Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Top 5 Winter Cars

Posted on: No Comments

Driving in the winter can be an entirely different experience than driving on a clear summer day. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall and low temperatures, having the right car for the conditions can make all the difference between a safe, stress-free drive to work and ending up in a ditch. What are the best cars for winter driving? Here are 5 of our favorite winter rides.

Ford Flex

Grill - 2013 Ford Flex SEL AWD

Photo by Michael Sheehan

While the Flex might not announce it’s winter-readiness like its bigger cousins the Explorer and Expedition, the available all-wheel drive on the Flex can give you that extra grip you need on slippery roads. You might not take the Flex off-road, but it’s got the stowage space for winter ski trips and the traction to make your commute hassle-free.

Subaru Outback Wagon

IMG_1182.jpg

Photo by Joe Cereghino

Many in Western states can attest to the winter-readiness of Subaru’s classic Outback wagon. While Subaru makes some great small SUVs as well, the Outback wagon gives you the space of a wagon and the all-terrain handling of a rally car. With full time all-wheel drive and a higher clearance than you’d think, the Outback is ready for just about anything this winter can throw at you.

Suzuki SX4 Crossover

Suzuki SX4 1.6 Crossover AWD 2013

Photo by RL GLZNZ

While it may be tricky to label Suzuki’s overgrown wagon a crossover, the SX4 is a great, inexpensive way to get a new car with all-wheel drive. Base models can go as low as $15,000 and these vehicles will get you through the cold winter months with ease.

MINI Cooper

Mini Cooper

Photo by Geoff Sloan

For those unfamiliar with the Mini, this might seem like an unusual choice. But the Cooper handles winter driving impressively with electronics and an optimized front-wheel drive. Winter driving features include anti-lock brakes, all-season traction control and dynamic stability control.

Volvo XC70

Volvo XC70 (II) – Frontansicht, 25. August 2013, Düsseldorf

Photo by M 93

Despite Volvo’s full SUV offering, the XC90, their all-wheel wagon is Volvo’s best car for cold and icy conditions. With a secure driving experience and standard features such as ski plates and hill-descent control, this car is designed to handle the challenging driving conditions of the winter months.

No matter what you drive, you should be prepared for the challenges of driving in the winter. A set of winter tires can be an inexpensive way to prepare yourself for icy, cold conditions.

If you enjoyed this articles, you might also like:

4 Inexpensive Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter

The 5 Best New Sports Cars for 2014

What is the Tire Size for My Car?

4 Inexpensive Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter

Posted on: No Comments

Driving a car in the winter is a challenge. Not only do you have to scrape ice from your windshield, allot extra time to let the car warm up and keep the washer fluid topped off, the act of driving itself is slower and more dangerous. While there’s nothing you can do about the weather, the salt on the roads or the inexperience of other drivers, there are a few cheap and easy things you can do to get your car ready for the winter. Here’s the top 4 DIY ways to winterize your ride:

1. Keep your headlights clear with car wax

tip for headlights

All you have to do is wipe a small amount of ordinary car wax on your headlights and your bulbs should be able to shine through just about any severe storm. This treatment will last for about six weeks, using the same water repellent properties that protect your paint to keep road spray and ice from forming over your lights.

2. Squeak-proof your wipers with rubbing alcohol

windshield wipers tip

For many, the first sign of winter is the scratchy, squeaking slide of their windshield wipers over an icy windshield. If you rub your wipers with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol, you can fix badly streaking and squeaking wipers.

3. Ice-proof your windows with vinegar

tip for car windows

You can keep the glass on your car ice-free by treating them with vinegar. Simply fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water and give your windows a spritz every night. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water.

4. Prevent doors from freezing shut with cooking spray

cooking spray car doors

In extreme temperatures, your car may literally freeze itself shut. This happens because water freezes inside the porous rubber seals that keep your doors shut. To prevent this, simply spray some cooking oil on the rubber and rub it in with a paper towel.

There are other steps you can take to truly winterize your vehicle. In salty areas, a fresh coat of wax can prevent paint damage. Even in areas where there is little snow but low temperatures, a set of good winter tires can improve your car’s safety and performance during the winter months. But these four tricks are easy, cheap and guaranteed to save you time on a frosty Monday morning.

If you enjoyed this articles, you might also like:

The 5 Best New Sports Cars for 2014

What is the Tire Size for My Car?

Car Confessions: Where Do You Stand?

The 5 Best New Sports Cars for 2014

Posted on: No Comments

A new model year means exciting new sports cars. Whether you’re in the market for a 400 horsepower two-seater or you just like to drool over them, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best sports cars for 2014.

5. Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F-TYPE

Photo by Jaguar MENA

A little smaller (and less expensive) than Jaguar’s XK line, the F-Type boasts a supercharged V6 with up to 380 horsepower. If that’s not enough, this two-seater convertible can be purchased with a beastly 5.0 liter, 495-horsepower supercharged V8. Estimates put the 0-60 time at just over four seconds. Powerful, fun to drive and with a seven speed automatic built that includes manual gear-select and steering wheel paddle shifters, the F-type is a natural evolution in the British sports car tradition.

4. BMW 4 Series

BMW 4 Series Front On

Photo by Carleasingmadesimpletm

The 3 series is undergoing a major redesign for 2014. The newly minted 4 series includes new exterior designs and a choice between several engines, from a 240 horsepower four cylinder to a 300 horsepower turbo six. Fantastic weight distribution and BMW’s optional xDrive all-wheel-drive system insure that the 4 series will be a dream to drive.

3. Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C

Photo by Diego Fornero

Many Americans are unfamiliar with the Alfa Romeo company. But this might be the year to find out what this longstanding Italian company has to offer. The new 4C, with a concept car line and a carbon fiber body, boasts a 300 horsepower engine and a luxury interior. It’s all-new aluminum engine is as powerful as it is light and responsive. The 4C, along with several more conventional models, marks Alfa Romeo’s entry into the American car market.

2. Audi R8

Audi R8

Photo by FotoSleuth

As part of Audi’s four new releases in 2014 (including a coupe and a sport-back), the new R8 includes not only a total exterior redesign but an insanely powerful new engine: the Audi R8 V10 engine with as much as 525 horsepower. Combined with the quality and commitment to driving experience that Audi has come to be known for insures that the R8 will be the sports car other sports car drivers have on their wishlist.

1. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Photo by AlBargan

Some people are calling the new Corvette Stingray the greatest sports car America has ever produced. All superlatives aside, the Stingray is beyond impressive. With a super-advanced engine boasting a 6.2 liter V8 with 450 horsepower, not to mention a remarkable redesign of the exterior, the new Corvette is faster, sleeker and more technologically advanced than ever. A Drive Mode Selector allows the driver to adjust 12 separate performance attributes (like an equalizer for you car) in response to different driving situations such as wet roads or using only four cylinders to save on gas during commutes. If you’ve always wanted a Corvette, this year’s Stingray is the one to drive.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

What is the Tire Size for My Car?

Car Confessions: Where Do You Stand?

Customize Your Ride With These Unique Rims

What is the Tire Size for My Car?

Posted on: No Comments

Buying tires in Los Angeles does not need to be a confusing task. Knowing your wheel size can save you a lot of time when you are looking to purchase a new set of tires. First, find out your vehicle’s original tire size, which can be found in the owner’s manual or on the tire label. The tire label can be located on the driver’s door jamb, glove box, or inside the fuel hatch. If you can’t locate it, examine the tire’s sidewall.

car-tires

What am I looking for?

The tire width is a three-digit number, given in millimeters. The aspect ratio is the ratio of tire height to tire width. The letter “R” refers to the radial construction of the tire’s carcass plies, which runs from lip to lip and provides strength, flexibility, stability and comfort to the tires. Also locate the wheel’s diameter and the load index, which is how much weight the tire is certified to carry when fully inflated. Never buy a tire that has a lower load index than the vehicle’s original tire.

A tire’s speed rating tells you the tire’s top speed at which it can operate. Speed ratings range from Q (the lowest speed) to Z (the highest speed), with an additional H rating that is between U and V. Replacement tires should have speed ratings equal or higher than the original tires.

fast car in motion

Different Types of Tires

In addition to knowing what size tire you need, you should also be aware of the different types of tires. Here are a few of the most popular varieties of wheels:

-Touring tires are ideal if you desire a smooth and quiet ride that allows for performance handling.

-High-performance tires are ideal for sports cars, which allow for excellent handling and performance at higher speeds. A softer rubber compound provides increased grip, especially when cornering at high speeds.

-Light truck tires are great for pick-up trucks because they provide durability and traction in off-road situations. SUV tires are designed for on-road and comfortable SUV driving situations.

-Commercial light truck tires are designed for commercial trucks and allow for everyday wear and tear.

 

For additional assistance with wheel size or to pick up a set of new tires, come on down to Discount Tire Centers today.

Customize Your Ride With These Unique Rims

Posted on: No Comments

For years, car enthusiasts have discovered unique and creative ways to enhance the appearance of their automobiles. TV shows like “Pimp My Ride” and “Counting Cars” glamorize customization with stand-out features like spinning rims, airbrush art, interior design and more. Check out these dazzling rim designs that make these vehicles stand out from the crowd.

One way to turn some heads is to create a theme for your rims. These playing card rims will certainly have people talking about your ride.

Give people a reason to throw on their shades when they lay their eyes on your chrome rims with a reflective rainbow appearance.

Stand out among the sea of silver and black rims with customized pink rims. Eyes will immediately gaze at the unique color selection of your rims, making you the envy of the road.

pink rims

Photo by IvyMike

Back in the days before chrome, these wooden spokes were the top choice for many motorists. Achieve that retro look on your vehicle and have the most unique wheels on the block.

wood spokes rim

Photo by Joe Ross

Why have a custom anime themed ride without matching yellow rims?

anime yellow rims

Photo by Ari Helminen

If you are the kind of person that wants to let others know that you are not to be messed with, these spiked rims should do the trick.

spiked rims

Photo by Kurt Haubrich

For the best tires in Los Angeles, contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Should I Get Winter Tires?

Posted on: No Comments

With heavy snow hitting the Midwest as early as Halloween this year, it is undeniable that winter has arrived. While the occasional blizzard might allow us to opt out of a given drive, the fact is that if you live in a wintry state driving in snow and ice at some point is unavoidable. So fill up the washer fluid, make sure you’ve got a good scraper and most importantly, switch over to winter snow tires.

bad driving conditions

What’s the benefit?

Tires that are sold as “all-season” are fine for year-round driving if you live in temperate climes, but if you live where it snows–or even in a location that endures temperatures below 40F–a set of winter tires will significantly improve your driving safety through the winter months. All-season tires will improve performance in snow and ice, but the industry rule of thumb is that a brand new set of all-season tires will give you traction and performance roughly equivalent to snow tires that have become half worn. If your all-season tires are worn, they may be unsuitable altogether for driving in ice and snow.

Snow or winter tires have drastically improved performance in winter conditions not only because of a superior tread pattern, but also because they are made of softer rubber compounds which stiffen less in the cold and maintain grip. This property makes them ideal for winter driving, but detrimental to driving in summer weather as this rubber will wear more rapidly. All-season tires are designed as a middle ground in rubber softness between summer and winter tires.

Safety and performance vs. price

Winter tires have been proven to give drivers significantly improved stopping, acceleration, handling and cornering in snowy and icy conditions, yet many drivers are reluctant to buy an extra set of tires for just a few months of driving each year. It may be tough to justify an extra purchase, but drivers should consider not only the highly improved safety of snow tires but the fact that switching tires for the winter months will preserve their primary tires in the driving conditions that incur the most wear. If you can get another two or three years out of your primary tires, winter tires practically pay for themselves.

For more information on snow tires or to check out options for tires in Fresno, contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Survey Finds That Tires Remain a Popular Christmas Gift

Posted on: No Comments

It’s that time of year again when people in colder climates are getting ready for snow and winter driving. For many, that means needing to get new tires for their cars to help ensure safety on the road. With 66% of Americans planning to do significant amounts of driving for the holidays and just as many citing winter driving conditions as their primary winter driving concern, making sure your tires are in good shape is very important.

new tire tread

For these reasons, lots of people consider giving or receiving a set of tires for Christmas to be a good idea. 85% of Americans say they wouldn’t mind finding a set under the tree, and 42% said they’d love to receive a set of new shoes for their vehicles. This goes for women as well as men, with no significant gender difference in the responses.

If you think you can go another year without a new set of tires or don’t anticipate getting one as a gift, here are some things you can do to help stay safe on the road this winter:

Check your tire treads

Worn treads are the #1 cause of skidding during bad weather. Even if  your treads are in good shape, be sure to go slowly when you turn and try to avoid any sudden changes in speed.

Stock up your vehicle

Make sure your wiper fluid, engine coolant and antifreeze are all filled up, and make sure you have an ice scraper, snow shovel, booster cables and flashlight in your car just in case.

Check your tire pressure

You can improve your gas mileage by over 3% by keeping your tires properly inflated. Additionally, tires that are over or under-inflated can pose a safety risk, particularly in bad weather. Check your tires every month to make sure they have enough air in them.

If you’re considering purchasing a set of tires for someone this holiday season, you can’t do any better than Discount Tire Centers in terms of both quality and price. Contact us today for more information on the best tires in Los Angeles.

5 Holiday Gift Ideas for Car Lovers

Posted on: No Comments

Buy the car lover in your life gifts that ensure their ride stays all kinds of sweet. Check out these five holiday gift ideas for car lovers that guarantee happy squeals, smiles and hugs:

1) Car Wash Kit

washing car

Since car lovers enjoy keeping their ride shiny, why not gift them with a car wash kit? Purchase a pre-made kit or make your own using an aluminum pail, car cleaners, soaps, sponges, waxes and whatever else you want to throw in there that will maintain a gleaming vehicle.

2) DeFogger Pad

A foggy windshield runs the gamut from annoying to dangerous, so help the car enthusiast in your life stay safe with the gift of a defogger pad. These items are great to have when on the road, as they clear moisture without leaving streaks and smudges. Plus, they work on any surface including aluminum, tile, glass, stainless steel and of course windshields. The pad features a super-absorbent synthetic sponge interior and an exterior made of oil-tanned sheepskin leather chamois.

3) Solar-Powered Digital Tire Gauge

A hand-held gadget featuring digital LCD display, this solar-powered tire gauge allows you to check “tire health” quickly and easily. A built-in extendable depth ruler makes for easy tire tread inspection, and don’t forget to use its solar panel to recharge the lithium batteries. Perfect for the Eco-friendly car enthusiast.

4) New Tires

new tires

What motor head wouldn’t want new tires for Christmas? Find out what type of wheels your loved one really needs and give the gift that will last for years. Look for deals on specialty tires and save money in addition to providing a wonderful, highly-practical gift.

5) iPhone Windshield Mount

This gift marks the end of fumbling around the console trying to find an iPhone and glance at directions without hitting a telephone pole. The iPhone windshield mount allows for easy GPS navigation, and will give you the peace of mind knowing that your friend or family member is driving safely and free from distractions.

Have any other gift ideas for car lovers you’d like to add? Share your ideas in the comments section! For the best deals on tires in Santa Monica, check out Discount Tire Centers today.

Hankook has Reinvented the Wheel

Posted on: No Comments

It’s happened to everyone. You’re driving along, and suddenly the steering goes funny and you hear the classic flopping sound of a flat tire. Next thing you know, you’re on the shoulder jacking up the car to put on the spare or waiting for AAA. Even if you don’t blow your tire, you have to constantly check the pressure and worry about the tread. The fact is, as dramatically as the car has changed from the Model T days, you’re still driving around on rubber donuts full of air. But things may be changing in a big way if Korean tire manufacturer Hankook has anything to do with it.

hankook i-flex tires
Never have a flat again

The basic concept of their i-Flex “tire” was originally developed by Bridgestone and other companies, but Hankook is taking the next step and merging the tire and the wheel into one unit. Not only does this design make flats just about impossible with the i-Flex being totally air-free, but the innovative wheels also absorb bumps better than the tires on current vehicles. For the environmentally minded, there’s even more reason to buy them. The i-Flex will be 95% recyclable and will be better for fuel economy than old fashioned tires.

How does it Work?

The design omits both tubes and rims, opting instead for an arrangement of beehive like cells which allows the whole “tire”–not just a few inches of inflated rubber–to act as a suspension unit, distributing bumps equally across the material and providing a consistent rigidity unlike normal tires.  Because there is no solid metal components, the i-Flex also promises to reduce the overall weight of your car and may improve handling. With all these advantages over old-fashioned “tires,” it seems Hankook may have actually reinvented the wheel.

For the best selection of tires in los angeles, contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Most Disliked Cars of 2013

Posted on: No Comments

Recently, CNN Money gave a rundown of 2013′s most disliked new cars. While we think it’s hard to go wrong buying a new car these days, the list makes for an interesting read. Do you have a most disliked car? Do you think CNN got it dead wrong? Let us know in the comments.

(And remember: the cars listed here represent the opinion of the original article’s author and not Discount Tire Centers)

nissan logo

Nissan Versa Note

While the car is a deal at under $14,000, there are seemingly countless drawbacks: a noisy, sluggish transmission, a hard plastic interior and little exterior appeal. The reviewer of the Wall Street Journal said that the Note ” . . . almost has an early 1970s, East German vibe to it.”

Acura RLX

The RLX has faced noted abuse from car reviewers, calling the car bland, boring and over-priced. While the car seems to be nothing more than an over-equipped Honda Accord, its $60K loaded price-tag is enough to make any car buyer cringe.

Mini Cooper Paceman

Mini Cooper deserves some credit for building its brand with numerous variations on the same basic car. Unfortunately, the 2014 Paceman comes up more than a little short. While it is $1,500 more than the similar Countryman model, it doesn’t boast the Countryman’s four doors and doesn’t seem to perform any better, according to reviewers from Car and Driver.

dodge logo

Dodge Dart

In 2012, the Dart was introduced to some hub-bub as the first Fiat-based Chrysler product following the merger of the automotive companies. When reviewers got up close though, the vehicle left a lot to be desired. The biggest complaints regarded the two engines available on new Darts, with critics saying they were both noisy and underpowered.

Head over to CNN Money to read the rest of the list. And don’t forget to let us know your least favorite car of 2013 in the comments section. For the best prices on tires in Bakersfield, contact Discount Tire Centers today.