Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Labor Day 2016

We will be closed on Monday, September 5th in honor of the Labor Day holiday. We will return to our regular hours on Tuesday, September 6th.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tips for Handling a Tire Blowout

For many drivers, there is nothing more frightening or potentially dangerous than a tire blowout at almost any speed. While the number of tire-related crashes has dropped dramatically since 2008, when all new vehicles were required to have automatic tire pressure monitoring systems, these numbers still remain high. The stats do not lie, as tire blowouts and flats result in nearly 11,000 collisions and 200 fatalities each year.1

With all the advances in safety standards and technology, why are tire blowouts still such a significant safety issue? One reason may be that since blowouts are now a rarer occurrence, when they do happen, drivers are less prepared to handle them and react properly. When a tire blows out, it can take about ¼ second before your ride suddenly becomes a struggle to avoid an auto accident. How you react can make all the difference in how the situation resolves itself. The first step is staying calm and in control of your vehicle.

What Does a Tire Blowout Sound Like?
Expect to hear three key sounds that may vary depending on your specific situation. First, you may hear a loud boom or bang of the tire popping reverberating through your car. You may then hear a whooshing sound or the sound of the air quickly escaping from the tire, and finally, a repeated flapping or flopping of the deflated tire hitting the road.

What Does a Tire Blowout Feel Like?
When a tire explodes at speed, first you will feel the vehicle slow down, then it will pull strongly to the left or right depending on which tire burst.2 If it was a front tire that burst, you will feel the force mostly within the steering of your vehicle. With a rear tire, you will feel it more in the seat or body of the car. Whether the blowout occurred in the front or back, your response should be the same in either situation.

How to Drive Through a Tire Blowout
According to the National Safety Council and other safety experts, there are some important tips and best practices to remember if you experience a tire blowout.
  • Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.
  • Do not slam on the brakes.
  • Let your car slow down gradually.
  • Pull to the side of the road once you have slowed to a safe speed.
  • Activate your emergency flashers.3
What to Do After a Tire Blowout
After a blowout, only exit your vehicle if you are certain you are safely off the road and out of harm’s way. Turn your emergency flashers on to alert other drivers, and put out reflective cones or triangles if you have them. If it is not safe to change the tire where you are, or you are unsure how, call for roadside assistance.
Also keep in mind that a spare is only recommended for emergencies and should not be driven for long distances or at high speeds. Take the time to read your owner’s manual to learn where your spare tire and necessary tools are located. Your manual may also provide instructions on how to change a flat tire. It is a good idea to be familiar with these procedures before you get stuck on the side of the road.
How to Prevent a Tire Blowout

The good news is that many tire blowouts are preventable with the proper effort and attention. Most occur from May through October when the road surface is the hottest, resulting from an underinflated tire, excessively worn treads, or an overloaded vehicle. A simple, routine inspection of your tires to check for slow leaks, wear and tear, and proper pressure is important. Keeping your load light, within your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations (found in the same spot as the recommended tire pressure), can help too.4

Monday, August 22, 2016

What Makes All-Season Tires So Great?

What Makes All-Season Tires So Great?
So your closet has a pair of flip-flops for the summer, a pair of heavy boots for the winter, and a comfortable pair of sneakers for most of the rest of the year. If you live in a climate that doesn’t have harsh winters, you might just be able to wear those sneakers year-round...and all-season tires are the equivalent of your comfortable sneakers.

So what makes all-season tires so special?
Winter tires are excellent for severe conditions like heavy snow and even ice. They feature specially-designed tread patterns and “sipes”, hundreds of tiny slits which offer biting edges for traction in snow. This means shorter stopping distances, better handling and better control in winter weather. Winter tires are not designed for temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The downside of winter tires is they use a tread formulation which stays softer in cold weather...but that means the rubber will also wear much faster in warmer conditions. In addition, winter tires, while a far cry from the “snow tires” or “mud grips” which might have been on your dad’s station wagon, tend to be noisier and have clumsier handling on dry pavement.
Summer tires are designed with shallower tread depth and more aggressive tread patterns for excellent steering response, handling and performance on wet or dry pavement. They also use a soft tread formulation for extra “stickiness” and traction in hot weather. The combination of tread design and rubber compound adds up to a tire with outstanding cornering ability for spirited driving. Unfortunately, that same sticky tread formulation stiffens up at temperatures below 40 degrees, resulting in lousy traction on snow or wet pavement. All-season tires, attempt to offer the best of all possible worlds. This means a moderate tread depth which splits the difference between summer and winter tires, with a pattern of sipes and extra gripping edges for extra traction in wintry conditions. Typically, all-season tires might be designed with circumferential grooves at the center for straight-line stability, and a groove pattern that evacuates water from the tire’s footprint to help prevent hydroplaning on wet pavement.

Engineers design all-season tires with a computer-tuned tread and rubber compound to keep road noise low and provide a supple, forgiving ride on most pavement types. It’s this combination of qualities which make all-season tires an excellent choice for most drivers, and it’s why most sedans, minivans and SUVs come from the factory with all-season tires as original factory equipment. For most drivers, in most parts of the country, all-season tires truly are the equivalent of those sneakers you can wear year-round!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Buying tires - Key requirements

There are a number of considerations when buying tires but lets start with some of the key points.

The first is what size is my tire? This can be found on the tire's sidewall information and will look something like 205/55R16.

The next important consideration is the tire's service description .This consists of  two important pieces of information which indicates the tire's maximum load and speed capability. This can be  found on the tire's sidewall usually directly after the size information, and consist of a number and letter. To determine the  actual load and speed capability figures then refer to industry tables.

There is also other information on the sidewall of the tire such as the tire manufacturer, pattern type and tread wear indicators.

Now we know the size and service description we now need to look at other considerations.
Tire sidewall information
There is a multitude of useful information that can be found on the sidewall of the tire:
For example a tire size of 205/55R16 indicates it has a  section width of 205mm (nominal), 55 an aspect ratio of 55% (ratio of tire sidewall height to section width H/S) and 16 the rim diameter in inches the tire can be fitted. 

Vehicle type & Application

What type of vehicle do I drive?

The type of tire required can vary with the type of vehicle to which it is fitted. The tire size and service description can, to some extent, determine the type of tire being fitted.
As the diversity in the different types of vehicles increases it becomes more important to ensure the correct type of tire is fitted. A tire will be designed to ensure it compliments the key characteristics of that type of vehicle with some of the different classifications being:
1) Compact class vehicles
2) Mid-sized and executive class vehicles
3) High Performance class vehicles
4) SUV´s
5) 4x4 and off road vehicles
6) MPV's and vans
7) Camper vans
8) Hybrid & electric vehicles

A tire may also carry an OE markings which are used to identify the homologated tires for vehicles and offer end-consumers an option when it comes to changing their tires.
It is always adviseable to consult a tire expert (tire manufacture or reputable tire dealer).

General Legal Requirements & Fitting of Used Tires
General Legal Requirements

In most European countries the legal minmum tread depth requirement for passenger cars is 1.6 mm. As an indication to the consumer,there are tread wear indicator bars in the main grooves of the tire that become level with the tread surface at approximately 1.6 mm of remaining tread.

In addition to acknowledging the above, We recommend that all passenger and light truck tires in highway motor vehicle application be removed from service at the following tread depths:

• summer / high performance tires, all season tires = 3 mm

• winter tires = 4 mm

These recommendations are based upon our testing as well as real world experience which shows that drivers can maintain the performance potential (e.g. wet grip) of their tires by replacing them before they reach the regulatory minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm . This applies especially to winter tires for which winter driving properties such as snow traction are significantly reduced at tread depths below 4 mm.

Monday, August 8, 2016


The United States has more roads (paved and unpaved) than any other country in the world, and with access to almost all of North America by vehicle, it seems almost a shame to not take a road trip or two this summer! But before you go on a long drive, a little preparedness can help make for a lot better (and safer) trip for you and your car’s occupants. Some proper packing and a little preplanning can go a long way when it comes to the difference between an enjoyable road trip and something like what the Griswolds took! That’s why we compiled a quick list of 12 tips for a great summer road trip.
1) Preplan
Before you embark on your trip, don’t just look at your intended destinations and count on your GPS to do the dirty work. You might be passing up a lot of good stuff along the way—national parks, historic sights, great shopping spots—there are a lot of great reasons to detour! Having a loose plan and intentions will help make for a better trip. Also, having required permits or reservations ahead of time will definitely make your trip more enjoyable.
2) Inspect Your Ride (prior to departure)
Your chariot should be in peak condition prior to departure. Fluids should be topped, tires should be checked, and nothing should be “in need of maintenance” when you leave your driveway. Temperatures can vary 60 degrees or more in a day as you travel through different regions of the country. Road conditions can change, as can traffic conditions. This can all be hard on your car, and you should make sure that your car can handle it. The basics start with checking your tires (of course!) and making sure they are inflated to proper pressure and have sufficient tread to safely navigate the terrain for at least a few thousand miles. Also, make sure you’ve done a recent oil change on the engine, verified the radiator is full (when cold!), and topped off the windshield washer fluid.
3) Maps—GPS and Paper!
Yes, yes; we all have GPS units in our phones, on the dashes, and most of us probably still have a windshield-mount GPS unit in a drawer somewhere, too. But paper maps can be really nice, too. Oftentimes maps can show topographical features your GPS may not, and good old fashioned paper is a lot easier to draw on or make notes on with a pen. Also, paper maps don’t run out of batteries or stop working in tunnels or in storms. Definitely bring the GPS units, but don’t forget to tuck a paper map in the glovebox.
4) Food/Water
Bring some food and water. This goes beyond snacks. Of course we’re gonna munch while counting down mile after mile (hey, we’re Americans!), but you want to have some safety rations in the back, too. With all the common communications devices we have these days, it’s rare to be without help for longer than 10 minutes, but there are still a lot of no-reception places in this country where you could be stranded for a day. Make sure you have enough food and water to safely and comfortable survive that, at all times.
5) Rags/Clean Wipes
Spills can happen, as can clean-ups and fluid checks. A couple rags will save the T-shirt that you had worn yesterday from becoming the go-to. Beyond some rags and napkins, some wet wipes can be wonderful when your hands or something else gets sticky.
6) Double Down on Footwear
Don’t count on one pair of shoes for road tripping What if you step in a giant puddle? No one wants to drive in soggy shoes for three days. Bring lounging shoes, sandals, hiking boots…whatever variety of footwear you think you’ll need for your trip.
7) Change for Tolls/Parking
Sounds silly, but not having change can put a damper on a trip. Don’t make us retell the story of the unmanned toll gate at 2am that required more change than we had….
8) Cell Phone Chargers
It’s no biggy if you forget them because most gas stations and convenience stores carry charging cords these days, but try to remember them when you leave the house. And if you do forget it, make sure you grab one at the very next stop. You don’t want a dead phone if there’s an emergency.
9) Tools
Make sure you have at least the basics in tools. A screwdriver, some pliers and wire cutters, a couple wrenches, and electrical tape should be in your vehicle at all times; not just for road trips. Even if you don’t know how to use the tools, there’s often a helpful fellow road tripper or roadside repair person that can use the few tools that you have. Better to have them and not need them….
10) On road Tire Care: Spare Tire, Pressure Gauge, & Tire Repair
You didn’t think we were going to leave off tire care, did you?! Of course, every vehicle needs to have a spare tire. And a good spare at that! A tire pressure gauge is also very helpful. If you grab a nail on the road or see one of the tires bulging more than normal at the contact patch, a tire pressure gauge will let you know if there’s an issue or not. And if you do have a nail or some other issue causing a slow leak, a tire repair kit can sure come in handy. An air compressor can be invaluable, too. It just depends on how much stuff you want to bring.
11) Get a Roadside Help Membership
Roadside service clubs, or auto service clubs, are absolutely great. Not only do they provide towing services for your vehicle, they can also bring you batteries, fuel, and get you discounts on parking and hotels all over the place! There are a number of roadside services available throughout North America, but there are a few main ones that provide service all over the country. One of those can be a good partner to join up with if you’re doing cross-country travel. Make sure your auto service membership works outside of your home state, unless all your adventures are within one state.
12) Enjoy the Trip and Leave Room for More!

Don’t look strictly at the driving time and plan a schedule around that. Allow time for stops and possible issues. And be prepared for your trip to change. Sometimes destinations change; sometimes you’ll find paradise halfway through your trip and won’t want to leave. As long as you’re enjoying yourself, then it was a good road trip! In every sense of the word, leave room for “more.” More time at a particular location; more room in the back for all the extra treasures you found and want to bring home; more notches on the belt so you can adjust it after eating great food. So pack light, expect that a 45-minute stop will take an hour, and make sure to take care of yourself so that you can handle more when you need to!

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Check our new Online store

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Porsche skipping 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Company will refocus on the LA, Chicago, and New York Auto Shows.

Porsche is going to pass on the annual North American International Auto Show in January 2017. The news was first reported on Tuesday by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. 

According to Automotive News, Porsche will shift its auto show focus to April's New York International Auto Show and November's Los Angeles International Auto Show. Chicago Auto Show spokesman Dave Sloan reached out to Autoblog to add that Porsche is doubling the size of its exhibit in the Windy City. According to AN, Porsche "viewed the cost and value of participating in the Detroit auto show were no longer viable."

See, Detroit is big on news and debuts instead of ultra-impressive ticket sales. But over 1 million people passed through the doors of the Jacob Javits Center in New York last year, just under 200,000 more than in the Motor City. LA, meanwhile, is Porsche's biggest US market, which explains the loyalty. In other words, Detroit's great for debuting cars, but without anything new Porsche can get more cluck for its buck by reallocating resources to New York and LA.

If Porsche's rationale sounds familiar, it's because it is. 
Jaguar Land Rover, Mini, and Tesla used Detroit's heavy focus on new vehicle introductions and its relatively small attendance to skip the 2016 North American International Auto Show in favor of shows with higher attendance. Porsche previously skipped the 2009 NAIAS, citing similar reasons.