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


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Sunex Rebate Alert – September 2015

Mail In Gift Card Rebate Alert!

I have a few questions for you: Is it really nearing the end of September already?  Where did this month go? Did you purchase a Sunex Tools toolbox, socket set, or impact wrench between July 1, 2015 and today?

If so…you need to check out this rebate form!  Sunex is offering a pretty hefty rebate on 17 of their toolboxes and other products.  If you haven’t purchased any of these items yet, you still have time!

National Tool Warehouse carries a huge Sunex variety, over 500 items.  Make sure you look at the rebate form to see which products qualify for the rebate and then get “Cash In Your Pocket” from Sunex Tools.

sunex rebate

So, what are you waiting for?  If you are going to buy tools anyway, you might as well get some money back for doing it!

Don’t forget to sign up for our weekly emails:  Big savings and exclusive offers straight to your inbox!
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Why Distracted Driving is Dangerous

By: Cheri Shue

Distracted driving is anything that may take your attention away from the road. Eating, drinking, talking to a passenger, texting, changing the radio station or using a navigation system are just a few examples.

signs


 

justthefacts

  • In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involv­ing distracted drivers. This represents a 6.7 percent decrease in the number of fatalities recorded in 2012. Unfortunately, approximately 424,000 people were injured, which is an increase from the 421,000 people who were injured in 2012.
  • As of December 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month.
  • 10% of drivers of all ages under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
  • At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
  • Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
  • Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
  • A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

remember

handsonwheel

Keep your hands on the wheel…

eyesonroad

Your eyes on the road…

And focus on driving!

And focus on driving!

 

Stay Safe!

 

Facts from http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html

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!

The Basic Aluminum Kit

Part 1 of the “Pre-Packed Kits” Series!
By: Cheri Shue

This basic kit is great for any shop not wanting to spend much money on preparing for aluminum repairs. This kit includes almost every hand tool you would commonly need to get the job done. You can repair and replace body panels and structural supports with the 19 different hand tools it has to offer. Plus, you can put all your new hand tools in the tool cart to keep it all self-contained and isolated from steel.

The Basic Aluminum Kit / PPK-AL-KIT-1

The Basic Aluminum Kit / PPK-AL-KIT-1

This basic aluminum kit contains the following products and quantities of each.

Kit Includes:(QTY)

SUU-8057 – 6 Drawer Tool Cart(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-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)
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 Temperature Gun(1)
• MTA-PH1400 – Digital Set Heat 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)

 

Coming up next: The detail on the The OEM aluminum Kit.

Introducing Pre-Packed Kits

Taking the guesswork out of buying tools!
By: Cheri Shue

Search no longer! National Tool Warehouse is now offering pre-packed aluminum kits that have most everything you will need to properly repair aluminum intense vehicles. There are 3 kits currently available; starting off with the basic kit and going up to the deluxe kit for the pros. In my next few blogs I will be highlighting each kit with more details. Stay tuned and see which one best fits your needs!

PPK-AL-KIT-1

The Basic Aluminum Kit

PPK-AL-KIT-2

The OEM Aluminum Kit

 

The Deluxe Aluminum Kit

The Deluxe Aluminum Kit

Coming up Next: The details on the Basic Aluminum Kit PPKAL-KIT-1!

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

 

What is a Feeler Gauge?

What is a Feeler Gauge?
By: J. Dillinger

I have seen a few of these around but never knew the purpose of them. Let’s break down what a feeler gauge is.

Feeler gauges are used to measure the gaps in widths between 2 objects. Feeler gauges are made of different thicknesses and lengths. There are two types of units that the feeler gauge uses to measure, the imperial (thousandths of an inch) and metric (millimeter). Feeler gauges are made out of either blades or wire. The wire feeler gauges are used to measure spark plugs.

The most common Feeler gauges are made from high-quality carbon steel and have a very smooth finish. Blade Feeler gauges can also come in an assortment of stainless steel, brass and plastic. However, metal feeler gauges are easier to maintain and have a better wear resistance.

To use a feeler gauge make sure you examine them before each use. Do this by spreading them out making sure they rust-free, but slightly oiled for easy movement. Select one of the smaller blades or wires and try inserting it into the space. If it slips out easy choose the next side up. When both sides of the gauge touch the gap and it moves with gentle pressure, then you’ve found the correct feeler gauge for that gap.

Blade Feeler Gauge

A blade feeler gauge can also be called a flat feeler gauge. A set generally comes in a holder and contains a series of blades with different thicknesses that are stamped for easy identification. A blade feeler gauge is generally flexible and can be used to reach hard places.

Blade Feeler Gauge Example (KDT161)

Blade Feeler Gauge Example (KDT161)

Wire Feeler Gauge

The wire feeler gauge is a series of round wires with different thicknesses in a holder usually bent into a U shape and are less flexible than the Blade Feeler Gauge. These wire feeler gauges are more frequently used in the automotive industry.

Wire Feeler Gauge Example (KDT2327)

Wire Feeler Gauge Example (KDT2327)

In case you need a combo unit, there are a few manufacturers that make blade/wire feeler gauge sets. Sometimes having one tool is better than having to keep track of two!

Combo Feeler Gauge Example (KDT164)

Combo Feeler Gauge Example (KDT164)

To see the entire feeler gauge category, click HERE!

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Sources: Wikipedia, Cdxtextbook.com, Wisegeek.com