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  • Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in MINNEAPOLIS: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at Affordable Transmissions

    Mar 21, 2017

    Taking care of our tires is part of car care for MINNEAPOLIS drivers. We know they have to be replaced when they wear out, but tires also require some preventive maintenance. This maintenance will improve and extend the life of the tires, so it's well worth the effort and expense for MINNEAPOLIS drivers to get it done. Tire maintenance includes keeping tires properly inflated, rotating tires and balancing wheels.

    The recommended tire pressure for a vehicle's tires is printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver's side doorjamb. A lot of engineering goes into calculating the correct pressure, so it's an important number for MINNEAPOLIS vehicle owners to know. Not following this recommendation can throw off the suspension system and can lead to tire damage. Underinflated tires wear out more quickly than properly inflated tires. Vehicles also get better traction and handling and on properly inflated tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a week and add air if necessary.

    Don't be tempted to add a bit of extra air to your tires when you fill them. Overinflated tires will cause the center tread to wear unevenly because of improper contact with the road. It will also affect the handling performance of your vehicle.

    Rotating tires allows all four tires on a vehicle to wear evenly. Front tires get more wear than rear tires because they do most of the work on turns. Tire rotation allows all of the tires to spend time on the front of the car so they all experience the extra wear.

    For most vehicles, tire rotation is simply a matter of moving the front tires to the rear and vice versa. Some vehicles, however, recommend a cross-rotational pattern. Other vehicles use asymmetrical tires, which means the right tires have to stay on the right side of the car and the left tires on the left. Some vehicles use differently sized wheels on the front and back of the car and should not have their tires rotated.

    What kind of rotation do you need? Check your owner's manual or talk to your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions. Your owner's manual will have information about how to rotate your vehicle's tires as well as letting you know how often you should get it done. For most vehicles, that's usually every 5,000 miles. Your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions professionals can also offer auto advice about tire rotation. A quick tire inspection can also indicate whether or not your tires are due to be rotated.

    When it comes to tire maintenance for MINNEAPOLIS drivers, wheel balancing is usually what we know least about. Balancing a wheel is necessary to keep it in constant contact with the road. If a tire is not balanced properly, it actually hops along the roadway. You can feel this hopping as a vibration in your steering wheel if the unbalanced tire is a front tire. You'll feel the vibration through your seat if a rear tire is unbalance. Properly balancing your tires is important and will extend their life span, improve handling and improve the safety of your vehicle. When you replace your tires, the new tires need to be balanced.

    Never use different sized tires on the same axle of a vehicle. In other words, your front tires need to be the same size and your rear tires need to be the same size. Mixing sizes can lead to some serious handling problems for MINNEAPOLIS drivers.

    If you have an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle all four tires need to be the same size. If your tires are wearing out, you can sometimes make a new tire purchase fit within your budget by only buying two tires at a time. When you do this, the new tires should be installed on the rear of the vehicle. Rear tires are more in need of the traction than your front tires to avoid spinning out on slippery surfaces. If you drive a vehicle around MINNEAPOLIS, you need tires, so you need to know how to care for them. The safety of your vehicle can depend on the condition of your tires.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    Getting the Right Tires and Wheels in MINNEAPOLIS

    Mar 1, 2017

    A lot of people get custom wheels in MINNEAPOLIS. When you do this yourself (over the internet . . .) you could run into trouble if you're not careful. Sometimes, once they're mounted, they just don't fit right. The tires rub in turns or on bumps. You don't want that.

    Consulting your Affordable Transmissions tire professional can ensure you get the right fit. First he'll ask you a series of questions about your MINNEAPOLIS driving needs and what you want in your new wheels. Now, not every wheel can go on every car. Care must be taken so that tires and wheels are not too large or that the wheel is centered too far towards the outside or the inside so the tires rub.

    If you don't want to make any modifications to your vehicle, you would need to focus on the wheels that would fit. With trucks, some people in MINNEAPOLIS like much bigger tires so they need a suspension lift.

    Also, most MINNEAPOLIS drivers don't realize that you need to keep the rolling diameter of your new tires – that's, like the overall height of the tire – very close to what came from the factory in order for your vehicle anti-lock brakes and stability control systems to work properly.

    The computers that control these systems are calibrated to a certain size tire. When you go bigger or smaller, the computer doesn't know what changes you made so it can't tell how fast you're going. This, of course, means it sends commands to the brakes and traction control that are based on the wrong speed. If you go with a different rolling diameter, your vehicle engine control computer can be reprogrammed for the new tire size.

    Either way, there are hundreds of wheel and tire choices to choose from in MN. You can pick the style of wheel you want and then talk with your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions tire professional about how big the wheel should be – and how to select the right tire for your vehicle. Your Affordable Transmissions service advisor will help you find the best tire to meet your style, performance, ride and handling needs in MINNEAPOLIS.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169




    When Are Your Tires Worn Out?

    Sep 25, 2016


     

    Hey MINNEAPOLIS area drivers, are your tires worn out? What is the standard for our MN streets? How can you tell on your vehicle?

    While there may be legal requirements for the MINNEAPOLIS area, there are safety concerns that go beyond meeting minimum replacement mandates.

    2/32 is the depth of the tire tread wear indicator bars that US law has required to be molded across all tires since August 1, 1968. When tires are worn so that this bar is visible, there's just 2/32 of an inch – 1.6 millimeters – of tread left. It's that level of wear that's been called into question recently.

    We're referring to the tread depth on a tire, it can't move the water out of the way and you start to hydroplane.

    In the study a section of a test track was flooded with a thin layer of water. If you laid a dime on the track, the water would be deep enough to surround the coin, but not enough to cover it.

    A car and a full-sized pick-up were brought up to 70 miles per hour, or 112 kilometers an hour, and then made a hard stop in the wet test area. Stopping distance and time were measured for three different tire depths:

    • New tire tread depth
    • 4/32 of an inch
    • 2/32 of an inch

    So what happened with the 2/32 tires on the car? Get this – when the car had traveled the distance required to stop with new tires, it was still going 55 miles an hour. Stopping distance was nearly doubled to 379 feet and it took 5.9 seconds.

    Wow! That means if you barely have room to stop with new tires, you would hit the car in front of you at 55 miles an hour with the worn tires.

    Now, with the partially worn tires – at 4/32 of an inch – the car was still going at 45 miles an hour at the point where new tires brought the car to a halt. It took nearly 100 feet more room to stop and 1.2 seconds longer. That's a big improvement. We can see why Consumer Reports and others are calling for a new standard.

    Of course, stopping distances were greater for the heavier pick-up truck.

    How do you know when your tires are at 4/32 of an inch? Easy; just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

    You may remember doing that with pennies. A penny gives you 2/32 to Abraham Lincoln's head. The quarter is the new recommendation – 4/32.

    How do people feel about replacing their tires earlier? Well, tires are a big ticket item and most people want to get the most wear out of them that they can. But do you want that much more risk just to run your tires until they are legally worn out?

    For us, and we would guess for many, the answer is "no".

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169

     




    The Fallacy of Cheap Tires

    Aug 22, 2016

    Do you ever shop for shoes in one of our American Fork area shoe stores?
    When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
    Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
    Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pair of lower quality shoes at the same price?

    Is the warranty important when buying tires?
    When you choose new tires in MINNEAPOLIS, what's the most important factor for you?

    Give us a call at Affordable Transmissions at (763) 533-1169 for tire recommendations.

    You know, buying tires in MINNEAPOLIS is a big deal. It's a big ticket item so you know you'll be spending a lot. You're not only concerned about the price, but you want to know that it'll be a long time before you need to buy new tires again.

    And of course there's the safety aspect as well. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. They need to be up to the task. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer, the tires need a high load rating to be up for the job.

    As a tire professional, I think it's important that people understand the effect of price on a tire's performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad had a saying. He said, "Pay twice as much and buy half as many".

    Dad applied that to a lot of things. He thought that one high quality suit would last longer and look better than two cheap suits. The saying really seems to hold true when it comes to shoes and boots, too.

    I buy high-quality work shoes because I spend a lot of time on my feet. They're more comfortable, have important safety features like steel toes and non-slip soles – and they last at least twice as long as cheap shoes. I feel I get very good value for my money.

    I apply the same thinking to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are well-engineered and very high quality. Comparable tires are usually in the same price range from brand to brand.

    Stepping down in price you come to private label tires. Some large tire store chains carry tires with the chain's own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 brands that you are familiar with – so they are a quality product. You can ask your tire professional who makes their private brand.

    The lowest priced tires on the market are Tier 3 tires. These tend to be imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.

    So let's say you need new tires. You've determined the features you need. So you have several options, including price options. Now, you've probably heard the term 'it's a 40 thousand mile tire' or 'it's a 60 thousand mile tire'. Simply put, the manufacturer warrantees the tire for 'X' number of miles. If that's important to you, look for the warranty.

    What's the difference in the tires with higher mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.

    Now the cheapest tires you can find won't have a manufacturer's mileage warranty or if it does, it'll be relatively low. That brings us back to dad's saying; if you buy the cheapest Tier 3 tire you can, you will likely go through two sets in the time it would take to wear out one set of good quality tires. And the good tires won't cost twice as much, so you'll end up paying more per mile driven with the cheap tires.

    Hey, I realize that sometimes the budget will only allow for a Tier 3 tire. I make them available for my customers who need them because I would rather see them driving with safe, new tires than pushing their old tires beyond their safety limits. But at Affordable Transmissions, we always counsel our customers to buy as much tire as they can afford, because it will be much less expensive in the long run.

    Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built.

    Buy value – not price.

    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169
    http://affordabletransmissions.autotipsblog.com




    Below 45 Degrees in MINNEAPOLIS: Consider Winter Tires

    Aug 2, 2016

    Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and MINNEAPOLIS drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. MN drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

    Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the MINNEAPOLIS area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with MN winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at MINNEAPOLIS temperatures below 45°F, which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that MINNEAPOLIS drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

    The tread design on winter tires has been improved to actually move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves actually throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can actually pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

    The all-season tire that is popular among MINNEAPOLIS drivers is actually a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for MINNEAPOLIS drivers in either season, but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather, but lousy performance in winter. MINNEAPOLIS drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

    If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Affordable Transmissions. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. MINNEAPOLIS drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

    For more auto advice about tires for any MN season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in MINNEAPOLIS.


    Affordable Transmissions
    6317 WELCOME AVE N STE 1
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55429
    (763) 533-1169