - or any time of year - than dead, decaying automotive parts.

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.

That's why it's important to pull into your favorite Mountain View Tire and Auto Service location now and then for a free 12-point inspection, plus regular oil changes and tire rotations.

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.

Find all our locations here or make an online appointment.

RELATED POST: Are You Driving on Zombie Tires? 

Schedule an Appointment with us today!

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