Archive for July 2015

Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in Bristol: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair

Posted July 9, 2015 12:00 PM

Taking care of our tires is part of vehicle care for Bristol drivers. We know they have to be replaced when they wear out, but tires also require some preventive maintenance. This maintenance will improve and extend the life of the tires, so it's well worth the effort and expense for Bristol drivers to get it done. Tire maintenance includes keeping tires properly inflated, rotating tires and balancing wheels.

The recommended tire pressure for a vehicle's tires is printed on a sticker on the inside of the driver's side doorjamb. A lot of engineering goes into calculating the correct pressure, so it's an important number for Bristol vehicle owners to know. Not following this recommendation can throw off the suspension system and can lead to tire damage. Underinflated tires wear out more quickly than properly inflated tires. Vehicles also get better traction and handling on properly inflated tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a week and add air if necessary.

Don't be tempted to add a bit of extra air to your tires when you fill them. Overinflated tires will cause the center tread to wear unevenly because of improper contact with the road. It will also affect the handling performance of your vehicle.

Rotating tires allows all four tires on a vehicle to wear evenly. Front tires get more wear than rear tires because they do most of the work on turns. Tire rotation allows all of the tires to spend time on the front of the car so they all experience the extra wear.

For most vehicles, tire rotation is simply a matter of moving the front tires to the rear and vice versa. Some vehicles, however, recommend a cross-rotational pattern. Other vehicles use asymmetrical tires, which means the right tires have to stay on the right side of the vehicle and the left tires on the left. Some vehicles use differently sized wheels on the front and back of the car and should not have their tires rotated.

What kind of rotation do you need? Check your owner's manual or talk to your service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. Your owner's manual will have information about how to rotate your vehicle's tires as well as letting you know how often you should get it done. For most vehicles, that's usually every 5,000 miles or 8,000 kilometers Your friendly and knowledgeable Economy Transmission and Auto Repair professionals can also offer auto advice about tire rotation. A quick tire inspection can also indicate whether or not your tires are due to be rotated.

When it comes to tire maintenance for Bristol drivers, wheel balancing is usually what we know least about. Balancing a wheel is necessary to keep it in constant contact with the road. If a tire is not balanced properly, it actually hops along the roadway. You can feel this hopping as a vibration in your steering wheel if the unbalanced tire is a front tire. You'll feel the vibration through your seat if a rear tire is unbalance. Properly balancing your tires is important and will extend their life span, improve handling and improve the safety of your vehicle. When you replace your tires, the new tires need to be balanced.

Never use different sized tires on the same axle of a vehicle. In other words, your front tires need to be the same size and your rear tires need to be the same size. Mixing sizes can lead to some serious handling problems for Bristol drivers.

If you have an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle, all four tires need to be the same size. If your tires are wearing out, you can sometimes make a new tire purchase fit within your budget by only buying two tires at a time. When you do this, the new tires should be installed on the rear of the vehicle. Rear tires are more in need of the traction than your front tires to avoid spinning out on slippery surfaces. If you drive a vehicle around Bristol, you need tires, so you need to know how to care for them. The safety of your vehicle can depend on the condition of your tires.

Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



Below 45 Degrees in Bristol: Consider Winter Tires

Posted July 2, 2015 12:00 PM

Remember snow tires? They were basically just regular tires with big, knobby lugs to get them through deep snow. They were loud and rode hard, and Bristol drivers couldn't wait to get them off the car. Then along came television advertisements for “all-season” radials. Connecticut drivers ran out and bought some and we thought we were done with snow tires forever.

Tires have come a long way since then. Modern winter tires sold in the Bristol area are much better designed for the wide range of conditions that come with Connecticut winter weather. They are made with a rubber compound that helps them stay flexible in cold weather. Regular tires become hard and stiff at Bristol temperatures below 45°F (7° C) which reduces their traction. That's a concern in winter, especially with snowy or wet conditions. But it also means that Bristol drivers are better off with winter tires in cold weather even when it's dry.

The tread design on winter tires has been improved to move snow, slush and water. The lugs and grooves throw packed snow out of the tread as the tire rotates. This means the tread is open and ready to move more snow when it rolls around again. Summer tires can pack up with snow, which makes them more dangerous than a bald tire.

The all-season tire that is popular among Bristol drivers is a compromise between summer and winter performance. This means they give adequate performance for Bristol drivers in either season but aren't great in either. Summer tires give great performance in hot weather but lousy performance in winter. Bristol drivers need to put more thought into their tire choices these days.

If you want the performance that new winter tires can give you, you should have them properly installed by your friendly and professional service advisor at Economy Transmission and Auto Repair. It's best to purchase four snow tires and put them on all the wheels of your vehicle. But if you only want two, you need to put them on the rear of your vehicle, even if you drive a front-wheel drive vehicle. Bristol drivers always want to put the tires with the best traction on the rear of the vehicle.

For more auto advice about tires for any Connecticut season, ask your friendly and knowledgeable Economy Transmission and Auto Repair tire professional. They can help you find the right tire for your area and for your driving needs. For the best performance from your tires, whatever the season, don't forget preventive maintenance. Keep your tires up to pressure for the best durability, safety and performance, but don't overinflate them. Remember, good car care provides the safest road for all of us in Bristol.


Economy Transmission and Auto Repair
201 Terryville Road
Bristol, Connecticut 06010
(860) 589-1255



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