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Tire or Re-Tire? (Getting Tires Ready for Hot Weather)

Tire or Re-Tire? (Getting Tires Ready for Hot Weather)

Heat isn't easy on vehicle tires, and as the seasons change, make sure yours are ready to take the heat.  Let's talk first about inflation.  Heat causes air to expand, so heat alone can raise the pressure in your tires.  If you are driving on overinflated tires, they won't have as much contact with the road surface.  In that case, it will take you a longer distance to stop. On the other hand, you don't want your tires to be underinflated during hot weather, either.  That can cause your sidewalls to flex.  Friction will then hike up the temperature and your tire can be in danger of blowing from the added heat. Other things can cause problems, such as uneven wearing.  Your service advisor knows the signs to look for and can diagnose where the wear is and what is likely causing it.  Another thing a technician will look for on tires is tread depth and the condition of the sidewalls.  Any cuts, cracks or bulges could be indicat ... read more

When Metal Meets Metal (Wheel Bearings)

When Metal Meets Metal (Wheel Bearings)

What part of your vehicle has little metal balls inside that are lubricated and allow you to cruise on down the road?  They are wheel bearings, and automotive designers might argue they are human beings' second greatest invention of all time (the first is, of course, the wheel!). You have a wheel bearing at each wheel.  They allow your wheels to turn freely, minimizing friction that would ordinarily slow you down when metal meets metal.  When one of your wheel bearings starts to go bad, it lets you know. A wheel bearing does its work quietly when it's in good health but starts getting noisy when it isn't.  People describe the noise differently.  Sometimes it sounds like road noise, a pulsating, rhythmic, sound.  That pulse speeds up when your vehicle speeds up.  Here's what's happening when you hear that sound.  As mentioned, the bearing has these little metal balls inside a ring.  They have a lubricant inside to reduce ... read more

Synthetic Oil

If you are a driver in Michigan and you aren't currently using synthetic motor oil in your vehicle, maybe now's the time to consider it. Need more information? Well, synthetic motor oil is a substitute for petroleum based oil. Synthetic oil doesn't gel or gum-up like petroleum based oil and it doesn't vaporize as easily. It protects better in severe driving conditions like stop and go driving around Michigan, as well as in very hot or very cold conditions. More and more new vehicles are being delivered with full synthetic motor oil, with the recommendation to use synthetic for the life of the vehicle. Why is this? Synthetic motor oil maximizes engine power and fuel economy. To see why, we'd need a microscope, so we'll have to settle for using our imaginations. The molecules of conventional motor oil are long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, has uniform, round molecules. Which is more slippery, a pile of pencils or a ... read more

Top Five Things You Should Know About Brake Safety

Top Five Things You Should Know About Brake Safety

To say that driving in a Michigan winter can be dangerous sounds silly saying it out loud… because, DUH! Even if you are a recent transplant, you’ll by now just how crazy it can get out there during the winter months. It’s worth it, though, because this is a wonderful place to live, but there are some things you can do to stay safe. Today, we focus on brake safety.   Make sure your tires are appropriate for the conditions. Snow tires are a must. Proper tread depth also a must. Both of these will affect your braking on snowy icy roads. Be aware that all of the de-icing salts and chemicals work to keep the ice on our roadways down, but it also makes your brakes wear out. If you haven’t had someone check this out already this winter, do it now. Our weather can be insane and it greatly contributes to the number of accidents in our state. In fact, we are in the top five for winter accidents and between Christmas and New Years alone, there were over 30 roa ... read more

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Winter Tires Vs. Regular Tires: What You Should Know

For anyone who is new to living in Holly, Michigan and they are not familiar with driving in snow (those poor native Floridians!), there is a lot to learn. Among the important things to figure out is the difference between winter tires and all-season tires. The main questions we get asked here at Armstead Automotive Repair are:   How are the tires different? When do you need to switch them out? What other tires should I consider? In an effort to offer useful and helpful information, we will share our professional opinion about key points between winter tires versus regular tires. How are the tires different?   Winter Tires: Winter tires are better equipped to grip the road when covered in heavy snow and black ice. You can tell the difference between the two types of tires when you look at the tread depth, tread patterns, the tread rubber, and biting edges. Certain winter tires are made for commercial vehicles and are engineered for heavy-duty winter performance ... read more

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Is Your Vehicle Ready For Holiday Travel?

Is it December already? Where did the year go? We don’t know about you, but it’s been a blessed whirlwind of auto repair activity all year at Armstead Automotive Repair in Holly, Michigan, and we are thankful to serve this community. Now that we’re in the middle of the holiday season, our family wants to make sure your family’s vehicles are ready to safely drive over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house for Christmas. To help you prepare for holiday travel, here are a few checklist items to make sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road safely: Tires -- Do you have your winter tires correctly balanced? Is your tire tread deep enough? Are your tires showing signs of uneven wear? Are your wheels properly aligned? Are you crash sensors properly aligned and synced up with your wheels? Has your TPMS / Tire Pressure Monitoring System shown up as an alert on your dashboard? Is your spare tire ready to go and do you have all the tools ... read more

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