Where the Rubber Meets the Road. Choosing the Right Tire for You!

RightTires_cc_0-1

You’ve heard the expression “where the rubber meets the road”? The phrase basically states that it’s the most important point for whatever it is you’re discussing. In our case, we’re discussing actual rubber, tires. Our tires are the shoes of our vehicles. You wouldn’t go walk around in the snow in flip-flops or on the beach in snow boots. Having the right tire for you is vital. It will prolong the life of your vehicle and help protect you from the rough elements of the road.

Here is a guide that will help you through this process:

Check the tread: Tires become unsafe when the tread is worn. Check your tires’ tread every few months to make sure they’re in good shape. The tires are worn when they reach the 1/16-inch mark. If you don’t have a gauge, you can use the penny test: Put a penny into the tread. If Lincoln’s head is visible, you need to shop for new tires.

Get in the rotation: Extend the life of your tires by rotating them. Your front tires will typically wear faster than rear ones. Parallel parking and maneuvering puts pressure on those tires. In front-wheel-drive cars, this is accentuated because these wheels move the vehicle. Rotating the front and back tires will equalize tread wear.

tire rotation chart

Buy fresh: Look at the sidewall of a tire for a series of letters and numbers beginning with DOT (for Department of Transportation). The last four digits of the designation indicate the week and year of manufacture. For example, 1510 means the tire was made during the 15th week of 2010. Don’t purchase tires that are more than a few years old.

Choose the right tires for you: There are three basic types of tires—car, truck and winter—and each category has a few choices. Ask your mechanic or dealer if the tires that came standard with your vehicle are the best ones for you. Some common categories:

  • All-season tires
    They come in sizes for almost every vehicle. They are for drivers who want year-round traction, long tread wear and a comfortable ride. They typically lack the precise handling and grip of performance tires.
  • Performance all-season tires
    They generally provide better handling and braking, and usually have a lower profile (shorter sidewall height) and a wider footprint. They have a higher speed rating.
  • Ultra performance tires
    These tires are designed to provide good handling and responsive steering in wet and dry conditions, but the tread tends to wear out quickly, and ride comfort can be a compromise.
  • Winter tires
    If you drive often in wintry or icy conditions, then winter tires might be the right choice for you. The tread is designed to bite into snow and ice, and the rubber is formulated to stay pliable at freezing temperatures, so they typically wear faster than all season tires. A mountain or snowflake symbol on the sidewall indicates the tires passed an industry test for severe snow use.

Whichever tire type is right for you, the most important thing—where the rubber meets the road—is safety. Make sure your tires are in good shape and that you choose the best one for your driving style and conditions.

Sources: Nationwide, Google Images, Fox, Toyo Tires


If you would like to get regular updates from us, you can sign up to receive our emails here:





The Deluxe Aluminum Kit

Part 3 of the “Pre-Packed Kits” Series!
By: Cheri Shue

Take your shop to the next level with this deluxe aluminum kit. If your shop plans on doing aluminum repair on all vehicle makes and models then this is the kit for you! Every tool you are sure to use on aluminum intense vehicles is sure to be in this kit. Unlike the other two kits, this one is an expansion of the already Ford Approved Dent-Fix Aluspot Repair Station. You will get a total of 22 hand tools and the station, which has a 3rd row drawer for storage. Shops considering an Aluspot or equivalent work station can save a step in preparation by getting this!

PPK-AL-KIT-3

The deluxe aluminum kit includes:

DTF-DF-900DX – Aluspot Aluminum Repair Station(1)
• DTF-DF-LP21 – 3Pc Anchor Bite Locking Pliers(2)
• AHN-63916 – 1/4” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63920 – 5/16” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63924 – 3/8” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• ANG-GR11205BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 5”(2)
• ANG-GR11210BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 10”(2)
• DYN-21039 – 6” 3/16” Orbit Vacuum Da(1)
DYN-18100P – 3/4” File Belt Sander W/30 Belts(1)
• FOW-72-483-003 – Deburring Tool(1)
• MAR-39058 – 3/32-1/4” Blind Rivet Gun(1)
• NOR-98023 – 80 Grit 3/4” Blaze File Belt(50)
• STK-20015 – Straight Hand Seam Splitter(1)
STK-21892 – Aluminum Skin Zipper(1)
• STK-21896 – Aluminum Skin Zipper 2(1)

That wraps up the series on the pre-packed aluminum kits we have to offer. Buying the kit that works best for your shop can save you time and money. So, check em’ out!

The OEM Aluminum Kit

Part 2 of the “Pre-Packed Kits” Series!
By: Cheri Shue

The OEM aluminum kit is highly recommended for shops that mainly handle ford vehicles.

PPK-AL-KIT-2

This kit is identical to the one Ford requires for aluminum certification. Although it is currently only required by Ford, this kit could bring any shop closer to their aluminum certification in other OEM programs. This kit has a wide range of hand and powers tool all packed in their own tool cart to avoid cross contamination.

Remember, last week we brought you the Basic Aluminum Kit. Be sure to check it out and see which kit works best for you!

The parts included in the OEM Aluminum Kit are:

SUU-8057 – 6 Drawer Tool Cart(1)
• ACL-14495 – Solid Rivet Kit: Air Rivet Gun, Bucking Bar, Flush Set, Cleco Set & Pliers(1)
• AHN-63916 – 1/4” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63920 – 5/16” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• AHN-63924 – 3/8” Titanium Drill Bit(3)
• ANG-GR92207BK – J-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR91507BK – LI-type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR92507BK – LI-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR91207BK – L-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR92807BK – W-Type Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR14512BK – Aluminum Jaw Clamp(2)
• ANG-GR22406BK – C Clamp Short(2)
• ANG-GR13420BK – C Clamp Long(2)
• ANG-GR14412BK – C Clamp Aluminum(2)
• ANG-GR11205BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 5”(2)
• ANG-GR11210BK – Straight Jaw Locking Pliers 10”(2)
DTF-DF-AH714 – 3Pc Aluminum Hammer Set(1)
• DTF-DF-AB711 – 7Pc Rubberized Dolly Set(1)
• DYN-18100P – 3/4” File Belt Sander W/30 Belts(1)
• GEN-21 – Metal Thickness Gauge(1)
FOW-72-483-003 – Deburring Tool(1)
• KEY-77348 – Body File Holder(1)
• KEY-77347 – Round Body File(1)
• KEY-77472 – Flat Body File(1)
• MAR-39058 – 3/32-1/4” Blind Rivet Gun(1)
MSC-52224A – Infrared Temp Gun(1)
• MTA-PH1400 – Heat Gun (425*)(1)
• NOR-98023 – 80 Grit 3/4” Blaze File Belt(50)
• STK-20015 – Hand Seam Splitter(1)
STK-21892 – Aluminum Skin Zipper(1)
• STK-21896 – Aluminum Skin Zipper2(1)
• VSG-2073111 – Tin Snips Lh(1)
VSG-2073112 – Tin Snips Rh(1)

We will finish up next week with the Deluxe Aluminum Kit. So stay tuned!

Spotlight on Ingersoll Rand 1/2″ Impacttools

Ingersoll Rand is a well-known name around the industry.  From air tools to air compressors to cordless tools, Ingersoll Rand manufacturers an excellent product used worldwide by mechanics.  This spotlight article is about the IR impacttool line, specifically the ½” version as that seems to be a highly popular size of impacttool.

2135TiMAX
Let’s start off with one of the most popular ½” impacttools on the market, the 2135TiMAX.  This tool “sets the standard for performance with the best power to weight ratio on the market in its class.”, according to the experts at Ingersoll Rand.  With 780 ft-lbs of MAX reverse torque and weighing less than 4 lbs, it’s the best power-to-weight ratio in its class.  This tool also comes with a free two-year limited warranty with the tool registration at www.irtools.com.

Ingersoll Rand 2135TiMAX

Perfect for both industrial and vehicle service work, the new 2135TiMAX delivers maximum power and control, along with unmatched reliability.

 

2235TiMAX
Next up is a “powerful, durable and reliable workhorse whose reputation is built on helping you build yours, because you don’t do a job halfway, and neither do our tools”. This impact has an amazing 1,350 ft-lbs of nut-busting torque and 930 ft-lbs of max reverse torque.  Again, Ingersoll Rand has outdone itself by making this hard working impact only 4.6 lbs.  The manufacturer states, “Born from the legendary durability of the Ingersoll Rand 2135 Series, the 2235 pushes toughness to the next level.  It’s built with a titanium hammercase, steel-wear plate and composite housing that protects the tool from the harshest environments.”

Also available in a Quiet version: 2235QTiMAX

The 2235 Series is a finely tuned workhorse, from its components to its technology, to be the impact wrench you can always count on to get real work done.

The 2235 Series is a finely tuned workhorse, from its components to its technology, to be the impact wrench you can always count on to get real work done.

As always, Ingersoll Rand has delivered two of the best impacttools on the market today.  After using both of these tools, I can safely say that I’m dually impressed.  If you are looking for a great brand, great product, and reliability…Ingersoll Rand 1/2” impacttools are the way to go!

 

Have a testimonial on this product or another Ingersoll Rand product?  Send it over and you could be featured on the next National Tool Warehouse blog!

Source: www.irtools.com

 

Windshield Wipers – Did You Know?

Changing Your Windshield Wipers
By: J. Dillinger

Windshield wipers don’t last forever, but they are a necessary safety feature on any car. How can you tell if you need new wipers? Here are some signs:

–          Streaking water
–          Squeaky
–          Leave a milky film

You can try wiping the dirt and hard rubber off with a wet rag, which can lengthen the life of blades before buying new ones.

How often you change your blades depends on the conditions of where you live, here is some general information about when to change your blades.

Do you live in a Sunny, Hot Climate?

–          Check your blades every 6 months and replace at least once a year.

(Did you know that even if you’re not using them that the sun can damage the rubber on the blades?)

Do you live in a Cold Climate?

–          Check your blades every 6 months and replace at least once a year.

(The salt and grit that is used in cold climates will wear out your blades faster.)

Is it Dusty or Sandy in your area?

–          Check your blades every couple of months and replace every 6 months.

(The sand and grit can accumulate around your wiper blades and make them wear faster.)

To Change Your Blades

First, make sure that you know the exact model of your vehicle (ex. Year, Make, Model). Don’t just buy the cheapest or the most expensive. It’s a good idea to replace both at the same time, if one has went bad it won’t be long before the other one goes as well.

Pull the Entire wiper assembly up.
1

Turn the blade so that the hinge is visible.2

Pull the tab out (You’ll hear a snap).3

Pull the blade down towards the vehicle, that will separate the blade and arm.4

Take the new wiper and insert the arm though the appropriate hole.5

Line the hook over the hinge and push them together, you’ll hear a click when it is snapped in.6

 

Once you have finished this step lower it back down to the windshield and repeat on the next one.

Remember, windshield wipers are a necessary evil and you don’t want to get caught in a rain storm with sub-par wipers. The easiest way to remember when to check your wipers is to set an alarm on your phone or mark the next wiper-check date on your calendar at home/work.

 

Sources: www.wikihow.com, www.instructables.com and www.allstate.com

 

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here!

The hot summer weather is blowing in quick! As important as it is to prepare your vehicle for winter, it is just as important to prepare it for the hot summer temperatures. Below I have listed a few tips to get your vehicle in tip-top shape for this summer season.

sun

 

 

 

  • Check your tire pressure – If your tires are under-inflated, this will cause the tire to bulge which will add pressure to the sidewalls of the tire. After enough heat and pressure has affected the tire, BOOM! It will eventually blow. Also, n over-inflated tire makes less contact with the surface of the road and can cause you to hydroplane during the spring and summer storms.
    See what tire pressure gauges are in stock HERE!

Did you know?? – Tire pressure changes with rising temperatures, approximately one to two PSI for every 10 degree increase in outside air temperature.

tire

 

 

  • Check your oil and oil filter – ROAD TRIP!!! Wait! Before you leave, make sure you check your oil and oil filter in the vehicle. Long distance drives mixed with hot temperatures can lead to an overheated engine.
    Need to change the oil? Drain Pans make your job easier!

Did you know?? – Oil keeps hardworking engine parts running clean, smooth and cool.

oil

 

 

 

  • De-winterize – Check all the fluids in your vehicle and check for leaks. If you are in extreme snow climates and have snow tires, take them off. Snow tires cause extra weight to the vehicle and are not fuel efficient. Also, clean the undercarriage of the vehicle from salt on the roads.
    Can’t see under your car? These inspection mirrors will help!

Did you know?? – The salt that is used to melt ice and snow on roads can get caked on the underside of your car and begin to eat away at the metal.

dewinterize

 

 

  • Check hoses, belts and filters – It is very important to keep the engine cool when driving in the summer heat. Check all of your hoses and belts for cracks, leaks or loose connections. Also, change your air filter if it is clogged with salt or other road debris.

Did you know?? – Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.

belts and hoses

 

  • Replace your wipers – The winter weather is hard on your wipers. You know, when you get impatient waiting for the windshield to defrost so you use your wipers to speed it up? Ya, I’m guilty. Also, it is important for your wipers to work for the spring and summer storms. I would hate to be stuck on the highway when a sudden storm hits without good wipers!

Did you know?? – At night, a storm can decrease visibility by 15 to 20 feet in front of your vehicle.

windshield

 

  • Keep your battery clean – Dead batteries are common in both winter and summer due to the extreme temperatures. You should detach the battery cables and clean the terminals often. Makes sure that your battery is strapped in correctly and is secure. Also, always make sure you are buying the correct battery for your vehicle if it needs to be replaced.

Did you know?? – Summer heat can speed up the chemical reaction inside a battery, causing the battery to be overcharged. This reduces battery life significantly.

battery

 

  • Maintain your AC – Most of the time, the cause of a malfunctioning AC is because of low refrigerant. This could be caused by a leak in the system. It is best to have a professional check out the problem since modern AC systems are so complex.

Did you know?? – The best way to tell if your air conditioner has a problem is if it can’t generate or maintain air temperatures that are 50 degrees Fahrenheit below the outside air temperature.

happysummer

Written by: Cheri Shue
Source: http://www.fleetpro.com/newsletter/?p=943

 

A Must Have in Every Vehicle This Time of Year…

The new Schumacher SL1 charger/jump starter is a must have.

It can charge your cell phones, mp3 players and tablets up to 2x faster than a regular charger. It is small enough to fit into your glove compartment and it is light weight. This item will also jump start your vehicle…you simply plug one jumper cable into the battery and the other one onto something metal…press the jump start button and your car will start! It’s so easy!

It also comes with a wall charger and a car charger for the unit. You can still use the car charger even if your vehicle will not start and the battery is dead. This would not only make a great gift but it is a must have item for all people who own a vehicle. Not to mention, it’s inexpensive.

I know with this crazy weather I’ll be getting myself one, will you?

By: Cheri Shue, Blogger

Got Gas?

Gas prices have been outrageous in the recent past.  Luckily, I have seen they have been dropping a bit but with the upcoming holidays I will not be surprised if they go through the roof again.

Here are some helpful tips that can save you gas and money.

Do not accelerate and brake hard – I tell my boyfriend this every time he drives my car. He thinks I’m full of it but anytime you slam on your brakes or floor it you can literally watch your gas tank drop. Go ahead, try it. When you come to a stop or accelerating slowly, fuel economy can actually increase by as much as 20%.

Don’t use your A/C unless you have to – Okay, in the summer time there is NO WAY I’m not using my A/C but on nice cool days it can actually save you some gas by not using it. Using the A/C puts an extra load on the motor causing it to have to use more fuel. On most vehicles, even the defroster you use on cold mornings when you go out to start your car, yea, that uses more gas too.

Keep your windows closed – No A/C AND your windows closed?  (It’s getting a little claustrophobic in here.)   Keeping your windows open, especially on the highway, will cause more drag and use up to 10% more gas than if you had them shut.

Don’t sit and idle – I was always told that turning off then starting your car used more gas than keeping on. Not true. If you are going to idle for more than one minute you should actually turn off your car.

Use cruise control – I never hit the highway without using my cruise. If you are going to be traveling a long distance, it’s best to use it to maintain a constant speed. Speeding up and slowing down will use up more of your gas.

Keep your car in good shape –I think it’s been a few years since my car has had one of these…but having a frequent “tune up” on your car and making sure the tires, filters, spark plugs, fluid levels etc. are all in good shape will save  you on gas in the long run.  If the car is not running at tip top shape then it is using extra fuel to make up for the lack.  

I think I will try to start using these gas saving tips from now on. They might not make a HUGE difference but every little bit helps, right?

Written by: Cheri Shue, Guest Blogger
Source: www.gasbuddy.com

 

How To Check The Oil In Your Car

Have you ever wondered if you were doing something right?  Don’t worry…I wonder that every single day! We’ve decided to take the guesswork out of checking the oil in your car.

Checking the oil in your car is an important maintenance check. This quick and easy check can help keep your car running smoothly. An easy way to remember when to check the oil is every other time you fill your car up with gas. All you need is a paper towel or a rag (which you can get free from most gas stations).

 Follow these steps below to Check the Oil.

  1. Make sure that you have the engine turned off.
    ChangingOil1
  2. Open the hood and find the dipstick.
    ChangingOil2
  3. Pull the dipstick out and wipe off any oil from the end.
    ChangingOil3
  4. Place the dipstick back in the tube and then pull it out again.
  5. Look at both sides of the dipstick and where the oil is on the end.  If the oil is below the minimum mark you will need to add oil, anything above minimum should be good until your next check.
    ChangingOil5
  6. Once you are done checking the dipstick, put it back into place and make sure that it is secure. Then close the hood.

Performing this simple 2 minute check could save you a ton of dough down the road.  If you prefer not to get your hands dirty and you live in a part of the country that has a full-service gas station…by all means stop there!

Retro-1940s-Full-Service-Gas-Station

Written by: Guest Blogger Braden Dominic

Source: ConsumerReports.org

When Should You Recharge Your Jump Starter?

 

A common question among jump starter owners…When do I recharge it to make sure it’s fully charged and ready to use?

Clore Automotive, a leading jump starter manufacturer, has devised a system to alert you when it’s time to recharge your jump starter.  Believe me…as soon as I found this site, I signed up!  It’s a pain to try and remember when to recharge your jump starter unit and try to remember when the last time was that you recharged it.  You don’t want to get stranded with a dead jump starter…kind of defeats the purpose huh?!?!

Check out the Clore Automotive getincharge page to sign up and receive email alerts quarterly reminding you to recharge your machine.  You’ll love it!

Until next time….Jay