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  • 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




    Affordable Transmissions Advice on Buying New Tires

    Jul 4, 2016

    Today's tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every MINNEAPOLIS driver's style, habits and driving conditions.

    Tires are designed for high-performance in winter or summer and even come in a long-wearing variety for all MN seasons.

    MINNEAPOLIS off-roaders should be excited about the options available to them as well. The tread on off-road tires is designed to handle the wear from bumps and rocks. The tires' high profile protects rims from damage.

    But what if you own an SUV but aren't interested in off-roading around MN? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.

    Affordable Transmissions tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.

    If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional at Affordable Transmissions can also help you select the tires that are best for your driving needs and habits. The right tires will protect you and your vehicle on the road.

    So personalize your vehicle, but don't forget that good car care will keep that sassy ride on the road in MINNEAPOLIS a lot longer.

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




    Automotive Tips from Affordable Transmissions: When to Replace a Damaged Tire

    May 30, 2016

    Repair or Replace? That’s a question MINNEAPOLIS drivers ask when they have tire damage. Some punctures cannot be repaired because of their size or location. Punctures larger than a quarter of an inch are considered too large to be safely repaired. Punctures in the sidewall or near the shoulders may not be able to be repaired. And sometimes there is internal damage revealed on inspection that indicates the tire should not be repaired.

    Run flat tires should not be repaired. Repairing high performance tires may make them unsuitable for motorsports. Your friendly and professional Affordable Transmissions service advisor can inspect your damaged tire and tell you if it can be safely repaired or if it should be replaced - and then help you get back on the roads around MINNEAPOLIS.

    Give us a call.

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