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Winter Safety Tips – Don’t End Up In the Ditch!

January 14th, 2016
Some people love winter. They love the snow, the snap in the air, the short days and cozy nights at home. Others can’t stand it, for many of the same reasons. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, though, chances are you’re going to have to get out and drive in it at some point. We’ve got a few suggestions to help you through the winter safely: 

Make sure you’ve got a well-maintained car. This includes fresh windshield wipers, proper tire inflation, a strong battery, a properly-maintained cooling system and a fresh oil change. If your tires aren’t up to the job of winter driving, you might consider switching to winter tires for a while – just 
Posted in: Auto Repair 101

Winter Tires – Yea or Nay?

December 31st, 2015
In a lot of parts of the country, the winters are tough enough that all-season tires just won’t get the job done. All-season tires are a compromise; they offer good year-round traction with a quiet ride, good handling and road manners. They tend to perform well in wet weather and light wintry conditions, but when the snow is more than a couple of inches deep, all-season tires are out of their league. That’s when it’s time to consider winter tires. 
 
Today’s winter tires are a long way from the heavy, noisy, clumsy “snow tires” or “mud grips” that your dad might have had on his station wagon 40 years ago. Modern winter tires are designed for noise, handling, steering response and road manners that rival grand tourin ...[more]
Posted in: Tires 101

Winter Tires? Or All-Season Tires?

November 12th, 2015
Winter tires versus all-season tires…which is the right choice for you?
 
The two designs are quite different and deliver different levels of performance and winter-weather traction, so let’s discuss. 
All-season tires are designed as an all-around compromise. They feature a tread pattern that evacuates water from the tire’s contact patch to prevent hydroplaning, with plenty of small, textured slits (sipes) to add extra biting edges for traction in wet or slushy conditions. 
All-season tires are designed with a harder tread compound th ...[more]
Posted in: Tires 101

Don’t Forget Your Spare

October 29th, 2015
Oh, the lowly spare tire. It doesn’t get much respect. 
 
Today, a lot of vehicles don’t even come with a spare tire anymore, not even the little “donut” space-saver spare. Instead, to cut weight and free up space, they come with a compressor and a can of a Fix-a-Flat-style product in hopes that you can get back on your way again. Great idea, unless your tire has a sidewall puncture or is shredded…
Anyway, if your car is equipped with a spare, you shouldn’t just ignore it. Tires have a shelf life, and time will take its toll on any tire, including ones that are never on the ground. Even brand-new tires have a sell-by date; the industry agrees that tires that are older than six to eight years old are pr ...[more]
Posted in: Tires 101

Determining the Age of a Tire

February 14th, 2014
When it comes to determining the age of a tire, it is easiest to identify when the tire was manufactured by reading its Tire Identification Number (often referred to as the tire’s serial number or DOT number). Unlike vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and the serial numbers used on many other consumer goods (which identify one specific item), Tire Identification Numbers are really batch codes that identify several components.
 
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that Tire Identification Numbers be a combination of the letters DOT, followed by ten, eleven or twelve letters or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size and manufacturer's code, along with the week and year the tire was m ...[more]
Posted in: Tires 101

Breaking in New Winter Tires

January 28th, 2014
 
Breaking in Winter Tires
 
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step in winter safety and decided to invest in a set of winter tires. There are a few things you are going to want to remember about your winter tires, especially if this is your first time making the transition. A few things you may want to know: 
 
  • Depending on the kind of tires you select, you may notice a change in the feel/sound of your commute. Because winter tires have more of a grip on the road, they might sound louder depending on your vehicle. If you notice it at all, don’t panic. You are only hearing the added contact. If you add studs or chains to the mix, the sound will increase as well, and you may feel as if you are driving an armored tank down the road. Keep ...[more]
Posted in: Tires 101

Winterizing Your Vehicle - Pinnacle Auto

December 13th, 2013

Winterizing Your VehicleAnother winter storm coming? Before you rush to the store for the last gallon of milk and loaf of bread, you’ll want to be sure your car is ready to battle the elements. Follow these tips before venturing out into the winter wonderland.

  • Check your Cooling System. Have your mechanic check your hoses, belts and anti-freeze. A weakened hose or belt can break and leave you stranded, or a weak solution of anti-freeze can ice up and damage your cooling system. Hoses shouldn’t have cracks or become softened. In extreme temperature drops, keep an eye on your hoses and belts, as low temperatures can cause additional breakage or weak spots.
  • Check Your Battery. Make sure your car's battery connection is clean, tight and corro ...[more]
Posted in: Tires 101

Choosing the Right Tire - Pinnacle Auto

November 25th, 2013

Choosing the Right TireWe know you've heard it before, but it's critical enough to repeat: the tires you choose for your vehicle are important. It is critical to understand that the tires on your vehicle are the one single link to the road surface. To keep the rest of your vehicle performing at its peak, your tires are the very foundation of your vehicle.

Different quality tires will last for different periods of time, depending on wear and tear. Regular maintenance is key to longer tread life, but tread wears down over time and with use. Once you get to the point where you need to replace your tires, there are several choices that you can make. The easiest choice is get the exact size and make that originally came on the vehicle, when it was new. Beyond that, you might consider going to a better quality tire ...[more]

Posted in: Tires 101

Is Your Vehicle Ready For Holiday Travel? - Pinnacle Auto

November 14th, 2013

Is Your Vehicle Ready For Holiday TravelIs Your Vehicle Ready For Holiday Travel? Many people have concerns about taking their cars on long trips, especially if their cars are getting on in years or mileage. The truth is … long trips are actually easier on your car than day-to-day driving, but a breakdown far from home can really ruin your fun. A few simple checks will stave off many common problems. As with most things, it's best to start early. Here is a simple check list for preparing your car for Holiday travel.

Two to four weeks before you go

  • Get any major repairs done. If your car needs major repair or maintenance, do it at least one month, before you travel. That will allow plenty of time for any problems rela ...[more]
Posted in: Tires 101

Are All-Season Tires Right For My Vehicle? - Pinnacle Auto

September 13th, 2013

The tire category of “All-Season Tires” can be a misleading term and this category gets the most questions out of any tire available. Basically, when you are purchasing All-Season tires, you are getting a very sturdy tire that will work well through various weather conditions as well as varying temperatures or climates. The types of tires that fall under the ‘All-Season’ tire category contain different types of tread compounds, designs, and mileage ratings, and there are some big differences between All-Season Tires, Regular, or ‘summer’ tires (sometimes also referred to as ‘three-season tires’), and Winter Tires.

One of the main differences is temperature. Temperature affects tire rubber. For example, firm rubber th ...[more]

Posted in: Tires 101

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