Gines Auto Service Engine Air Filter ReplacementPosted August 26, 2014 5:35 PM
When your experienced Gines Auto Service tech technician changes your oil, he will also inspect your air filter. You shouldn’t need a new filter at every oil change, but you will need to change it regularly. Heed your service professional’s auto advice if they tell you to change your filter. It’s not costly, and it makes a big difference to your vehicle.
An air filter does what its name implies: it filters stuff out of the air. Air is drawn into your engine through the filter because your engine needs air to burn fuel. If the filter weren’t there, a lot of dust and debris would come into the vehicle engine with the air. That dust and debris would get hot, burn, and produce all kinds of ash and gumminess that would eventually clog up your engine.
Drop in an air filter and voilá! Problem solved.
But air filters themselves get clogged up with all the junk they clean out of the Salt Lake City air. This doesn’t allow the junk into the vehicle engine, but it does block up the airflow. A blocked airflow will reduce engine efficiency.
An engine needs about 12,000 gallons of air to burn just one gallon of gasoline. Think of a runner. If he is breathing well, he can run well. But if he has a lung condition, he won’t be able to generate the oxygen necessary to keep his cells powered up. He won’t be able to run at peak efficiency.
Or consider a vacuum cleaner. Even without the light, you can tell when the vacuum bag is full because the machine just doesn’t clean anymore. Change the bag and its efficiency immediately improves.
So keep your vehicle breathing well by keeping its air filter clean. That’s good car care.
Kearns auto owners who get a charge out of the feeling of power in their engine might consider upgrading their air filter. Talk to your friendly and honest Gines Auto Service service advisor. Premium air filters have been proven to increase horsepower and torque. So with the cost of a premium air filter, you can increase the horsepower in your engine — there’s no cheaper way to do that!
It’s also one of the least expensive and simplest elements of essential routine preventive maintenance – and protects against damage to expensive vehicle electronic systems. No Kearns resident should have an excuse to drive around Salt Lake City roads and expressways with a dirty air filter.
Posted in the Engine Air Filter category
Exhaust Service at Gines Auto Service: Passing the Smell TestPosted August 21, 2014 8:34 AM
The exhaust system on a vehicle is more complex than most Kearns drivers realize. It contains everything from old-fashioned pipes and clamps to sophisticated computers and sensors. All Utah folks know a properly functioning exhaust system is good for the environment, but sometimes we forget that a damaged exhaust system can be deadly. That’s why preventive maintenance on your exhaust system is so critical. We can help you with that at Gines Auto Service in Kearns.
The exhaust manifold is the first component in your exhaust system. The manifold is attached to the engine. It collects the gases that are produced by the engine and directs them into the exhaust pipes. At this point, these gases are both hot and chemically dangerous.
One of the gases produced in your engine is carbon monoxide. This gas is colorless and odorless. Breathing it can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. Continue breathing it, and you will die.
To keep this gas, and others, from entering your vehicle passenger compartment, the connections from the manifold to the engine and from the manifold to the exhaust pipes are sealed with gaskets. These connections should be routinely inspected at Gines Auto Service for cracks and to check if they have come loose.
The exhaust pipes can also get damaged, allowing dangerous gases to leak into your passenger compartment. These pipes can rust or be dented or broken by rocks and other Salt Lake City roadway debris, so they need to be inspected regularly.
The catalytic converter is the next component in your vehicle exhaust system. You can breathe a sigh of relief now, because this is where the dangerous engine gases are converted into carbon dioxide and water, greatly reducing the amount of harmful emissions in your exhaust. You’ll also be happy to know that your catalytic converter doesn’t require maintenance. However, it will wear out. If you fail an emissions inspection because of a faulty catalytic converter, you need to replace it.
The muffler’s job is far less critical, but far more noticeable, than the catalytic converter’s. It dampens or absorbs the noise from the engine. Most Kearns motorists don’t realize that we can actually customize the noise our car makes with a custom muffler. You can upgrade to a muffler that will make your car sleuth-quiet, or you can advertise your presence in Kearns with a sassy rumble.
Mufflers can also rust or be damaged by road debris. But just because their main function is to dampen out engine noise doesn’t mean they can be ignored. If your muffler is leaking, you need to get it replaced quickly. Exhaust fumes need to exit through your tailpipe, not your muffler.
The exhaust pipe contains at least one oxygen sensor. The sensor monitors the oxygen content of the exhaust, which allows it to adjust the fuel-to-air ratio in the engine. This keeps your vehicle engine running smoothly and maintains good gas mileage. So, besides keeping you and the environment healthy, a well-maintained exhaust system also keeps your vehicle healthy. The tailpipe itself can rust or get damaged by road debris, so it needs a quick inspection once in a while, too.
The whole exhaust system is mounted on the vehicle with clamps and hangers. These clamps and hangers can come loose, rust or get dinged up by road debris. Remember that the gases in your exhaust system are hot, so the exhaust system itself gets hot. The clamps and hangers keep the exhaust system attached to the vehicle, but they also prevent the heated components from touching things they shouldn’t. If you don’t inspect and replace broken, loose or damaged clamps, you may end up with melted wires, hoses or lines. And that can spell some expensive repairs.
You should schedule an exhaust system inspection as recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual. Because this system is critical to your health and the health of your car, and because of its sophistication and complexity, you need to have the work done at a qualified service center such as Gines Auto Service in Kearns.
Maintaining your emissions and exhaust system is not just good auto advice: it’s good health advice for all Kearns motorists and their families.
Posted in the Exhaust category
Gines Auto Service Advice On Buying New TiresPosted August 12, 2014 4:18 PM
Today’s tires and wheels offer a lot of options for every Kearns 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 Utah seasons.
Kearns 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 Kearns? You can change out those high-profile beasts for a lower, wider look if it suits your style.
Gines Auto Service tire professionals can offer great auto advice on how to choose tires that match your needs and style.
The same goes for wheels. When Kearns auto owners shop for new wheels, they can be hard-pressed to make a selection from the thousands of styles available at Utah tire stores. If they choose a wheel that is the same size as the ones that came with their vehicle, they can get them changed out and get back on the road, no worries. But if they change the wheel size, then they may need to make some vital adjustments to their vehicle.
Upsizing a wheel may mean changing the suspension on the vehicle. The wheel and tire need to fit inside the wheel well without any rubbing during turns or when driving over bumps. Rubbing can cause uneven tire wear and even damage the tires or cause safety issues.
Upsizing wheels also increases the unsprung weight of the vehicle which has a major impact on braking performance. The larger wheels increase rotational inertia, as well, which translates to longer stopping distance and lower brake performance. Upsized wheels may require upgraded brakes. Further, wheel size is used to calculate the speed and mileage of a vehicle. Changing wheel size will cause the speedometer and odometer to give inaccurate readings unless the vehicle’s computer is re-programmed to compensate for the difference.
So if you want to customize your vehicle with new wheels, you should consult with a wheel and tire professional at Gines Auto Service in Kearns to ensure you get the style you want without sacrificing safety or performance — and without damaging your vehicle.
If you just need to purchase new tires, a tire professional 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 Kearns a lot longer.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
Breathe Free In Kearns: Cabin Air Filter Replacement At Gines Auto ServicePosted August 5, 2014 4:36 PM
There are a lot of new features, both optional and standard, on Kearns motorists' vehicles these days. One you may not have heard of is called a cabin air filter. Simply put, its job is to keep the air in the passenger compartment of your car nice and clean.
A cabin air filter is similar to the filter you use on your furnace at home in Kearns. Cabin air filters can catch particles down to three microns. By comparison, a grain of sand is 200 microns. So cabin air filters are effective against dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores and most pollutants in our Salt Lake City atmosphere. Good news if you suffer from any types of allergies, or if you live in an area in Kearns prone to air pollution.
Cabin air filters are generally located in the engine compartment or under the dashboard. They can be tricky to access and replace, so you’ll probably want to go to your friendly and honest Gines Auto Service tech to get it done. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to find out if your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter and how often it should be changed. Recommendations vary, but generally a cabin air filter should be changed every twelve to fifteen thousand miles.
Of course, if you are an allergy sufferer in Salt Lake City, you may want to replace it more often. Also, if you do a lot of driving in polluted or dusty areas in Utah, you’ll also want to shorten the cabin air filter replacement period. Dirty air filters just don’t work well, and they can exude an unpleasant odor if ignored for too long.
Most Kearns folks know that good car care includes keeping your vehicle clean, including the air inside the passenger compartment, so changing your cabin air filter should be part of your routine preventive maintenance. It’s good auto advice as well as good medical advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You really shouldn’t wait until the interior of your car starts to smell and your eyes start to water before you change your filter. And trying to cover it up with a dangling green pine tree is not the right answer, either!
Cabin air filters can be a welcome relief to Kearns allergy sufferers, but they’re also a great idea for anyone in Salt Lake City who just wants to breathe better.
Posted in the Cabin Air Filter category
A New Battery In KearnsPosted July 31, 2014 9:30 AM
Hello Kearns drivers, let's talk about batteries. Car batteries are just like any rechargeable battery. They will eventually wear out and die. If you are shopping for a new battery in Kearns, here’s some auto advice to help you.
There are two measurements to consider when purchasing a new battery: cold cranking amps and reserve capacity. The power required to start a cold engine is measured in cold cranking amps. The number you need is determined by what kind of vehicle you drive and where you live. In general, higher-cylinder engines require more cold cranking amps than lower-cylinder engines. In other words, an eight-cylinder engine needs more cold cranking amps than a six-cylinder one. Also, diesel engines require more cold cranking amps than gasoline engines.
The Salt Lake City weather also determines the number of cold cranking amps you need. The colder the vehicle engine, the more power it takes to get it started. Also, cold Utah weather reduces the electrical efficiency of the battery, which reduces the amount of energy available in the battery to start the engine. Thus, in freezing temperatures, you need more power to start an engine, but you have less power available to get it started.
So if you live in a cold climate, or in an area in Utah where winters can get really chilly, it is essential to have a battery with more cold cranking amps than if you live in a more mild or warmer climate.
The battery that was installed in your vehicle at the factory may not have the appropriate number of cold cranking amps for your area. It is key to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and get at least that number of cold cranking amps, but you may want to upgrade if you live in a colder climate.
Reserve capacity is the number of minutes your battery can maintain essential functions in your vehicle without being recharged. There are two things that affect reserve capacity. The first is referred to as parasitic drain. Your vehicle has power systems that must be kept running while the engine is off. These may include the security system, the remote start systems, and any computer systems. The number and power requirements of these systems has greatly increased over the last few decades. As a result, the need for reserve capacity in vehicles’ batteries has also increased. Very short trips around Kearns and Salt Lake City do not allow a vehicle’s battery to recover the energy that was used to start the car. So these trips require reserve capacity as well.
Again, the reserve capacity in the battery installed at the factory may not be what you need for your Kearns lifestyle and driving habits. Again, use the manufacturer’s recommendation as a minimum, but consider upgrading if your vehicle has a lot of parasitic power drain or if you frequently make very short trips around Salt Lake City.
Your friendly and honest tech at Gines Auto Service in Kearns can help you choose an appropriate battery for your vehicle and your lifestyle. If you need extra power owing to cold weather or a need for more reserve capacity, you may want to choose a heavy-duty battery. Just make sure it fits into your vehicle. An oversized battery may give you the power you need, but it’s a serious safety hazard if the terminals come into contact with other parts of the vehicle.
Car batteries aren’t cheap in Kearns, so you may want to consider the warranty when purchasing. Pro-rated warranties will give you credit for a portion of the battery if the battery fails during the warranty period. The amount of credit will depend on how long the battery lasted. A free replacement warranty will replace your battery if it fails during the warranty period. Before you purchase a battery, make sure you know what you are buying.
Keep in mind that preventive maintenance and good car care can extend the life of your battery. Judicious use of electric gadgets and good driving habits is vital and can help you get the most out of your battery.
Posted in the Battery category
Maintaining Your Diesel in Salt Lake CityPosted July 23, 2014 9:27 AM
Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven’t been as common in Salt Lake City because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Kearns car owners driving diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV’s.
Diesels are popular in Kearns because they get better gas mileage than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you’re not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.
Diesels don’t produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in Utah as for other vehicles.
Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In Salt Lake City, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Kearns drivers' dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.
Diesel-powered vehicles perform as well as other passenger vehicles, also. Most West Valley City people don’t notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer in Kearns, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.
So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don’t all Salt Lake City motorists drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven’t told me about. That’s true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in Utah. The better gas mileage of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.
Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more pricey to drive in Salt Lake City. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in Utah, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for Kearns auto owners depends now on the current price of fuel in Utah and how many miles you drive.
Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Salt Lake City area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in Utah becomes a real toss-up.
Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive in Kearns than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.
The costs for car care and repairs in Kearns are similar. Wait, you may be thinking, but you just told me that filters are more costly and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.
So if you have been looking for Gines Auto Service auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the Kearns driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.
Posted in the Fuel System category
Smart Kearns Drivers Protect Against OverheatingPosted July 16, 2014 12:37 PM
Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Kearns car owners to prevent.
The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.
The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.
Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.
Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Kearns car owners to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.
This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Gines Auto Service in Kearns.
If your vehicle sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs an inspection. This service is vital and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.
In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your vehicle so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.
Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to your Kearns service center or Gines Auto Service where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for Kearns car owners. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Gines Auto Service. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.
Talk to your Gines Auto Service tech for more information.
Posted in the Cooling System category
Shake It Up in Kearns!: Why Wheel BalancingPosted July 9, 2014 5:10 PM
Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, us Kearns car owners generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle’s wheels in balance.
When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Kearns auto owners want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your friendly and honest Gines Auto Service tech spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most Kearns drivers are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.
High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Kearns car owners can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you’ll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your vehicle — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you’ve lost a balancing weight.
The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the expressway, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That’s what creates the dangerous vibration. When Kearns car owners' tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and critical suspension parts.
Getting a balance job at Gines Auto Service in Kearns can prevent costly repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your vehicle as well as its handling performance, and it will improve your fuel economy. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Gines Auto Service, you’ll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced as well.
Some Kearns vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner’s manual to see what the recommends for your vehicle. Balancing your tires is part of vital preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components, including some pricey ones. So practice good car care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It’s quality auto advice from Gines Auto Service. Massages chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Kearns car owners' nerves.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category
WhatPosted July 1, 2014 5:49 PM
Okay. You went to your local Kearns car wash and while your vehicle was under the dryer, the check engine light started flashing. Panic! What did you just do? Something is seriously wrong with the vehicle! You head for the nearest Kearns service station, but on the way, the check engine light stops flashing, and just glows red. Hmm. Maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. You decide to wait until payday to take your vehicle in to get serviced. In the meantime, the check engine light goes off. What? You decide the light must be faulty, or that when it comes on it doesn’t mean anything, or that it’s just in your vehicle as some sort of scam to get you to pay for unnecessary expensive repairs. You’re glad you didn’t take your car to the Kearns repair shop and resolve to ignore that engine light in the future.
Whoa! Let’s look at what really happened. Your vehicle was under an air dryer. Your air intake sensor measured too much air running through the engine. It sent its report to the engine computer, where a warning was triggered: there shouldn’t be that much airflow when the vehicle engine is idling. This is a serious problem that could cause permanent engine damage. Warning! The check engine light starts flashing, letting you know you need to take immediate action to prevent that damage.
You drive out from under the dryer, and the air intake sensor sends a new message to the computer. The computer realizes that everything is normal and tells the check engine light to stop flashing. The vehicle doesn’t need immediate attention; but there was a problem, and it should be checked out by your service specialist. After a few days the computer senses that the problem is gone, so it turns off the warning light.
You may think this story illustrates the uselessness of a check engine light, but you should remember that a computer can’t think for itself, it can only follow its programming. It doesn’t know the difference between a car wash air dryer and a serious malfunction in your vehicle engine. That doesn’t make it useless. It just means you have to be the smart one.
Being smart doesn’t mean ignoring your vehicle check engine light. It lets you know when something is wrong, and you can prevent a lot of damage to your vehicle by paying proper attention to it.
Your engine computer is constantly collecting data about what is going on inside your vehicle engine. It knows what parameters are normal, and when a reading may indicate a problem. It uses the check engine light to let you know when something isn’t right. It then stores a code in its memory that a service advisor can retrieve that indicates which reading was abnormal.
The technician uses this code as a starting place to find out what’s wrong with your vehicle. It’s like going to the doctor with a fever. The fever is the reading that is abnormal — your temperature is too high — but the doctor still has to figure out what’s causing it. It’s probably an infection, but what kind? Sinus infection? Appendicitis? Flu? The problems and their solutions are quite different. But a fever also tells a doctor what’s NOT wrong with you. Fevers don’t accompany stress headaches, ulcers or arthritis, so there’s no sense in testing for those conditions.
Your Kearns tech responds to a trouble code in your vehicle’s computer in the same way. The code doesn’t say exactly what’s wrong, but it does give the technician a good indication of where to start looking —and where he/she doesn’t need to look.
Now, you wouldn’t consider diagnosing yourself with a serious medical problem; good medical advice — unless you’re a doctor. So you shouldn’t consider trying to diagnose your vehicle’s troubles by yourself; good auto advice — unless you’re a trained mechanic.
There are cheap scanners available on the market and some Kearns auto parts stores offer to read trouble codes from your vehicle engine computer for you, but these are really not good alternatives to taking your vehicle to a qualified service center such as Gines Auto Service in Kearns. Your engine’s computer has both short-term and long-term memory, and there are some codes that are specific to a particular make of vehicle. Cheap scanners can’t read an engine computer’s long-term memory nor can they interpret manufacturer - specific codes. That’s why manager Mark Gines Mark Gines at Gines Auto Service spends a lot of money on high-end diagnostic tools.
It’s as if you had a choice between a doctor who had a tongue depressor and a thermometer and one who had all the latest medical diagnostic equipment on hand. Honestly, which would you choose?
Getting your codes read at your Salt Lake City auto parts store isn’t really a money-saver, either, unless you’re a trained mechanic. You’ll end up with a code that tells you a symptom. What usually happens next is that the Salt Lake City parts store sells you something that directly relates to the symptom. It may or may not fix the problem. It’s actually cheaper to just go to the Gines Auto Service in Kearns and get things fixed right the first time.
Remember, a fever can indicate a sinus infection or appendicitis. An antibiotic may be okay for that sinus infection, but it won’t help your appendicitis. Is it really wise to wait around to see if the antibiotic helps when you might have appendicitis?
Part of good car care is knowing where you can get a problem fixed, and fixed right. Preventive maintenance goes a long way to keeping you out of the repair shop, but eventually, we will all have a problem that needs fixing. Let’s do it right the first time at Gines Auto Service. In the long run, it’s actually the less pricey choice.
Posted in the Diagnostics category
How Much is Enough for Salt Lake City Auto Owners? Tire Tread DepthPosted June 25, 2014 8:37 AM
Most Salt Lake City auto owners know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they’re need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are costly and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it’s critical for Salt Lake City auto owners to know the answers to these questions.
First of all, it’s vital to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with Utah auto safety laws. That’s why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection.
In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. This standard has been in effect since 1968. But this standard has recently been called into question, and some Kearns auto owners are arguing that it be changed.
The safety issue that has brought this standard under scrutiny is the ability of a vehicle to stop on a wet surface. When a vehicle has trouble stopping, most Kearns auto owners immediately look at the brakes as the source of the problem. But tires are crucial to safe stopping distances because they provide the traction required in a stop.
A tire’s contact with the road surface creates traction, which allows for effective braking. On a wet surface, a tire only has traction if it can get to the road’s surface. So tire tread is designed to channel water out from under the tire to allow it to stay in contact with the road. If the tire can’t shift the water, then it starts to “float.” This condition is called hydroplaning. It is very dangerous for Kearns drivers since the vehicle won’t stop no matter how hard the driver presses the brakes. Steering control is also lost.
A recent study tested the stopping ability of a passenger car and a full-sized pick-up on a road surface covered with only a dime’s depth of water (less than a millimeter). The vehicles were traveling at 70 mph (112 kph) when they stopped on the wet surface. At 2/32 tread depth, the stopping distance was double that of a new tire. The passenger car was still traveling at 55 mph when it reached the stopping distance it experienced with new tires.
Let’s suppose that you’re on a busy Salt Lake City freeway in a light drizzle and a vehicle stops suddenly in front of you. You just bought new tires and you brake hard, missing the vehicle with only inches to spare. If you hadn’t bought those new tires, you would have crashed into that vehicle at 55 mph. That is a major difference.
What if your tires had a tread depth of 4/32? You would have crashed into that vehicle at 45 mph. Still not a good situation. But it’s better.
Now what if you were driving that pick-up truck? You wouldn’t have missed that vehicle in the first place, and you would have crashed at higher rates of speed in both of the other scenarios. The heavier your vehicle, the longer its stopping distance. It’s a matter of physics.
The results of this test has led Consumer Reports and others to ask that the standard for tread wear from 2/32 to 4/32. The increased standard will improve safety on the road and save lives here in Utah and nationally.
Of course, until the standard changes, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be willing to replace your tires a little sooner.
You can use a quarter to tell if your tread wear is down to 4/32. Place the quarter into the tread with George’s head toward the tire and his neck toward you. If the tread doesn’t cover George’s hairline, you’re under 4/32. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the digits of the year.
You can measure the 2/32 tread wear with a penny. If the tread touches the top of Abe’s head, it’s at 2/32. Tires are an expensive item for Kearns auto owners when it comes to car care. But their condition has a major impact on safety. We need to decide whether to sacrifice safety for economy. Keeping our tread wear above 4/32 is good auto advice.
Posted in the Tires and Wheels category