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  • Picking the Right Tires in PRINCETON

    Feb 18, 2024

    Shopping for tires in PRINCETON can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.

    First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in PRINCETON are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on MN roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice.

    Next comes winter tires. PRINCETON people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on MN roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.

    The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in PRINCETON showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won't give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you're driving and weather conditions aren't at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.

    The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved PRINCETON roads.

    Choosing the right tire is important for PRINCETON car owners. Talk with your Affordable Transmissions tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.

    Give us a call.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Wheel Balancing at Affordable Transmissions

    Jan 7, 2024

    So you love your job, and your family life is great. Congratulations! You have achieved balance. But can you say the same for your wheels? PRINCETON drivers can tell if their tires are out of balance by vibrations at higher speeds on MN roads. If one of the front tires is out, you feel the vibration in the steering wheel. If it's a back tire, you'll feel the vibration in your seat.

    Tires and wheels are pretty heavy. When a tire is mounted on a wheel at Affordable Transmissions, it is usually not perfectly balanced. So the technician will spin the tire on a machine to determine where it's too heavy. He will then place weights on the wheels in strategic locations to balance it out. When a tire is out of balance, it actually bounces down the road instead of rolling smoothly. Since the average size tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kph, it is actually slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's where you get your vibration.

    Most people in PRINCETON are surprised at how smoothly their car rides after balancing all four wheels.

    Most high-quality tires sold in PRINCETON hold their balance pretty well. They just get out of balance gradually with normal wear and tear. If you suddenly feel a vibration, it is probably because you lost a wheel balancing weight along the way. Definitely get a balance at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON if you feel a vibration, change your rims or have a flat repaired. Putting off a needed balance job leads to excessive and tire wear, wear to your shocks, struts, steering and suspension parts. Wheel balancing not only improves your ride and handling, but also can save you some repair bills and possibly an accident. Additionally, you will get better fuel economy.

    Some PRINCETON area drivers have their tires balanced at every rotation. Others do it every other time. Check your owner's manual for your requirements, or ask your friendly service advisor at Affordable Transmissions. Doing this will put you on the path to mechanical wheel balance.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com

     




    Custom Wheels and Tires for Your PRINCETON Ride

    Nov 19, 2023


     

    It seems like everywhere you go in the PRINCETON area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans - it doesn't matter - are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some MN auto owners want smaller tires and wheels - some want larger - and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Affordable Transmissions, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you're after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.

    Let's start with something easy - you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your vehicle factory wheels.

    Your tire and wheel professional at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON can help you find the right size wheel or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.

    So, what about PRINCETON drivers who want to upsize? Well, if you want bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that's pretty easy for the team at Affordable Transmissions. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don't want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON will help you avoid this.

    Heading the other direction, some vehicle owners in the PRINCETON area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don't think that vehicle suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.

    Regardless of your budget, you want your vehicle to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and PRINCETON showrooms  look good but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around the PRINCETON area. There just isn't enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.

    Some stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren't rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around MN. Again, talk with your Affordable Transmissions wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in PRINCETON, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.

    At the end of the day, you're going to be rollin' out of Affordable Transmissions with one sweet ride.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Why Wheel Balancing and Tire Rotation Save You Money on Tires

    Oct 1, 2023



    PRINCETON drivers want their tires to last as long as possible. Two ways to extend tire life are wheel balancing and tire rotation.

    When wheels are out of balance, they wobble and vibrate. That makes the tires wear in a cupping pattern. If a front wheel is out of balance you'll feel it in the steering wheel. If it's a rear wheel you'll feel it through your seat. To fix this, your technician at Affordable Transmissions puts weights on your wheels to balance them out.

    That brings us to tire rotation. The front tires on a vehicle wear out faster than the rear tires. As they push through turns, the shoulders of the front tires wear down. So rotating front and rear tires allows them to all wear at about the same rate over the life of the tire.

    Proper tire inflation will also help PRINCETON folks' tires last longer. Underinflated tires wear more on the shoulder and may even overheat. This could cause tire damage or a blow out. Overinflated tires wear too fast in the middle.

    Four-wheel-drive trucks and SUV's tend to wear their tires more unevenly so rotation is even more important with them. Give Affordable Transmissions a call to get our recommendation for your vehicle.

    See your owner's manual or ask your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions for your recommended tire rotation schedule. It's usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, or 8,000 to 13,000 km.

    Tires are among the most important safety components on your vehicle. Take care of them and they'll take care of you.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Automotive Tips from Affordable Transmissions: Tire Replacement Overview

    Aug 13, 2023

    Tires are an expensive purchase, so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for PRINCETON drivers. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch (3.2 mm) of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread.

    Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems, and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the same uneven wear from happening to the new tires. At Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON, we can inspect your tires for excessive or uneven wear. Unusual wear may lead to further inspection of steering, suspension or alignment problems. We can help with necessary repairs and with getting you the right tires for your needs.

    Give us a call.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    PRINCETON Tire Repair

    Dec 26, 2021

    Most PRINCETON residents have experienced a flat tire. You know it's inconvenient and a pain. Our tires are important. Keeping them in good working order isn't just a big safety issue for PRINCETON drivers – it also has a financial impact. With high MN gas prices, we've all heard about the importance of keeping proper tire pressure to save on gas. In addition, proper inflation promotes even tread wear so your tires last longer. 

    There's another danger with under-inflated tires for PRINCETON residents. Low tire pressure puts added stress on the structure of the tire itself, causing it to break down prematurely. Also, under-inflated tires generate more heat which also reduces tire life. So get those slow leaks fixed quickly – don't just keep adding air every few days. You want to avoid tire damage.

    PRINCETON residents should only hire qualified tire professionals to perform repairs - we have a whole team of them at Affordable Transmissions. PRINCETON folks can buy self-repair kits, but we advise you to save those for emergencies, like when you're off-roading and need a quick fix so you can hobble back to civilization and get professional help. If you need to use a repair-in-a-can product, remember it's a temporary measure only and your tire needs to be properly repaired as soon as possible.

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Under Pressure in PRINCETON: TPMS

    Oct 17, 2021

    Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat tire fixed in PRINCETON, or have your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

    The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely underinflated.

    Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause crashes and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on MN roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, PRINCETON drivers who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

    Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires, has made it harder for PRINCETON drivers to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn't look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their vehicles are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

    So, like seatbelts, the TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it's being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV's, minivans and pick-ups. Besides warning drivers in the PRINCETON area when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

    This increased safety won't come without increased costs. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. PRINCETON service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. The pros at Affordable Transmissions have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to PRINCETON drivers.

    Further, whenever a tire is changed, Affordable Transmissions will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to be removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to PRINCETON drivers.

    Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle's battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

    The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

    So, if you've noticed an increase in the cost for vehicle care at your PRINCETON tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you're paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

    Of course, no warning system will save lives in PRINCETON if drivers don't pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn't come on until the tire is severely under inflated; you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. You can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

    Safe driving!

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at Affordable Transmissions

    Sep 20, 2020

    A lot of us PRINCETON drivers like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We're picky about color and body style. We'll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for MN motorists to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.

    Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.

    Fifteen or 16-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, but today, because a lot of PRINCETON drivers like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with 17 or 18-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of 20 inches or more are also available in PRINCETON.

    If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it's not a do-it-yourself project. There are factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn't jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.

    First of all, you need to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don't rub in turns or over bumps. If that's more work than you're willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.

    It's not as hard as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can't make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.

    Rolling diameter is important because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You'll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some PRINCETON drivers who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.

    Further, many vehicles in PRINCETON are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as safety concerns.

    Your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle's computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.

    So to maintain rolling diameter, you'll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.

    To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you'll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many MN auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around PRINCETON, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.

    Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on PRINCETON roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.

    Affordable Transmissions tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help you select wheels and tires that will suit your driving needs and habits.

    For example, if you drive off-road around PRINCETON, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from damage while you're bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around MN, you'll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your friendly and knowledgeable Affordable Transmissions tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.

    Once you've got your new wheels, have your service advisor at Affordable Transmissions see if you need an alignment. You don't want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON.

    Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they'll need slightly higher pressure. You'll need to stay on top of preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to check their pressure at least once a week. If you don't keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also affect your braking and handling performance.

    So smile and show off your vehicle around MN. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!

    Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com




    The Affordable Transmissions Guide to Custom Wheels

    Sep 13, 2020

    If you're interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your vehicle, there are a few things you should know first.

    Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many PRINCETON drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don't fit right and the tires rub against the vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.

    To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Affordable Transmissions tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your vehicle. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you'll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.

    But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you're willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable professional's help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional PRINCETON custom wheel shop, like Affordable Transmissions, can help you get the work done right.

    The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your vehicle are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason you should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in PRINCETON. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.

    Your car's computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your vehicle, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.

    If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine's computer reprogrammed at Affordable Transmissions to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn't just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want and meet your handling needs. We're not saying you shouldn't personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Affordable Transmissions in PRINCETON.

    After all, good vehicle care isn't just about preventive maintenance. It's also about making good choices.

     Affordable Transmissions
    31533 125 1/2 Street
    PRINCETON, MN 55371
    (763) 533-1169
    http://www.affordabletransmission-mn.com