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 t ...[more]
Tags: new tires, winter tires, snow tires, snow and winter tires, winter tire tips, winter driving, winter tire decisions, winter tire help, winter tire guide
November 5th, 2015
At some point, you may have heard people refer to “wheel alignments” and “tire alignments.” Is there any difference in the two?
The quick answer to that is: “no.” The two terms are interchangeable with each other, like “wheel balancing” and “tire balancing.”
Now that that’s cleared up, here’s a quick rundown of what wheel alignment means and what it entails.
Your car’s steering and suspension is engineered with the wheels set at very specific angles in relation to each other and to the chassis of the vehicle. Those angles are set for the best possible ride quality, handling and steering response, and that’s h ...[more]
Posted in: Alignment
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 p ...[more]
October 15th, 2015
The days are getting shorter, there’s a snap in the air, and before you know it, the winter months are going to be upon us. Is your vehicle ready?
• Wipers: Even the best windshield wipers are only good for about a year; normal wear, the sun’s UV rays and the elements take their toll on them. Get a good look and check them for chunks, strips or chips missing, and replace if necessary for a streak-free field of vision in wet weather. Hint: a fresh application of
Rain-X on your windshield and window glass can help visibility greatly.
• Brakes: Are you hearing any squeaks, squeals or ...[more]
Tags: car maintenance, auto repair, preventative flush service, winter driving, engine maintenance, auto service, winter
October 5th, 2015
Consider this for a minute. The average American vehicle is driven around 12-15,000 miles per year. Studies show that in the course of that year, you’re going to step on your brakes 75,000 times! In light of that, it makes sense that you should have your brakes checked pretty frequently. But how frequently?
Let’s figure it this way. Your tires need to be rotated every 5-6,000 miles…and since all four tires will be off the car and the vehicle will be up on a lift, that’s a good time to inspect all the brake pads and rotors for wear. The friction material of the pads is designed to wear down, but for most drivers the wear is fairly slow.
A good brake inspection should look at:
- Pads or shoes
Posted in: Brakes
September 30th, 2015
Time has a way of sneaking up on everyone, and so does mileage on a vehicle. If you have a long commute or regularly put lengthy interstate trips on your car, you can easily rack up 15-18,000 miles a year. Even though today’s cars don’t need as much maintenance as cars from a generation ago, it’s still something you can’t neglect. Here’s a reminder of some important milestones for service on your vehicle:
• Check tire inflation
• Check oil and transmission fluid levels
• Check all lights
• Check windshield washer fluid
Every 5,000 Miles
Tags: car maintenance, auto repair, auto repair services, automotive repair, automotive repair services, car repair, truck repair
September 15th, 2015
Who’s ready for a Q and A about auto A/C? At Master Auto Repair in St. Louis, MO, we do hear questions about auto A/C from time to time, so we hope we can clear a few up today.
Q: Why is there an obnoxious smell from my car’s A/C vents?
A: It’s inevitable that water will condense in the A/C system…at the evaporator, around the blower and inside the vents and ductwork. Water means a ripe environment for dust, pollen and mildew to collect, and chances are that sour smell is coming from those. Replacing the car’s cabin air filter can help quite a bit. If the smell persists, try running the A/C on the “recirculate” setting, then spray a generous amount of ...[more]
Posted in: Air Conditioning
September 11th, 2015
We frequently get questions about all-season tires when consumers are trying to make the right purchasing decision for a set of new tires. As the title of the blog asks…”are all-season tires really all-season?”
The answer is: it that depends on what part of the country you’re living in.
All-season tires are a compromise from the very start. They’re designed for a forgiving ride, low noise, decent handling and good road manners. Maybe not as much as what a good set of grand touring tires can deliver, but pretty respectable…and also with an aggressive tread pattern which
channels water away from the tire’ ...[more]
August 27th, 2015
The kids are going to be headed off to school again before you know it, and then of course, the holidays will start coming one after another between Labor Day and the end of the year. There’s a lot to stay on top of, and auto repair should be one less thing for you, the grownup, to worry about as the year marches on. Here are some suggestions for things you might want to take care of before it all starts rolling again:
• Oil Change – Can’t remember the date of your last oil change? Then it might be a good idea to go ahead and set up another one. Dirty motor oil is so loaded with carbon and other contaminants it will begin to form sludgy carbon deposits on internal engine assemblies and moving parts.
Tags: car maintenance, auto repair, auto repair service, automotive repair, preventative maintenance, back to school
August 13th, 2015
We see it all the time…people tend to not think about their tires until something goes wrong. Sometimes, this can mean sitting on the side of the road waiting for help, and other times it can mean more serious consequences. Here are a few things to remember for tire safety as the summer winds down and back-to-school season starts.
• Check your tire pressure regularly. This one is really important. Your car’s tires will lose air through the valve over time, and an underinflated tire will hurt fuel economy due to added rolling resistance. Low tires also affect handling and will generate enough heat that they can shorten the tire’s lifespan. Get a quality tire gauge (the dial type, not the pencil type) ...[more]
Tags: new tires, truck tires, car tires, tire repair, buy tires, tires, safe tires, tire replacement
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