February 23, 2015

Safe Driving Tips for the Winter

When you drive in the winter, it will be different than driving in the spring or summer. The biggest difference will be the weather. Since the temperatures drop, the precipitation will turn to ice and snow. This can make driving difficult, as well as making the roads slick to drive on. It is important to check your vehicle on a regular basis to ensure it can be driven during the winter. Also make sure to bring your vehicle in for regular inspections. This way we can professionally look at the parts and components of the vehicle. If there is an issue, it can be repaired so your vehicle is safe and reliable when you drive. Some things you can also check at home, and bring the vehicle in when you notice an issue. Inspect the Tires of the Vehicle The tires are an important part of your vehicle. They are the only part that has direct contact with the surface of the road. It is important to check the tires regularly to ensure they are in great condition. Always make sure that they are properly inflated. Tires that are properly inflated will last longer, as well as provide good fuel mileage for your vehicle. If you are not sure what the correct air pressure should be, make sure to contact us and we can recommend the right air pressure for your tires. Also check the tread on the tires. The tread is important because it helps to grip the surface of the road when you drive. Having proper tread is important if the roads are slick or ice covered. If the tires are wearing down and have poor tread, the handling and stability of your vehicle will be poor. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the tires for you. Adjust some Driving Habits you Have If the weather and road conditions are less than ideal, it is important to know how to react. It is recommended to slow down when you drive. Driving faster than you are comfortable with can lead to an accident if there are slick roads and poor visibility. By slowing down and turning on the lights, you can improve your visibility, as well as allowing others to see where you. Also make sure to leave the appropriate amount of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Improve the Visibility when you Drive Another important thing to do to improve the safety is to clear of the windshield and other windows of your vehicle. If the frost, ice, or snow is not fully cleared off, this can impact your visibility when you drive. Without clearing the windows, you will have a difficult time seeing the road, as well as other drivers on the road. Snow that is left on your vehicle can also fall off or blow onto a vehicle behind you. This can impair the visibility of that driver as well. By clearing off your vehicle, you can improve the safety of it when you drive.
February 12, 2015

Tire Inspections to do this Winter

In addition to maintaining proper inflation pressure, regularly inspect the tire tread and sidewalls for irregular tread wear, cracking, scrapes, bulges, cuts, snags, foreign objects or other damage resulting from use. Remove any stones, glass, foreign objects, etc. embedded in the tread to prevent further damage. Even minor damage can lead to further injury and eventual tire failure. Tires with excessive cracking on the tread or sidewalls should be removed from service. This is typically caused by under inflation, over loading, improper storage, or improper long-term parking. You should check the tire tread and sidewall areas during monthly inflation pressure checks, looking for uneven or irregular tread wear or other conditions as noted above. It is recommended that tires, including the spare, be periodically inspected by us during routine maintenance intervals such as oil changes and tire rotations. It is also important to remember what you should look for on your tires. Uneven tread Wear This can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear, or exposed steel wire. Uneven wear can be caused by problems such as under inflation, vehicle misalignment and improper balancing. Noticing Shallow Tread Tires that are worn well or bald can result in hydroplaning, loss of traction and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. To help you see when the tread is worn out, tires have a built in tread wear indicators. These are narrow bars of smooth rubber that run across the tread. When the tread is even with the bars, a tire is worn down and it must be replaced immediately. You can also try the penny test. Just place a penny in the tire’s most worn groove with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire should be replaced. Areas to Check on the Tire Check for small stones, pieces of glass, bits of metal and other foreign objects that might be wedged into the tread and carefully remove them. They can cause serious problems if they are pushed farther into your tire as you drive. Cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes and bulges in the tread or on the sidewalls of the tire can indicate serious problems, and the tire may need to be replaced. Remember that tires lose inflation pressure when the air temperature gets colder. Those little caps on your tire’s valve stem keep moisture and dirt out, so make sure they are on all your tires. Also, when you have a tire replaced, have a new valve stem assembly installed at the same time. Driving on a damaged tire can be dangerous. If you see something you are not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by us. Any time you see damage to a tire, do not drive on it. If you notice vibrations or other disturbances while driving, or you suspect possible damage to your tire or vehicle, immediately reduce speed, drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road and stop. Make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect the tires for you.