Do You Really Need To Purchase Snow Tires This Winter?

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Really Need To Purchase Snow Tires This Winter?

If you are like most drivers, you know that snow tires exist, but unless you live somewhere that receives large amounts of ice and snow, you may have never seriously considered purchasing a set. This is because snow tires back in the day made for a horrible ride unless there was ice and snow on the road. This has all changed; most of the major tire manufacturers now make snow tires that offer great handling all winter long. But do you need to replace your all season tires with a set? Here are a few factors you may want to consider.  Exactly What Are Snow Tires? Snow tires are tires that have been designed with a much deeper tire tread. These deeper, uniquely designed treads are created to dig down to give you extra traction on the ice and snow. Most snow tires are made from a softer rubber compound which helps to keep them from becoming hard and brittle during cold weather. The softer rubber also helps the tire to be more flexible and helps the tire to better conform to the road’s surface. This provides you with more grip, which translates to better stopping, as well as starting, in unfavorable weather conditions. In some places, snow tires come designed with small holes in the tread of the tire. These holes are in place to allow you to be able to insert metal studs that will give you even more grip on ice and snow. Unfortunately, studs are prohibited in some areas due to the damage that the studs can cause to the roads. With or without studs snow tires are not guaranteed to eliminate all skidding that may take place on ice and snow, but they should greatly reduce the risks.  How Do Snow Tires Compare To All Season Tires? All season tires are normally original factory equipment on most types of vehicles. Manufacturers know that these tires will give you a quiet ride, provide good fuel economy, and are long lasting. They also know that these tires will hold up and provide an optimal performance in a wide variety of weather conditions throughout the year.  Unfortunately, to be able to provide this type of performance all year long, there are some compromises. One of the places that these compromises occur is in the area of tread depth. All season tires have an average tread depth of 10/32 – 11/32″. This gives you an average of 8/32 – 9/32″ of usable tread depth before a tire is considered to be worn out, or until it reaches a tread depth of 2/32″. A snow tire on the other hand will have a much deeper depth. This depth will vary by manufacturer.  In addition to a deeper depth, snow tires will also have a different tread design than an all season tire. An all season tire will have a more straight ribbed design, while a snow tire will have a more knobby, or clustered tread appearance.  As previously stated, this unique deeper tread is designed to give you better traction on the ice and snow. Because you need this deeper depth, you should consider replacing your snow tires once they have worn down to a tread depth of 6/32“. How Do You Tell A Good Snow Tire? In the United States, a...

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The 101 On Your ABS: Understanding And Maintaining Your Anti-Lock Braking System

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The 101 On Your ABS: Understanding And Maintaining Your Anti-Lock Braking System

Owning and operating a vehicle can be stressful. From the initial purchase and insurance costs to the necessary maintenance and automotive repairs, the overwhelming nature of owning a car, truck, or SUV is easy to see. Considering your brakes are an imperative aspect of your vehicle’s operation, ensuring they are in proper working condition is key to your safety. Unfortunately, you may not understand how your vehicle’s ABS, or Anti-lock Braking System, works. Using this guide, you will be able to understand, utilize, and maintain your vehicle’s ABS. The 101 on Anti-Lock Brakes With traditional brakes, you need to pump your brake pedal to safely stop the vehicle unexpectedly. Even while pumping the brakes, your brakes may lock up, causing you to lose control of your vehicle and having an accident. However, an anti-lock braking system allows you to stop quickly and unexpectedly without skidding or losing control of the vehicle. The system uses a computerized system of sensors and electronic controls to automatically pump the brakes while keeping your foot firmly on the pedal. This allows you to remain in control of your vehicle. An ABS is a great option when stopping on wet, slippery roads. In addition, it is also beneficial for braking in an emergency such as stopping the vehicle to avoid a danger in the road. Servicing your ABS Regular maintenance on your vehicle is essential to protect its operation, appeal, and value. To service on your ABS, consider the following tips: Check Fluid Levels – Check the levels of your brake fluid since your ABS regulates fluid levels to maintain braking performance. If the reservoir is low, add more brake fluid. Without refilling your brake fluid, your brake pads and rotors may weaken. Check Brake Pads – Pad replacement is a requirement at some point in time, but the exact time to replace your pads will depend on your vehicle’s specific make and model. Check your owner’s manual for a recommended time to complete a pad replacement. However, if you hear squealing or whining when applying your brakes, you most likely need to replace the pads. Check Brake Rotors – Attached directly to your wheels and braking system, the rotors act as a protective cushion for your wheels and brakes. Over time, the pressure of braking causes friction, wearing down the rotors and decreasing the success of your braking system. If your rotors appear worn, consider replacing or resurfacing them to protect the working operation of your brakes. ABS Driving Tips Regular maintenance is smart for prolonging the life of your brake pads and rotors, but safe driving can also help maintain your ABS. Here are a few tips to improve your driving safety and protect your anti-lock braking system: Drive at a Safe Speed and Distance – While surprising to hear, driving 60 MPH causes your vehicle to travel an estimated 88 feet per second. To completely stop your vehicle at this speed, you will need approximately 4.5 seconds. To ensure you have adequate time to brake and stop the vehicle, drive at a safe speed and allow ample distance between you and other vehicles on the road. Pay Attention to the Weather and Road Conditions – Your ABS is a safer option when driving and stopping on damp, icy, and slippery roads,...

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No Garage? Four Ways To Protect Your Vehicle From Hail Damage When You Have To Park Outside

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on No Garage? Four Ways To Protect Your Vehicle From Hail Damage When You Have To Park Outside

As hail damage has become increasingly common, insurance claims for hail damage have risen by 84 percent between 2010 and 2012. That means nearly double the number of claims were submitted in 2012 versus 2010, and the numbers continue to grow. If you have to park on the street and you live in an area where hailstorms are common, you may be especially worried. Here’s what you can do to protect your car: 1. Buy a temporary garage If you don’t have a standard garage for your car, you can buy a range of temporary options, including carports, awnings and sheds. For the best level of protection, opt for a metal cover rather than a fabric one, but keep in mind that if you cannot get metal, fabric can work as long as it is taut and in good condition. When it starts to wear down from the elements, replace it. Also, when installing any type of temporary garage, remember the wind and anchor it in place by cementing its poles into the ground. Also, consider enclosing its sides with metal walls or a weather blocker which is a protective sheet that provides some coverage along the sides of a carport. 2. Invest in a custom made hail cover If you don’t have room for a temporary garage, consider investing in a custom made hail cover. Regular car covers are simply thin layers of material that can keep dust and grime away, but if a chunk of ice falling from the sky hits these covers, they offer virtually no protection. Hail covers, in contrast, feature a layer of protective foam that works like a motorcycle or bicycle helmet. The foam absorbs the impact of the hail so your car doesn’t have to. You can also buy hail covers that fill with air. When you throw the cover over your car, it looks like an average car cover, but when it starts to hail, you use the cover’s remote control feature to engage its air bags. The cover fills with air, and the hail virtually bounces off. 3. Modify a conventional car cover If you cannot afford a specialized hail cover, you may be able to modify a conventional car cover. When thinking of modification designs, remember you need a soft layer to protect the car from the hail, and you need the cover to stay on your car in spite of the winds often associated with hail storms. The easiest modification is to cover your car with heavy blankets – try buying a pile of used furniture pads from a moving company – and then, put your regular cover over them. Make sure everything is well secured with ropes or towing straps. If you prefer a foam-filled cover, take your existing car cover and stretch it out on the garage floor. Grab a can of spray insulation and spray it all over the cover to create a 1- to 2-inch layer of foam. When the foam dries, put the cover over your car. As you wrap the cover over your vehicle, you may hear some of the insulation cracking. It is just doing that because it dried in a straight piece rather than a curved piece. Once you have fitted it onto your car and figured out the general shape...

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The Right Way To RV: 4 Tips For Rving With The Family This Summer

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Right Way To RV: 4 Tips For Rving With The Family This Summer

As a parent, you most likely understand the importance of spending time with your family. From creating memories that will last a lifetime to relaxing and unwinding after a long, stressful year of work and school, the benefits of a summer vacation with the family are easy to see. While complete vacation packages with airfare and accommodations are appealing, they do not offer much time for bonding. If you are one of the 8.9 million households that own an RV from a place like Orangewood RV Center, consider taking a road trip with your family this summer. While intimidating at first, planning a road trip does not have to be stressful or overwhelming. Using these tips, your family’s RV road trip will be fun, safe, and memorable. Choose your Destination Deciding to take a road trip is the first step of planning your family’s summer vacation, but you must also decide on a destination. Experience various parts of the country or choose one final destination, such as a favorite theme park or large city.  If you are planning a cross-country trip, allow yourself ample driving time, but also time at each stop along the way to rest and enjoy sites. Allot enough time for the trip home, as well. Plan your Stops Once you decide on your destination, you will need to map your course and plan stops along the way. To enjoy the full RV experience, locate campgrounds along your trip. Thankfully, there are numerous public and private campgrounds across the United States. Considered “the last small towns in America,” the sites offer small spaces to park and camp with your family or larger, more luxurious resorts designed for true comfort while on the road. With all the different options available, you can easily find a stop suited to your family’s wants and needs. Service your RV Recreational vehicles also require periodic maintenance to ensure they are in proper running order, but they also reduce your risk of accidents, keep your family safe, and improve gas mileage. Before departing in your RV this summer, be sure to inspect and service the following: Tires – Check the air pressure and tread of your tires. Low air pressure and poor tread can reduce traction, resulting in unsafe handling and possible accidents. Use a digital gauge to read the tire pressure. To check your tire tread, use the Penny Method. Place a penny into the space of your tread, facing Lincoln’s head down. If the tread covers a part of Lincoln’s head, your tire tread is safe for driving. Oil Change – Each RV manufacturer has their own recommended timeframe for changing the oil, but schedule the service before venturing out on your long road trip. Fluids – Your oil change technician should top off any fluids that are low, but inspecting them before departure is smart. Wipers – You will most likely drive through rain during your trip, so make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Prepare your Kids Traveling in an RV can be stressful for children, which increases the stress you will face as a driver. To keep the stress level down, be sure to prepare your children for the trip before heading out. Discuss the upcoming trip with your kids to ensure they understand the...

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