Archive for June, 2013

Tire Wear Problems: Causes and Symptoms

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Tread wear patterns indicate over or under inflation and alignment issues. Below are the causes and symptoms of tire wear problems.

Ferrari 599 GTB, California and Aston Martin Vanquish S

Low Pressure

Tires that are under-inflated will show more wear on both shoulders, as under-inflated tires typically lift in the center of the tread.

Excess Pressure

Over-inflated tires will have more wear in the center of the tire, as over-inflated tires are typically rounder and the outer ends of the tires do not touch the road.

Correct tire pressure will allow wear to occur evenly over the entire tire.

Misalignment

Uneven tire wear – wear on one edge or the other – is usually caused by a wheel alignment problem, not incorrect tire pressure.

Camber Wear

One side wear, when an inner or outer rib wears quicker than the rest of the tire, is indicative of wheel misalignment. It could be a simple wheel alignment, or it could be due to sagging springs, worn ball joints, or worn control arm bushings.

When getting your car aligned, it’s important to have the car loaded as it is normally driven, especially with independent rear suspension cars.

Feathering

When the edge of each tread rib has a slightly rounded edge on one side and a sharp edge on the other, feathering is occurring. Feathering is usually caused by incorrect toe-in setting. Having it set correctly will solve this issue.

If you notice unusual wear on your tires and are unsure of the causes, Discount Tire Centers can help. For all your tire-related questions or to  buy tires in Whittier or anywhere in the southern California, call Discount Tire Centers at (800) 808-4737.

Photo courtesy of Ed Callow.

Fixing Your Tires: Patches vs. Plugs

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So your tires got a nasty hole! Alas, what’s a driver to do? Well, ultimately you’re going to have to replace your tire. But what if you want to drive on it for a period of time? You’ve got a couple options: you can patch or you can plug. Here’s some info:

flat tire

 

To Plug or Not to Plug
At least one article suggests that tire plugs are not the way to go if you’ve got a damaged tire. A plug will expand or contract at different rates from a given tire, and this can cause full-on blowout. Many people nevertheless still think of plugs before they think of patches, but the next time you’ve got a damaged tire, you might want to think twice before you reach for the plug.

The Winner = Patch
Patching a tire isn’t like patching a pair of jeans. Actually it kind of is. If your jeans were made of rubber, that is. A tire patch goes on the inside of the tire, which means the air pressure inside the tire pushes the patch outward. Contrast this to the unreliable plug, and you can see why the patch is preferable.

Looking for tires in Los Angeles ? Check out Discount Tire Centers! And leave us a comment: have any experience with patching or plugging a tire?

 

 Photo courtesy of  J. Star

4 Creative Tire Swing Ideas

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We at Discount Tire Centers understand the importance of reusing and recycling, which is why we advocate turning old tires into something new, such as tire swings. Check out these four creative tire swing ideas!

1) Horse

This tire horse swing is sure to please any child (and probably more than a few adults).

tires torrance tire swing ideas

 

2) Tractor

Children can pretend they also know how to work a big tractor.

tires torrance tractor tire swing

Source: google.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

3) Dragon

Inspire children’s imaginations with this fantastical tire swing.

 

tires torrance dragon tire swing

 

4) Parrots

These painted swings will add a beautiful splash of color to any yard!

parrot tire swing tires torrance

Source: trendhunter.com via Mary on Pinterest

 

Contact us today for more information about discount tires in Torrance and the LA area. Our friendly staff is happy to answer any questions you have.

Tire FAQ: Is it Safe to Drive on Old Tires If They Still Have Their Tread?

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Myths around automobiles abound, and in the case of cars it can be dangerous to base your approach on myths or assumptions. So let’s quickly dispel one common car myth, namely that it’s safe to use old tires that still have a lot of tread:

Wheels, you be getting too old for my Mercedes. You're retired!

Question: Can’t I Use Old Tires with Tread?

Answer: you’d better not. The bottom line is this: tires can reach the end of their lives without being used as much as they could. why is this? Because rubber, like most everything else, deteriorates whether it’s being used or not. And in the case of tires, which of course are the only part of your car that ever regularly touches the road, driving on worn-out tires, however much tread they have, is never advisable.

How old are your tires? You can find out by looking at the sidewall. Find the letters DOT and a sequence of numbers. The final four numbers tell you the age of the tire. 2007 indicates your tire was made in the twentieth week of 2007.

Hold old is too old? If the tire is older than five years, you probably shouldn’t drive it. Better safe than sorry – it’s a cliche’ for a reason!

Looking for tires in Santa Monica? Visit Discount Tires Center! And leave us a comment: how often do you check your tires’ tread and wear?

The Myth About Over-Inflating Your Tires

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Few machines we encounter in everyday life are as subject to mythologizing as our cars, and that includes myths about how to manage and maintain them. Here’s one that won’t go away:

tires never stay inflated

The Max Press Inflation Myth
Some people think the “max press” listed on a tire’s sidewall is the pressure to which the tires ought to be inflated. This is especially true among law enforcement.

Incorrect! The right inflation for tires depends on the automaker and not the tire manufacturer. It’s now a government mandate that new cars have the recommended pressure located on a placard on the driver’s side doorjamb. On older cars you might find this on the jamb, in the trunk, or even on the glovebox door.

Why shouldn’t you over-inflate your tires? It might make it more susceptible to damage, and nobody wants that!

Looking for tires in Canyon County? Visit Discount Tire Centers! And leave us a comment: how do you handle management of your tire pressure?

Using Fix-A-Flat on Your Tires: Good or Bad?

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Nobody likes a flat tire, and for good reason: They’re a hassle, and when are you ever going anywhere that an hour-long delay won’t cause at least a little trouble? So what do you do when you get a flat? One option is Fix-A-Flat. So what’s the deal?

gets flat tire and changes it without having to call for roadside assistance

 

A Quick Fix
Fix-A-Flat is a chemical liquid you can use to temporarily fix a hole in your tire. It acts by sealing the hole, beginning as a liquid but hardening as it sets in the tire.

Durability
Fix-A-Flat is useful as a temporary stopgap to allow you to get off a busy highway and to a garage. It is not a permanent fix, so don’t imagine you can drive for very long on a tire that’s been fixed using it. In fact, if you leave it on too long it could even damage the wheel itself. At the very least you’ll need to replace the tire itself, and you may have to pay a technician to remove the Fix-A-Flat residue from your wheel. Leave it on too long, and you might even have to replace the wheel.

Best Bet
Bottom line? Fix-A-Flat is useful if you puncture your tire, but you should use it sparingly and only in order to get your vehicle to the nearest garage!

Looking for tires in Hollywood? Visit Discount Tire Centers! And leave us a comment: How do you deal with a flat tire?

Los Angeles’s 10 Most Popular Cars For Women

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Whether searching for tires in West Los Angeles or looking for a new vehicle altogether, you may be interested to learn about the top ten most popular cars for women living in the City of Angels. Check it out:

10) Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke-R - Prototype

Photo courtesy of David Villarreal Fernández

In 2012, some 46 percent of people registering for this vehicle were women.

9) Nissan Sentra

2013_Nissan_Sentra..001

Photo courtesy of Automotive Rhythms

The above statistic applies to this Nissan as well!

8) Mini Cooper

2011 Mini Cooper D - NRMA Drivers Seat

Photo courtesy of NRMA New Cars

Nearly half of the people registering a Mini Cooper last year were female.

7)  Hyundai Tucson

beige Hyundai driving

Photo courtesy of M Peinado

Women favor this spacious vehicle over men.

6) Kia Sportage

NEW KIA SPORTAGE 2011

Photo courtesy of Cyril Attius

Another super-spacious vehicle option, L.A. women love the Kia Sportage.

5) Lexus IS

Lexus LF-LC

Photo courtesy of Lexus Nederland

Nearly 50 percent of L.A. residents registering for this Lexus in 2012 were women.

4) Volkswagen Tiguan

black Volkswagen Tiguan

Photo courtesy of Renttv

Who doesn’t love a Volkswagen? Almost half of those registering for this German vehicle in 2012 were women.

3) Scion xD

Red 2009 Scion xD

Photo courtesy of David Defoe

Sleek yet practical, 48 percent of L.A. residents who favored this model last year were female.

2) Nissan Rogue

Nissan Rogue on the beach

Photo courtesy of Demis Gallisto

A whopping 49 percent of LA. dwellers who registered for this vehicle last year were women.

1) Volkswagen Beetle

New Beetle

Photo courtesy of Shun C

Approximately 50 percent of people registering for the Beetle in 2012 were…you guessed it…L.A. women!

Any of your favorites make the cut? Leave a comment and let us know!

Contact us today to learn more about purchasing tires in West Los Angeles.

How to Prevent Your Tires from Catching on Fire

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Everyone knows about flat tires, and no driver wants one. Still, most people know what to do when you get a flat: You pull over ASAP! But what happens when your tire catches on fire? Yikes. Here’s a quick primer:

Fire Hydrant

How Does a Tire Catch on Fire, Anyway?
Tire fires begin when some heat source causes the tire to reach combustion temperature. The typical cause is faulty brakes, resulting in the break drum heating the tire. It may be counter-intuitive, but tires will often catch on fire after the vehicle has come to a stop. Why? Because the loss of airflow means more heat.

How Hot are We Talking?
If your tire reaches 600 degrees F, it will probably catch on fire.

How Can I Avoid This?
The simple answer: make sure your breaks are maintained.

If it ever happens to you, make sure you pull over (if you haven’t already) and get a fire extinguisher or use a steady stream of water.

Looking to buy tires? Check out Discount Tire Centers! And leave us a comment: what’s your worst tire story?

Photo courtesy of Michael Holden.

7 Fun Car and Tire Gadgets to Get Dad for Father’s Day

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car-themed gift ideas

It’s almost Fathers Day, and that means a few things: Brunch, cards, and family get-togethers. And gifts! Did we mention gifts? But what do you get the Dad that has it all (or thinks he does)? Here are seven car and tire gadgets that most any Dad with a car will find useful, if not love.

7. Remote Starter

Whether you live in the snowy north or the hot south, a remote car starter is the kind of luxury you can get used to pretty quickly. Imagine always getting into a car that’s just the right temperature. What dad wouldn’t like that?

6. Breathalizer

Does dad like a drink? Sure, who doesn’t? Nobody wants to drink and drive, and having a keychain breathalizer can be a nice way to self monitor. Should be good for a few laughs, too!

man holding father's day present
Photo by mandy_pantz

5. Model Cars

What guy doesn’t like to play with models? Give dad an excuse to chill out and paint a little Porsche, and he’ll be happy, at least for an afternoon.

4. GPS

Yes, if dad already has a spacephone (that is, a “smart” phone), he probably already has GPS, but a car-dedicated GPS can be a great perk, and who likes looking back and forth between their phone and the road? A dash-mounted GPS can be a nice touch, and there won’t be the temptation to text.

N800 GPS Jukebox
Photo by qole2

3. Universal Charger

Does dad have gadgets? Odds are the answer to that is ‘yes’. Get him a car charger he can use with all his various devices… and you can use too when you’re in his car.

Wired III
Photo by psd

2. A Portable DVD Player

A portable DVD player can be a great little addition to a car’s arsenal, especially if dad is ever responsible for driving grandkids around. And dad can use it for himself the next time he flies or, if he’s lucky, somebody’s driving him someplace.

The Ultimate Home Theater
Photo by dno1967b

1. Car Wash Subscription

Everybody loves a clean car! Why not buy dad a subscription for unlimited car washes for a year?

Looking for tires in Azusa? Visit Discount Tire Centers! And leave us a comment: what are you getting dad this year? Or, if you’re a dad, what would you like?

Tire Guide: The Differences Between All Season, Performance All Season and Ultra Performance Tires

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Tires are the only part of your vehicle that are designed to meet the road, and so having the right tires is important – every driver knows this. But do you know there are many different types of tires? The tire you need depends on a number of variables. It’s true, and here’s the skinny on three typical tire variations:

all season tires versus winter tires

All Season Tires

All season tires are, as the name implies, tires that are good in rain, sleet, or snow, at least in theory. All season tires won’t handle in the snow as well as dedicated winter tires, so don’t be misled by the name. They will, however, perform better than three season tires, and as a rule you’ll be safe running with all season tires in the winter. You should take into consideration where you live and where you’ll be traveling when considering whether you need winter tires. Planning on a trip to northern Minnesota in November? Winter tires are the way to go.

Performance All Season

Performance all season tires offer the all season ability of regular all season tires (see above) with some snow traction. The big difference here is in sidewall styling. Remember, all season tires are a compromise, and this includes performance all season tires.

Performance all season tires have a higher speed rating than regular all seasons and typically offer better braking and handling. They’ll usually have a lower profile and wider footprint, which can be stylish. These have grown in popularity in recent years.

Ultra Performance Tires

Ultra sounds pretty good, and ultra performance tires can promise great handling and highly responsive steering across conditions. These are typically found on upscale sedans and sport cars. There is, however, a compromise to increased performance: what you gain in responsiveness you lose in ride comfort and tread wear. These tires wear out faster than others, and of course summer versions won’t grip in the snow or ice.

How to Buy

Without belaboring the point, how do you buy the right tire for your vehicle? All season tires will always be a compromise, but unless you want to swap on winter tires, you may have to compromise. A good rule is to talk to an expert, and we (naturally) recommend Discount Tire Centers. Bring your vehicle in and ask for an opinion. Do your own research online too and see what tires fellow drivers of your make and model use!

Looking to buy tires in Studio City? Look no further than Discount Tire Centers! And leave us a comment: what tires do you use, and why?