Considering an Alternative Fuel Vehicle In Salt Lake City?Posted November 18, 2014 12:51 PM
There is a clear and vocal demand in Kearns and nationally for a reduction in air pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels. This is what is driving the Utah market for alternative fuel vehicles. There are a number of these vehicles on Salt Lake City area roads today, and many more being developed. Yet each of these vehicles has its own advantages and disadvantages. Kearns auto owners should learn what these advantages and disadvantages are before running out and purchasing one of these alternative fuel vehicles at your nearest Salt Lake City dealership.
Salt Lake City motorists should carefully research the car care before buying an alternative vehicle, as it may or may not coincide with the standards for gasoline vehicles. You should look at costs and fuel economy as well: these vehicles may help save our environment here in Kearns, but that might not represent a savings to your wallet. You’ll need to decide what you can afford, and what will work for your lifestyle. Also, your choice of vehicle may be affected by what fuels are available in your Salt Lake City area. Switching to an alternative fuel vehicle is not a bad decision, but it should be a carefully considered one.
Flex Fuel Vehicles
Flex fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on a combination of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Because of the 85% ethanol content, this fuel is commonly called E85 in Utah.
Ethanol is made from corn. So flex fuel vehicles lessen our dependency on fossil fuels. But they also raise the price of corn, which is a basic foodstuff in some areas of the world. Whether replacing fossil fuels with corn is a good idea is hotly contested right now.
Flex fuel vehicles do have lower harmful exhaust emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles. And in Salt Lake City, E85 is usually lower in cost than regular gasoline. When gasoline prices fall in Utah, however, they can drop below the price of E85. This is to Kearns auto owners’ advantage, since the vehicle can run on either fuel, but it negates the benefits of lowered exhaust emissions and lower consumption of fossil fuels.
One piece of Gines Auto Service auto advice before we move on: do not put E85 into your vehicle unless it has an engine designed for flex fuels. Because of the high ethanol content in E85, engines need special seals and gaskets to function properly on this fuel. Running an ordinary engine with E85 can lead to gas leaks and fires.
Diesel engines are nothing new on Utah expressways, and many get great fuel efficiency. Diesel fuel can now be made from vegetable oil and other renewable sources. A diesel fuel made from algae will soon be on the market in Salt Lake City.
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline in Kearns and burns more cleanly. Also, gasoline engines can be adapted to run on compressed natural gas, and many natural gas vehicles are already on West Valley City roads. You can even install a special pump in your home gas line to use to fuel your vehicle. If you are interested in converting your gasoline engine to run on CNG in Kearns, ask your Gines Auto Service service advisor about it.
On the other hand, an engine running on natural gas is not as powerful as one running on gasoline, and it will get lower MPG. Also, the tank you need to store natural gas is large—it takes up nearly the entire trunk of your car. Further, refueling stations are still few and far between in some Utah areas, or even unavailable, in many parts of the country.
Another alternative fuel that has enjoyed a lot of hype in Salt Lake City is the hydrogen cell. The natural appeal is that the only exhaust is water vapor. In other words, hydrogen represents a truly clean-burning fuel. But hydrogen vehicles won’t come into widespread use until refueling stations become widely available here in Kearns and around the country.
Electric vehicles were all the rage in Utah some years ago. But their limitations were quickly realized by Kearns motorists. These vehicles won’t come into their own until we find ways to improve their batteries. Currently, the cars have a short range before their power runs out, and can only be realistically used close to home. However, they are easy to recharge, since they can be plugged in at home, and there are many researchers working on improving the battery technology in these vehicles. They may yet be the vehicles of the future.
Hybrids have been one of the most successful alternative fuel vehicles here in Kearns and throughout the county. A hybrid gets its name because it has both a gas or diesel engine and an electric motor.
There are two types of hybrids. The full-hybrid relies on the electric motor for power, but the gas (or diesel) engine generates power for the battery. Thus, while still consuming fossil fuels, it uses less of them than a standard automobile, and also reduces harmful pollutants. Also, it overcomes the range problem of the strictly electric vehicle.
In a mild hybrid, the electric motor assists the gas or diesel engine in powering the car. Thus, it uses more gasoline or diesel than full hybrids and has higher emissions. But mild hybrids are available in larger body models like full-size pickups and SUV’s.
A Note of Caution about Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
One last note before we leave the subject of alternative fuel vehicles. The battery in an electric or hybrid vehicle is not as tame as the one in a standard vehicle. They carry enough voltage to kill you. These are not do-it-yourself vehicles when it comes to preventive maintenance or car care. Only a trained technician should work under their hoods.
Posted in the Automotive News category
The Gines Auto Service Guide to Saving Fuel: Car WeightPosted November 13, 2014 12:34 PM
The team at Gines Auto Service in Kearns and Utah car owners are all talking gas mileage right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Kearns motorists want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.
And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize fuel efficiency. But is there something more Kearns car owners can do? After all, some of us Kearns folks can’t cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.
Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from Kearns to Salt Lake City. And that means buying more gas in Kearns and producing more emissions.
Of course, your vehicle’s weight isn’t negotiable. And you can’t do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn’t an article about diet and exercise.
But look around your vehicle. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around Utah? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your Kearns home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don’t. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.
The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don’t.
Clean out your Kearns. You’d be surprised how much weight you’re lugging around Kearns in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food, and regular old dirt. Even if it’s not a lot of weight, you’ll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.
Now, don’t toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your Kearns when you go on a longer trip, but you don’t have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?
Lose the junk and save some money in Kearns.
Posted in the Fuel System category
WhatPosted November 4, 2014 12:52 PM
Would you be surprised to learn that about half of the passenger cars in Europe have diesel engines? You might also be surprised to learn that most auto makers produce a variety of diesel-fueled cars for purchase abroad.
Diesel-fueled vehicles haven’t been as popular in the North American markets like Utah. But that won’t be true for long. North Americans are seeing a lot more diesel-fueled vehicles on the road. And we’re not talking about buses and trucks. These vehicles will be passenger cars, pick-ups and SUV’s.
There are two reasons for this. The first is a recent change in environmental laws that have upgraded emissions standards for diesel fuel in North America. Diesel fuel in North America used to have higher sulfur content than European fuel, meaning that it was a dirtier fuel to burn. That was okay for larger vehicles, but the lighter-weight engines in passenger vehicles just couldn’t tolerate it.
But that high sulfur content is now a thing of the past. Fuel producers are now required to sell cleaner diesel fuel in Kearns. That opens the North American market to more diesel-powered vehicles. The second reason we’re going to see more of these vehicles in Kearns is that they’re more fuel-efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel fuel has higher energy density than gasoline. That translates to more power per barrel of fuel. In your tank, that translates to better engine performance and about 20% more miles per gallon.
Kearns drivers may associate diesel engines with black smoke, noise and a definite “shake, rattle and roll.” That’s also a thing of the past. Modern diesel engines are smooth and quiet and produce cleaner emissions than gasoline engines. Also, forget that three-second wait behind a diesel vehicle at a stoplight. Modern diesels are just as quick to accelerate as other vehicles on Kearns roads.
Diesel engines have other advantages over gasoline engines. Diesel engines are heavier than gasoline engines because they require more heavy-duty parts, but that means the engines are more durable and can last longer than gasoline engines. Also, diesel engines may be the engines of the future since they can burn many of the new bio-fuels.
Bio-diesel can be manufactured from vegetable oils, including used cooking oil from Kearns restaurants. Just think, one day you could fuel your vehicle on stuff that was once considered waste—one step closer to a cleaner environment here in Utah. And if you think hybrid cars are environmentally sound, consider what a diesel-electric hybrid could mean. They will soon be available for
Kearns car owners who are considering buying a diesel-fueled vehicle, should know that critical preventive maintenance and inspection schedules are different for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is harder on emissions systems than gasoline, so the filters and other devices have to be changed and checked more often. Also, the fuel injection system operates at much higher pressures for diesel than for gasoline, so keeping it clean becomes a higher priority.
When you switch from a gas vehicle to a diesel, you’ll have to learn some new rules of car care. But you won’t be alone. Most
Kearns service centers are aware that diesels are coming to North America and are already prepared to provide service for diesel engines. At Gines Auto Service, we are well-versed in diesel technology. You can rely on our team of automotive professionals to provide quality service for diesel powered vehicles.
Posted in the Diesel Maintenance category
Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service At Gines Auto Service In KearnsPosted October 29, 2014 4:31 PM
Most Utah motorists know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.
Why is it critical for Salt Lake City auto owners to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.
Kearns folks should understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won’t know the system is sick until it actually dies. So good car care includes regularly checking the refrigerant and lubricant in your vehicle air conditioning system and replacing it if needed.
The second reason your air conditioning system needs preventive maintenance is that air and water can get into the system. Air, water and the contaminants they contain will reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system and can cause corrosion of the system’s parts. Keeping the air conditioning system clean is an essential practice and will extend its life and keep you from losing your cool on hot Salt Lake City days.
How often should you get a routine car air conditioner inspection? It varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the auto maker’s recommendation.
Here’s a good piece of auto advice for Utah auto owners that will extend the life of their air conditioning systems: You should run your air conditioner in the winter every once in a while. This circulates the refrigerant, which lubricates the seals. That way, they won’t dry out during cold Kearns weather.
Your air conditioning system doesn’t just cool the air in your vehicle; it dries it out as well. So if you have trouble with a foggy windshield, flip on your air conditioning on the defrost setting. You may be surprised at how quickly it takes care of the problem. Of course, some vehicles can’t run the air conditioner and defroster at the same time; you should check your owner’s manual or with the auto manufacturer if you are uncertain whether this feature works in your car or not.
So, after learning about preventive maintenance for your A/C, you might now be wondering if your air conditioner is in trouble. Two early warning signs of a failing air conditioner are (1) the air just isn’t getting as cold as it used to and (2) there’s a strange noise when the air conditioner turns on. If you notice either of these symptoms in your vehicle, you should bring it to Gines Auto Service in Kearns as soon as possible.
Just some good auto advice to keep you cool in Salt Lake City and keep you on the road!
Posted in the Air Conditioning category
Budget For Maintenance in KearnsPosted October 23, 2014 8:22 AM
Sometimes busy Kearns residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Salt Lake City in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today’s automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Kearns auto owners spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today’s vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.
Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today’s Kearns motorists would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Kearns car owners didn’t care much for it, either. So on today’s vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Kearns area auto service centers.
Kearns auto owners should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Kearns is simply more pricey than it used to be. So if you think about it, Utah drivers can avoid many expensive vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.
Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Salt Lake City auto owners can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.
These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Salt Lake City car owners know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your vehicle will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.
Let’s look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds’ estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):
|Yr. 1||Yr. 2
According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more pricey than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.
Just a bit of auto advice from Gines Auto Service: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you’re afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and Utah auto insurance with an older Kearns vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for essential preventive maintenance in Utah, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less expensive!
Posted in the Maintenance category
Straight And True In Kearns: Wheel AlignmentPosted October 15, 2014 4:25 PM
Most Salt Lake City folks worry about running out of gas or having a breakdown on the side of the road. That is why we practice preventive maintenance on our vehicles — that and to keep our repair bills down. But one important part of preventive maintenance that may get overlooked by Kearns auto owners is a periodic alignment inspection.
Poor alignment causes tires to wear rapidly, unevenly or both. This means they will have to be replaced early, and new tires are more pricey than an alignment check in Kearns. Bad alignment can also cause damage to suspension and steering systems, which can be expensive to repair in Salt Lake City.
Tire wear on misaligned wheels can also lead to blowouts, which are dangerous, can lead to serious accidents, and can seriously damage your vehicle. Also, poor alignment itself can be the cause of an accident, since the vehicle may not steer properly.
One or more wheels on your vehicle can be knocked out of alignment by running over a curb or a pothole on a bumpy Kearns street. An accident, even a minor one, that involves a wheel on your car can lead to misalignment. The small bumps and bangs of everyday West Valley City driving can also gradually put your wheels out of alignment.
If you have had wheel damage to your vehicle, or if you suspect that your wheels are out of alignment, you should get your alignment checked NOW. Any Gines Auto Service tech will give you that piece of auto advice. But good car care suggests that you also get your alignment inspected on a regular basis. At Gines Auto Service in Kearns, we can take care of that for you.
Your owner’s manual or Gines Auto Service service professional can give you a suggestion on how often your alignment should be checked. If it doesn’t, then once a year is a good rule of thumb. However, if you drive a lot and especially if you drive on rough surfaces a lot, then you may want to consider a diagnostic examination more often. Ask your friendly and honest service professional for a recommendation.
If your vehicle is out of alignment, one or more of the wheels is not tracking correctly and will “pull” against the others. Thus, one sign of poor alignment is that your vehicle pulls to one side when you drive around Salt Lake City. Also, if you are driving a straight path and your steering wheel is off-center, that usually indicates an alignment problem.
Kearns motorists should also check the wear on their tires. If they seem to be wearing out too quickly, or if you notice that a tire is wearing on one side more than the other, you should get your alignment checked.
When you get an inspection, your vehicle will be put on a rack and all the parts of the steering and suspension systems will be inspected for wear or damage. The alignment of the tires will be charted and compared to the original factory settings. If no repairs are needed on the steering or suspension systems, the wheels will then be adjusted to bring them back into alignment.
This may seem like a lot of bother for Kearns car owners, but it’s a lot less trouble than a blowout or an accident. The old adage is good auto advice for all Kearns residents: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So keep on driving, and keep all four tires on the road.
Posted in the Alignment category
ItPosted October 7, 2014 4:27 PM
There are a lot of things in life that Kearns residents have to do on a regular basis. We wash dishes every day, do our laundry and mow our lawns every week, and pay the bills every month. We should go to our Kearns dentist twice a year and see our doctor for a check-up once a year. When we don’t stay on schedule with these routines, it can lead to embarrassing, painful or expensive consequences.
Scheduled maintenance is also part of good car care. Kearns drivers should take their vehicles in regularly for a good check-up. But many Salt Lake City folks struggle to remember, or actually even ignore, this auto advice. When it comes to our cars, we’re more likely to listen to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” than “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Yet it is the second adage that is the more applicable one.
Regular brushing treatments prevent cavities. Filling a cavity prevents a more painful and more expensive root canal. In the same way, replacing coolant/antifreeze, for example, vehicle can prevent cooling system leaks. Repairing leaks can prevent engine failure. So why do we procrastinate?
One reason might be that “ignorance is bliss.” We can see dirty dishes on the counter and how long our grass is getting; we can smell how dirty our clothes are; but we don’t notice how dirty our transmission fluid is getting. However, trouble in our vehicles is like trouble in our bodies—ignorance is not bliss. High blood pressure can lead to heart damage, and inadequate coolant can lead to engine damage. However, we can’t know about either one unless we take the time for a diagnostic check-up at Gines Auto Service in Kearns.
Another reason us Kearns motorists put off scheduled maintenance for our vehicles may be that we are simply intimidated by automotive care. After all, we understand how to take care of clothing, dishes, lawns, etc. Most of us have a basic working knowledge of our bodies and feel qualified to explain how we feel. But our vehicles? What exactly does routine, preventive maintenance involve? Most Kearns motorists don’t know.
Of course, our vehicles come with owner’s manuals that do a good job of explaining what routine maintenance is and how often our vehicles need it. But how many Kearns car owners actually read them?
The good news is that all Kearns drivers have to do is remember to take our vehicles to a reputable, service center like Gines Auto Service in Kearns. Like a good doctor, your friendly and honest Gines Auto Service technician will be able to tell you what maintenance and service your car needs and when. The service center can track your car’s maintenance records—just as a doctor maintains your health records—so that your vehicle is getting the service it needs in a timely manner.
Here are some guidelines to help Kearns motorists understand the basics of preventive maintenance: Fluids. If it’s a liquid, it has to be replaced regularly. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often. Liquids include oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid and differential fluid. There may be others. Check with your owner’s manual or your service center for specifics on your vehicle.
Tires. They need routine, scheduled care to wear well. Primarily, they need air. But they also need to be rotated, balanced and aligned.
Brakes. Brakes and shock absorbers wear out. There’s no way to avoid it. Worn parts need to be replaced.
Fuel. Obviously your vehicle needs gas on a regular basis. But the fuel system also needs periodic maintenance. Air filters and fuel filters get dirty and need to be replaced. The fuel system needs to be kept clean.
These are the basics of car maintenance. Of course, there are other parts of your car that need to be inspected regularly, such as the battery, exhaust system, belts, etc. These parts have longer life cycles than your fluids, tires, brakes and filters, and so don’t need to be replaced as often.
If you are taking your vehicle in for the basics, then your Kearns service center will let you know when it is time for an inspection of these other things. Or they may notice a problem when doing routine maintenance and let you know. Either way, you’ll get a heads-up when your vehicle needs more attention.
If you’re not convinced yet that your vehicle needs regular service, consider this: not doing so will cost you in decreased gas mileage, lower performance and compromised safety. These could lead to expensive repair bills and costly accidents.
Just like a good dental check-up, a good auto check-up at Gines Auto Service in Kearns can save you from experiencing embarrassing, costly and painful situations.
Posted in the Inspection category
Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Gines Auto ServicePosted October 1, 2014 12:40 PM
When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.
Buying tires at Gines Auto Service in Kearns is a lot like buying shoes, except that Kearns car owners' vehicles don’t have changeable apparel and don’t need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of Utah road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.
Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Salt Lake City area drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Kearns need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough Utah mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.
The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the Salt Lake City area tire market, although prices don’t vary much from brand to brand.
Tire chain stores in Kearns often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires, but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in Salt Lake City are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don’t hesitate to ask your Gines Auto Service tire professional who makes their private brand.
The cheapest tires on the Utah tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don’t have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, Kearns folks get what they pay for.
At Gines Auto Service, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40-thousand-mile tire,” or a "60-thousand mile tire." This refers to the number of miles a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.
Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you’re really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It’s always better for Kearns auto owners to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.
That said, if you’re driving on Tier 3 tires, it’s a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That’s the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires, and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Salt Lake City car owners.
So, some good auto advice for Kearns car owners would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you’ll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there’s some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t have to purchase tires as often.
Good car care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Talk To Gines Auto Service About New Shoes For Your VehiclePosted September 23, 2014 5:34 PM
Custom wheels are one way that Kearns folks express themselves and personalize their vehicle. But they aren’t as cheap and easy as sticking decals on your back window. There are several essential factors need to be considered, including cost, the fit of the wheel, modifications that will have to be made to the vehicle, how the new wheels and tires will affect the operation of the vehicle, your driving habits, and, of course, the style of the wheels. Most Kearns auto owners start with the last factor: the style of the wheels. But that should be the last thing we choose.
When considering custom wheels, you should first carefully consider your budget. Some wheels may require pricey adjustments to your vehicle suspension system, brakes, or traction systems. You need to know what you can afford before you start shopping in Salt Lake City or get your heart set on a particular type of wheel.
There are three basic ways you can change your wheels. First, you choose a wheel that is already the same size as the ones on your vehicle. Second, you can choose larger wheels, and third, you can choose smaller wheels. Mounting wheels that are the same size as the ones already on your car sounds easy enough. But, even though the wheel may be the same diameter as your current wheels, but that doesn’t mean it will fit your vehicle. Besides diameter, wheels also have an offset. This is the measurement from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on. If your new wheel does not have the same offset as your current wheels, your vehicle tires can rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. This can lead to blowouts, uneven tread wear, and other mechanical problems.
The tire and wheel professionals in Kearns at Gines Auto Service on 4261 W 5415 S can help you select a wheel that has both the correct diameter and offset for your vehicle. Or, if you really want a specific wheel in spite of the offset difference, your may be able to install adapters that will make the wheels fit.
Mounting larger wheels is a more involved process. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount larger wheels, but keep the overall tire diameter the same. Or you can “supersize” your tire/wheel combo. Mounting larger wheels while maintaining the same overall tire diameter is the easiest way to increase wheel size. You still need to adjust for offset. Generally, this alteration means that your new tires will be wider than the originals, so you will have to install adapters to keep them from rubbing on the wheel wells. Consult your Gines Auto Service tech by calling 801-966-6021.
If you want to install larger wheels and increase the overall tire diameter, it is vital that the package fits in the wheel well: you may have to do some minor modifications to your suspension. More importantly, you will have to reprogram your vehicle engine’s computer to calibrate for the larger tire size. The computer calculates your speed based on the rotation of your tires, so increasing the size of the tires will render it inaccurate. Inaccurate speed calculations can mess up your anti-lock brakes and your stability control systems, as well as your speedometer and odometer.
As you can see, the more modifications you make, the more vital it becomes to have your friendly and honest Gines Auto Service technician tire and wheel professional help you with your car care.
If you really want those “super-sized” tires, great: just factor in the issues listed above, plus you may have to have modifications done to your suspension system.
The larger wheels and tires will add weight to your vehicle. This weight is not held up by the suspension system, so is referred to as “unsprung” weight. Adding unsprung weight affects your car differently than just adding loads inside of your car. Unsprung weight can affect acceleration and braking. Putting large wheels on your vehicle may require an upgraded brake system.
Also, you may not get the performance from your vehicle that you’ve been used to. It may be sluggish when accelerating or harder to handle when turning. You may also find that the ride is bumpier than it was before. Of course, done right at Gines Auto Service, a good wheel job can sometimes improve a vehicle’s ride or performance. It just depends on your vehicle, the type of wheels you choose, and what you are hoping to accomplish.
Now let’s suppose you want smaller wheels on your vehicle. That should be easier, right? Not really. You still have to worry about offset, and it is important that your computer be reprogrammed to account for calibration issues. And you may need adjustments to your suspension system.
Remember your budget? All of these scenarios require that you shell out some money. Perhaps now you can see why it is good auto advice for Kearns motorists to make that consideration first, before setting their heart on a specific type of wheel.
Another consideration should always be your driving habits. Do you do a lot of off-roading on the outskirts of Salt Lake City? Do you carry heavy loads? Do you tow a trailer on Utah highways? All of these factors must be considered when replacing your tires and wheels. Some wheels just may not be up to the work you need them to do.
For example, if you mount large rims on your vehicle, then add low-profile tires to avoid major adjustments to other systems, they won’t be able to handle off-roading as well as larger tires. There won’t be enough sidewall on the tires to absorb the impact from off-roading. You could end up with dented or broken rims.
At the end of the day, Kearns motorists should always put safety ahead of appearance. That’s why you shouldn’t add custom wheels to your vehicle without consulting with your Gines Auto Service tire and wheel professional. Cutting corners when installing custom wheels by not making necessary adjustments to all of the systems impacted by the change can result in dangerous operating conditions as well as pricey repairs down the road.
The friendly and honest auto professionals at Gines Auto Service want to remind Kearns motorists of the basics of vehicle safety: preventive maintenance, emergency preparedness and professional repairs. Stay safe, and stay on the road.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Cool Running In KearnsPosted September 17, 2014 5:07 PM
Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your vehicle engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the expressway in Kearns waiting for your vehicle engine to cool down.
When you service your cooling system at Gines Auto Service, your technician will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your vehicle owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.
If your engine overheated, your friendly and honest service advisor will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the vehicle radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need an inspection regularly. They can and do wear out.
The water pump is a critical component of your vehicle cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your vehicle cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.
There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service specialist will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Gines Auto Service is always a good source for auto advice. We've been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Kearns for over 50 years.
Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Salt Lake City repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in Utah.
At Gines Auto Service, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.
Posted in the Cooling System category