How To Know When To Replace Your Car’s Tires

In most states, you’re legally required to replace your tires when the depth of their treads reaches 2/32″. At that point, the grooves have become so worn that your tires provide very little traction. They become a safety concern to you, your passengers, and other drivers.
On dry road surfaces, shallow grooves rarely pose a problem. There’s sufficient traction between the road and rubber to give drivers plenty of control over their vehicles. This is the reason race cars use slicks. On wet roads, however, shallow grooves are dangerous. The moisture has less room within the treads; with nowhere to go, it causes your vehicle to hydroplane.
In this article, we’ll take a contrarian look at your car’s tires. You’ll first learn how to use a penny to determine whether your treads are legal (i.e. deeper than 2/32″). We’ll then explain why letting them reach that point may be unsafe.
Using A Penny To Measure Tread Depth
You can purchase a tread depth gauge at nearly any auto supply store for under $10. It is worth the expense (you’ll understand the reason in a moment). Most people forgo the gauge, however, and instead use a penny to test their treads.
The process is simple. Insert a penny into the grooves of your tire with Lincoln’s head positioned upside-down. If the coin submerges to the point that any part of Lincoln’s head is covered, it means the tread depth is at least 2/32″. The tire is legal. But it may still be unsafe, which means the penny test can be unreliable.
The Problem With The “Lincoln’s Head” Test
Your tires are equipped with wear indicators. These are bars molded into the rubber by the manufacturer in order to let you know when your treads have reached 2/32″. Nearly all tires have them. The problem is, that tread depth may be unsafe, depending on where you live.
As mentioned earlier, when the roads are dry, there’s plenty of traction. Even tires that are bald are relatively safe. So, if you live in a region that receives very little rain or snow, allowing your treads to reach 2/32″ should be fine. On the other hand, if you live in an area that receives a lot of rainfall and snow, you should replace your tires earlier. On wet roads, you’ll lose traction long before the grooves reach 2/32″.
If you frequently drive on wet roads, consider replacing your set when the tread depth reaches 4/32″. If you drive in snow on a regular basis, replace them at 6/32″.
As a side note, you can perform the penny test with a quarter to identify when the grooves of your tires reach 4/32″. The top of Washington’s head is the marker.
A Closer Look At Your Treads
To understand the reason moisture causes a loss in traction, it important to recognize what occurs between moisture and the treads. The pattern of the grooves is designed to direct water, and bite into snow. Unlike air, water cannot be compressed. When your tires make contact, the moisture enters the grooves, and is moved through them. As long as there is plenty of room, you’ll retain traction.
At any given time, only a small area of your tires will make contact with the road’s surface. The shallower your treads, the less water required to fill them. This causes the area of your tires that touches the road to shrink. As it becomes smaller, you’ll begin to hydroplane. This problem is even more pronounced with slush (from snow) since it quickly fills in the treads, and often remains there. It robs your tires of traction.
To recap, determining the right time to replace your vehicle’s tires depends largely on whether you drive on wet or slushy roads. While 2/32″ may be the legal tread depth in most states, replacing your set when they reach 4/32″ or 6/32″ may be more appropriate.

What Are Side Curtain Air Bags?

If you were alive and driving a vehicle just a couple of decades ago, the introduction of the air bag seemed like a silly thing. Really? A bag could save you from serious injury and not prevent more injury from its deployment? Actually, yes. And when the first airbags proved to be so successful, manufacturers and safety experts continued to investigate ways to expand airbags and make vehicles even safer in crashes. The result they came up with is side curtain air bags.
Side curtain airbags are exactly what they sound like. When the vehicle is in a crash, an air bag is deployed from each side of the vehicle to protect the driver and the passengers. The side air bag is deployed when the front and passenger side airbags are deployed.
Side air bags have shown significant decreases in injuries in people driving cars and mini-vans. So why aren’t they included in all vehicles? Mostly because they aren’t required to be yet. Adding them in also makes for more expense and some owners don’t care about having side protection as long as they have it in the front. But they should because it could make a huge difference in the injuries received for everyone..
Side air curtain air bags protect the side and back of a driver and the passengers. The crash could be a head on collision, it could be a side impact crash or it could even be a rear-end job. The sudden deployment of the side airbag can prevent whiplash injuries, serious injuries to the side and even protect from glass and pieces coming in to the vehicle from the impact.
Side curtain airbags are becoming very important for smaller cars and convertibles that haven’t traditionally had good safety records. But with stronger steel frames, front and side airbags, smaller cars are becoming just as safe as larger vehicles and mini-vans. Side curtain airbags are getting installed on more and more models of cars and may soon become a requirement for all cars if they continue to show such drastic decreases in injuries during accidents.
The side curtain airbags are deployed out of the side column where the seat belt is attached. The airbag is deployed when there is a side, rear or front end collision and the other airbags are deployed. The deployment is so sudden that even if it is a split second behind the initial airbags in the front, it is still enough to save a life in a violent crash. Most people would prefer to have the safety feature over saving a couple of hundred dollars on a new car that they have to pay for in the first place anyway.

The Essential Car Repair Tool Kit – Everything You Need To Do Your Own Repairs

You may not be an ace mechanic, but there are some simple car repair jobs that just about anybody can do. In fact, the more you can do yourself, the more you’ll save for when you really need help. Doing your own car repair is a fulfilling way to get closer to your beloved vehicle. It all starts with having the right tools.
Just like collecting anything else, getting your kit together becomes a sort of addiction. Watching it grow tool by tool, and seeing how each part can be used, is lots of fun and it makes driving your car more interesting. Keep in mind that this list is only the absolute basics; as you learn more about car repair, you’ll add to it.
– Jack And Lug Wrench. You’ll need a jack for lifting up your car and a lug wrench to remove lugs. These simple tools come in handy for almost everything. Your vehicle comes with a jack already, but it’s best to ditch it and buy a better one. Hydraulic jacks are generally considered to be the best.
– Socket Set And Box Wrench Set. You can buy a basic socket set from any hardware store. You don’t need anything fancy to get started doing your own car repair. The box wrench is useful for getting to hard-to-reach areas, and there are plenty of those on any vehicle. Start with basic sets and buy more as you need them.
– Combination Wrench Set. Same as above, you’ll need to do some serious twisting to get at the trouble spots of your car. A combo set will have various sizes and types, and this should cover all the stuff you’ll need to do with your vehicle.
– Auto Repair Manual. It’s always surprising how much a good, old-fashioned repair manual will come in handy. Get the instruction manual for your car’s model and make if you anticipate doing some serious repairs from time to time. If you’re not going to spend so much time fixing stuff, you can always check it out of your local library.
– Work Lights. Good lighting enables you to do your work in the evening, and even in daytime they can help a lot to really see what you’re doing. The best work lights to get are fluorescent shop lights. They’re bright and tough, and they’ll stay cool. They’re great for lighting up what you’re doing. Be sure to have some good extension cords as well.
The above list is very basic, but it will at least get you started. When you’re first buying stuff for your car repair kit, remember that you don’t need anything fancy. Salespeople will turn your head around with the latest gadgets and tools, but what you really need are some simple things that you can use when you’ve got something to do a car repair. Start simple and cheap, and expand into bigger and better things as your collection grows.

6 Basic Car Maintenance Tips You Should Know

Each one of us dreams of having our own car – may it be a simple one or a cool sports car. Owning a car sound great because it gives us convenience, comfort and joy but then owning one means additional responsibilities. Each car owner must know how to take good care of their unit from basic maintenance to simple troubleshooting. Car owners should treat their vehicles like their own child or partner. They should know how to maintain their car so it is always in good running condition and would last for a long time. Here are some basic car maintenance tips that car owners should follow and practice.
1.) Check engine oil – Checking the level of your engine oil is the most important thing you should consider before riding your car or traveling to far places. The car’s engine consists of many moving parts which definitely need a good level of lubrication to protect them from untimely wear. There are two kinds of engine oil: a monograde which is the ordinary one and a multigrade which is a special formulated one with additives that protect your engine providing you more mileage before undergoing change oil.
2.) Check engine level coolant – Before leaving your place, it would be best to check your coolant level to prevent any high temperature problem that might lead to engine overheating. When your car starts, the process of engine combustion takes place and it reaches a thousand degrees, especially in the combustion chamber and that’s when the engine coolant works. From the radiator, it passes through the coolant chamber inside the engine taking some of the heat off. As it passes through the different coolant or water chamber, it returns from the radiator completing the automotive cooling process. Some units use ordinary tap water but it would be best to use coolant to protect your engine. It’s a mixture of ordinary tap water with a special formulated coolant that protect your radiator from what they usually call “scale” that may damages or clog your radiator.
3.) Make sure electrical system and tires are in great condition – Make it a habit to check your electrical system and see to it that all important lights like head light, signal light, and park light are functioning well. This should be done to avoid car accidents and to avoid additional damage to your car. Checking your tires is also important before you go on a trip. Check for any flat tire and make sure to bring along a spare tire especially when going for a long trip.
4.) Check car gauges – Start your engine and check if the voltage gauge, fuel gauge, oil pressure gauge, air pressure and temperature gauge is in normal condition. For voltage gauge, after turning on your key you will notice that it reaches 24V but once you start your engine, it would increase from 24 to 28 Voltage, if not, there might be something wrong with your battery or your alternator. The fuel gauge gives you an idea whether you already need to refuel or if the fuel is still enough for the whole trip. It’s hard to get stuck in the middle of the road just because you haven’t noticed that your fuel gauge is almost empty. As you start your engine your oil pressure automatically moves out but as soon as the engine heats, it would automatically would go down to its normal level and thus indicate that your car is in good condition. The temperature gauge shows the temperature of your engine. The normal temperature of an engine is one half of the gauge in flat lying area, but once you reach an inclined plane, your normal temperature reaches 3/4 of your gauge.
5.) Check battery and brake system – A car battery’s life usually depends on how often the owner uses the vehicle and on the road he usually travels. Make sure to change your battery as soon as it’s necessary to avoid further damage to the engine. You should also check your brake system and make sure that your brake fluid is still enough and that your brakes are really functioning so as to avoid accidents.
6.) Go to a car repair shop – Once you noticed that there’s something wrong in your car and that even when you thoroughly checked your unit you can’t seem to find the trouble, you should send your unit to a repair shop immediately. This should be done to avoid further damage to your car and to make sure that every part of your car is functioning well. Not only that, you should visit a repair shop once in a while for tire alignment, change oil and other basic maintenance services that are necessary for your unit.
These simple tips should be done to ensure that your car will last a long time and that road accidents can be avoided. Follow these tips and for sure you’ll enjoy the benefits you get for having a well-maintained car.

Car Repair – What to Think About Before Getting It Fixed

In today’s commuter world, we have become extremely reliant upon our vehicles. Whether we are using them to bring our children to school or other activities, to travel around our neighborhoods or just to get to the next appointment on time, we rely on the services of something that moves daily. Because of the nature of the use we put our automobiles through, it is important to be very conscious of the maintenance of your investment. No one wants to be stuck in the driveway fifteen minutes before an important job interview, or stranded on the side of an interstate when their child is waiting to be picked up from piano lessons. Finding a car repair service provider that is professional and convenient can help you avoid these stressful situations.
A vehicle incurs a lot of wear and tear as a result of daily use. The engine that keeps your automobile running is a complex system consisting of many mechanical parts. Each of these parts plays a specific role in getting you to your destination, and if any one of these fails, your vehicle’s performance will suffer. Every mile and every trip incurs more damage on the parts of your vehicle and increases the possibility of total malfunction. The services offered by a car repair business can help you avoid catastrophic and unfortunate vehicular failure. Finding a service provider who offers trained professionals with demonstrated expertise in their field can be a huge help.
Many providers assure that their technicians have the latest training in a myriad of vehicles. Whether you drive a small car or a larger truck, these professionals can provide the maintenance you require. Unless your vehicle is a specially-made model running entirely on proprietary parts, your local garage will more than likely have or know where to easily find what you’ll need to get your automobile in ship shape.
Another thing to consider when in the market for car repair is the type of services offered. The most common maintenance procedure provided is your regular old oil change. It will serve you well to be aware of your needs as a client before you actively seek out auto repair or maintenance. Typically, many professionals suggest that you change your oil every three-thousand miles, but this may simply be a marketing tactic. An engine has many moving parts, and motor oil serves as a lubricant. In time, this oil will break down and lose its efficiency. It is for this reason that regular oil changes are necessary. If you neglect to get your oil changed, the parts of your engine may fuse together and you may find yourself with a more costly issue.
Another typical service offered by a car repair business is tire maintenance and repair. Every mile that your vehicle travels invites more wear and tear to the whole vehicle. The tires are vital and can affect the overall performance of your automobile. Many service providers offer tire rotations and replacements. Rotating your tires can help maintain the balance of your vehicle and can increase tire life. You will be able to increase the life of your tires and vehicle overall if you seek the help of someone who knows what to look for. In addition, many professionals can offer you insight into some things to look for when checking out your own vehicle. They can clue you into things that you may notice that are signs of potential problems. In this way they can help provide preventative maintenance.
Finally, the overall services your potential car repair business provides should be investigated. Some business will offer free inspections and diagnosis procedures. By using these services, you can experience the professionalism of the business before making any payments. By having this insight into the training of the technicians, you can make a more informed decision.
Finding the right automotive repair service involves a level of trust. Make sure that you are assured of the abilities and professionalism of the business you choose to go with. If they are able to diagnose and treat effectively the issues you may face, then you will be the recipient of exceptional service.

When It Does Not Make Sense to Fix Your Car

During these hard economic times, we are all trying to stretch a dollar. One way we are doing that is by keeping our cars longer. That of course means we now have to make repairs to a car that we may have simply replaced a few years ago. That puts many of us into the uncharted waters of car repair. So, when does repairing the car fall into the category of throwing good money after bad? The answer depends on a lot of things and is different for everyone.
Obviously, one major contributor to that decision is the cost of the repairs. If the cost of those repairs is more that the car is worth, is does not make much sense to fix it. If you do not know the value of your car, you can find out from the Kelly Blue Book. The Kelly Blue Book only goes back twenty years. If your car is older than that, you can find out its value from The NADA Guides classic car section.
If the costs of repairs are less than the value of the vehicle and you are fairly handy, you may be able to save the labor costs by doing the repairs yourself. If you cannot do the repairs yourself, there are many things to consider when deciding what to do with the car. If your car has high mileage, is very old, has been giving you a lot of trouble or is generally in poor condition, it simply may not be in your best interest to repair it. Ultimately, the decision will come down to you level of comfort with your car.
If you do decide to replace your car, you then have to figure out what to do with it. You can trade it in. However, most car buying guides suggest that you are likely to get a better deal without a trade in. Also, the car dealer will probably not give you much for it because it needs repairs. For the same reason, it may be hard to sell it privately. Most car buyers do not want to purchase a car that needs repair, particularly if it does not run.
You can sell it to a junk yard. They might give you a couple of hundred dollars for it. They will then sell all the workable parts from it for a lot more money than you received, then crush it and sell the scrap metal.
You can decide to dismantle your car and sell the parts yourself. That will cost you a lot of time along with some money for advertising. Then you have to decide what to do if someone claims the part you sold them does not work. You also have the problem of disposing of the left over parts and the carcass of the car. And, many communities will not allow you to have a dismantled car on your property.

3 Things to Look For When Searching for a Shop for Diesel Repair

If you have a diesel vehicle, you must be careful as to where you take your vehicle to be fixed. You want to know that you are going to an automotive repair shop that can handle your vehicle and fix it as it should be fixed. If you are looking for diesel repair, there are a few things you will want to focus on.
These three main things to look for when searching for a shop for diesel repair will help you to find the perfect shop for your vehicle. When seeking out a shop, you will want to look for certifications, the cost of the repair, and the time needed for the repair.
The single most important thing to look for when looking for a shop that can handle your diesel repair is a long list of certifications. You want to know that the shop is well versed in all of the different repairs that your diesel may need.
You will also want to look for certifications that explicitly list the shop’s ability to handle diesel vehicles. This should give you the piece of mind that you need to know that they will be able to handle your vehicle safely.
Cost is going to be an important part of your decision for two reasons: you want to know that you are getting a fair price for repairs, and you want to know that you are getting a steal. You should never have your repairs completed by a company who has high prices for the sake of ripping off their clients. Look at multiple shops, compare their quotes, and choose the one that has a price that seems to manage their certifications and popularity.
It is important for a shop to complete your diesel repair as quickly as possible, simply because you want to get back on the road with your vehicle as quickly as possible. Look for a shop that has a quick turnaround time and stress the importance of speed as you look for your quotes. Some shops may be able to bump you up or give you quicker turnaround times because your need for a fast repair.
Certifications are important, as they show that the shop that you have chose is knowledgeable about the diesel repairs they must perform. Cost is important, as you want to know that you are getting the best price for the repair. Time is important in the sense that you need to get back on the road. If you find a shop that has high certifications, at a low cost, and with a solid repair time-line, you have found the right shop for your diesel repair.

Have a Closer Look at Bowling – One of the Popular Sports

After long hours of hectic routine during the weekdays, you are likely to look forward to having some fun during the weekends. Places of entertainment and amusement parks are mostly crowded during Saturdays and Sundays. If you do not like that much crowd, try the bowling alley. Ten-pin bowling has been one of the most popular sports in America for quite a few years now. However, saying it is only an entertaining sport would be wrong. There is huge enthusiasm among people regarding this sport, and different national and international tournaments are organized on almost regular basis.
Whether you are playing for fun or participating in any competition, ten-pin bowling is always entertaining. However, it does become a lot more fun if you are playing in leagues with your very own bowling team. Bowling teams usually consist of four team members, who meet once or twice in week to discuss strategies and practice their skills together.
In most bowling leagues, the game is played on the basis of “best of three”. Whichever team has maximum points during the three sessions wins the game. You can have a team comprising your friends, colleagues or even family members. Apart from having an invigorating session of bowling, this allows you to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Plus, there is always the chance of winning a cash prize or a trophy.
You need not be bored to death if you cannot play the game. You can still have a seat in the gallery and cheer your friends and family members, as they take on their competitors in the league. And if all that cheering makes you hungry or thirsty, there is always a food court that you can raid for snacks and drinks.
Do you have a bowling team, and wish to participate in a league? Here are a few ways to look for it:
1. Try searching online, in order to find a bowling league being organized in a bowling alley located near your neighborhood. You are likely to find quite a few names to choose from. Then you can simply go for one that matches the skill level of your team members.
2. Another easy way to find a bowling alley is through referrals from friends, colleagues and family members. If any of them have already competed in bowling leagues or have the habit of visiting bowling alleys frequently, then they will certainly be able to suggest good options to you.
3. You can also check newspapers and hoardings as many bowling alleys frequently place advertisements there, along with contact details. Then you can simply call up the office in the bowling alley and ask necessary questions.
Therefore, if you want to participate in bowling leagues, Dublin Ohio city has many bowling alleys to choose from.

Knowing About Nitro

So we started a few entries ago with the basics of automobiles. Stuff like air filters, horsepower and cylinders. What they mean and how they work. Then we got more advanced with the supercharger and turbocharger. But this is only the beginning. Today, let’s learn about nitro.
Anyone who is into racing will know about nitro or nitrous, and most people will have heard the term at some point or another. Nitro, which has the scientific name nitrous oxide, it is two nitrogen atoms attached to one oxygen atom. It is injected into fuel systems to make a much more powerful combustion. Have you ever seen a drag racer with flames shooting out of the exhaust? That is extra nitro being burned off as it leaves the exhaust system.
Air and gas mix in a cylinder and are ignited to create energy. Well what would happen if you can get more air into a cylinder? Right, it would create a larger combustion. Remember how nitro is two parts nitrogen and one part oxygen? When nitro is added to the gas and ignites, the nitro releases the oxygen into the cylinder, thus increasing the amount of air available to burn. This is why nitro is so explosive, it has air in it that feeds its own combustion.
Depending on the engine and design, nitrous can add anywhere from.5 hp to 3,000 hp. Nitrous is so powerful that it doesn’t all burn off in the cylinder. Some of it gets ejected into the exhaust system. This explains the flames you sometimes see coming out of nitrous equipped cars.
You can’t add nitro to old, used vehicles. It puts a major strain on an engine cars need to be modified to equip it. If not it can result in cracked pistons, damaged casings, ruined crankshafts or even out right detonation. Another problem with nitro is that is relies on a very specific ratio of air to and fuel. Too much or too little and it could ruin your engine or once again detonate. Strong engine casings aside, detonation is not something you want to have happen to your car. If you ever see a car looks like it is blowing steam out of a hole in the hood before a race then you know it has nitro in it. The drivers “purge” their system before races to make sure there is no extra nitro caught in the pipes.
Engineers have been experimenting with using nitro for decades now. In fact during World War 2, both English and German aviators experimenting with adding nitro to planes to help with high altitude, low oxygen flights. Consider yourself warned though, nitro is not cheap nor is it street legal. In fact many races, including NASCAR ban its use. For the record you can have it in your car on the streets but you have to have the feed line disconnected or closed, we don’t want you outrunning the police now do we?

How to Remove and Inspect Your Car’s Spark Plugs

Years ago, spark plugs became fouled much more quickly than they do today. It was common to need replacements after driving little more than 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Part of the problem back then was that automotive fuel contained lead. Today, with lead all but removed from fuel, spark plugs can last 40,000 miles or more. Some are even advertised to last 100,000 miles (though this is optimistic).
Because the plugs represent a critical part of your engine’s operation (without spark, there can be no combustion), it’s important to change them when they show signs of wear. Neglecting to do so will result in declining performance. Below, we’ll take you through the process of removing and inspecting them.
Gathering Your Tools And Locating The Plugs
In addition to a set of replacement spark plugs, you’ll need access to a socket wrench, spark plug socket, and a few socket extensions. You should also plan to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris.
Lift the hood of your vehicle, and look for wires along the top of your engine. They are made of rubber, and each is connected to a cylinder. If your vehicle’s engine has four cylinders, you’ll be able to see four wires. A 6-cylinder engine will have six wires, and so on. Once you have located them, you’re ready to remove the plugs.
Removing The Plug Wires
A lot of people doing this for the first time are tempted to removed all of the wires simultaneously. It seems simpler to do so. The problem is, the plugs in your engine’s cylinders fire in a particular order. If, while replacing them, you inadvertently mix the wires and cylinders in the wrong order, your engine’s performance may suffer. To avoid that problem, replace them one at a time.
Grasp the first plug wire snugly, twist it, and pull. It should come off easily, leaving the plug sticking out of the engine block. You’ll see the plug’s terminal (the topmost part) and part of the insulator exposed. The next step is to remove the plug.
Removing The Spark Plugs
You’ll need your socket to remove the spark plug from its housing in the block. Slip the socket over the plug (using an appropriate extension), and make sure the fit is snug. Then, attach the ratchet. Gain some leverage and turn it gently counter-clockwise. Apply a little pressure if the plug seems stuck.
Once you have removed the first spark plug, inspect its condition closely. It will provide clues regarding your engine’s operation.
Checking The Condition Of The Plugs
There are several indicators that suggest possible problems. For example, look at the side and center electrodes (located on the opposite end of the terminal). Has black soot accumulated on the tips? If so, you’re observing carbon deposits, which suggest the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder is running rich.
Do you see deposits on the electrodes that appear black and wet? If so, you’re seeing oil. This can mean a few things, but the most common is that oil is leaking past one or both of the valves (intake or exhaust) into the cylinder.
Sometimes, the center electrode will melt. This is more serious than oil leaks or a too-rich air-fuel mixture. A melted electrode might imply your engine is running too hot. It can also mean other things, but it is important to identify the cause to prevent expensive damage from occurring to the assembly.
Another item to note is the gap between the side and center electrodes. The spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder must be able to jump the gap. Over tens of thousands of miles and millions of sparks, the center electrode erodes. As it does, the gap widens. If you notice significant erosion, it’s time to change the plugs.
Fouled, melted, or eroded spark plugs will eventually lead to engine performance problems. If your engine is behaving strangely, check the plugs and replace them, if necessary.