Snow Tires Vs. All Season Tires

 

As winter approaches it is important to understand which variety of tire will keep you and your loved ones safe. The first thing to consider is what the region is like where you live.

If your city sees occasional flurries of snow and some seldom ice on the roads, an all weather tire will be your best choice. If you deal with heavy snow all winter long, and constant ice and slush on your roads then a winter tire should be considered. Here are some of the reasons why, and benefits of each:

All Season Tires:

  • All season tires have a less aggressive tread
  • This tread makes them more comfortable and quieter, but they provide less traction in snow and ice
  • Tires wear at a slower rate than seasonal tires, lasting longer
  • All season tires offer a low rolling resistance, so they can produce a higher fuel efficiency
  • A harder rubber is used in all season tires, so it can adapt to all temperatures, but in icy conditions it can harden and reduce handling

Winter Tires:

  • Deep tread is especially designed to block snow build up and add traction in inclement weather
  • Rubber stays soft in the cold to maintain control and handling
  • Tread built specifically for snow and ice with a better biting edge for wet and snow covered roads
  • Provides confidence and control in dangerous situations
  • Breaking time is significantly enhanced compared to all season tires

It is important to note, that winter tires should not be used in the summer as the soft rubber designed for snow will wear very quickly and will not handle well in heat.

What’s the Difference Between a Conventional and Synthetic Oil Change?

Discount tire oil changeOne of the very first questions you will be asked when you go to get an oil change is this: Would you like synthetic or regular? You can probably guess that synthetic oil is higher quality due to it’s higher price, but you may not know exactly why. In order to make a more informed decision, we are talking about what the main differences are between synthetic and conventional oil.

What is it?

Regular, or conventional, oil is derived from crude oil, and that is pretty much where the process ends. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is regular oil that undergoes further modifications which remove more of the impurities that are found in the crude oil and improve its protective and lubricant properties.

Lubrication

Your car engine has many moving parts. In order to keep the parts moving fluidly, motor oil is used to create a slippery coating of lubrication. Synthetic oils have a greater ability to keep the parts slick, especially at higher temperatures. Better lubrication means less wear and tear on your engine, which could extend the life of the engine.

Cleaning

Another purpose of motor oil is to clean your engine of debris. Regular oil sometimes forms sludge which can be harmful for your engine. Synthetic oil, with its fewer impurities, is better able to work without forming sludge, also increasing the life of your engine.

Oil Changes

Any type of oil will eventually break down and become less effective, which is why you should regularly have your motor oil changed. The advantage of synthetic oil is that it can last as much as three times longer than regular oil before breaking down. So despite being more expensive, it will get you further down the road than conventional oil will.

It is clear that synthetic oil wins this competition in a number of ways. That said, regular oil will still get the job done and is a great option. The most important thing to remember when it comes to caring for your car is to follow the recommendations from your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Take the worry out of changing your oil and bring your car on over to the nearest Discount Tire. We’ll make sure that your vehicle has the oil it needs so that your engine will keep running smoothly! Make an appointment today! 

When Do My Brakes Need Maintenance?

Brakbrake repair and maintenancees inevitably wear out as they get older and they will eventually need to be replaced. Because of this, yearly brake system inspections are vital to ensuring your safety. Your brakes can wear out relatively quickly depending on things such as driving habits, the quality of the brake pads, and vehicle type. Fortunately, there are warning signs between check-ups that will tell you that your brakes need attention.

Keep in mind that it’s very important to replace your brakes before they get too far gone. Metal-to-metal braking without braking pads can lead to expensive fixes on your vehicle.

Here are some of the warning signs that tell you that your brakes need to be looked at:

  • Brake Light: the red brake light lights up on your vehicle’s dashboard.
  • ABS Light: The automated braking system light is constantly lit up on the dashboard.
  • Low Pedal: brake pedal gets very low before it actually starts engaging.
  • Hard Pedal: you have to push the pedal really hard to make it move so that the brakes can engage.
  • Grabbing: brakes grab almost too hard and fast at the slightest touch to the pedal.
  • Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.
  • Noise: screeching or grinding noises when applying brakes.
  • Vibration: brake pedal excessively vibrates, even under normal braking conditions.

If you experience any of these issues, make sure to talk to a brake inspection professional ASAP. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your safety.

When you foresee problems, remember that Discount Tire offers complete brake system inspections and repairs for very affordable prices. Let us be your resource to diagnosing your brake problems.

 

5 Tips for Your Next Off-Roading Adventure

off roading tips discount tire and auto logan and providenceOne of the most popular activities for summer and fall is OFF-ROADING! Also known as mudding, digging, or rock crawling. Whatever you decide to call it, it all refers to the same fun sport of taking your SUV, truck, ATV, or motorbike off the beaten path into a high-thrill adventure. Even though these adventures are wild and spontaneous, you should always play it smart and be safe. Here are a few tips we’ve put together to help you be prepared while getting dirty on the hills.

  1. Make sure whatever vehicle you take up the mountain can handle the terrain. Something as simple as a pothole on the street can damage your vehicle’s alignment, so it’s safe to say a rocky dirt trail can do much worse. Prevent damage by knowing your vehicle’s abilities and equipping it with proper shocks and struts.
  2. Check your tire pressure and tread before hitting the trails. Know the proper PSI for your tires and make sure they’re inflated. These little things can make a big difference.
  3. Now that your vehicle is prepared on the outside, it’s time to prepare the inside as well. And we don’t just mean good music, snacks, and an air freshener. Keep a survival kit in your vehicle at all times. A good kit includes items like first aid, road flares, warm blankets, water, and food Check out our list of 25 necessities to keep in your car for recommendations. Once your vehicle is loaded up, make sure everything is secured down tight. Off-roading is a bumpy ride, and the last thing you’ll want is flying objects causing injury. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Take the time for safety precautions. Let someone know where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. Never go alone. Traveling in a group reduces the risk of getting stranded. Bring at least one buddy along with you. When you reach your destination, make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt and proper head safety gear. Don’t lean out the windows or stand in the bed of trucks. It only takes a split second for someone to be thrown from the vehicle or for a rollover to occur, so be smart.
  5. Finally, we insist you have FUN! Get dirty and make memories. Our motto is if you come back with a clean truck, you didn’t play hard enough!

Prep your vehicle for your next off-roading trip with an inspection from Discount Tire & Automotive in Logan or Providence!

9 Tips to Stop Your Car from Overheating

Car overheating can happen at any time of year, although there tends to be slightly more of a risk during summer months. Overheating occurs when your engine runs too hot, typically due to low coolant levels or a malfunction in the cooling system. This can potentially causing serious damage to your engine and vehicle as a whole.

 

How to Prevent Your Car from Overheating

  • Have your oil changed regularly. Your technician should check the antifreeze, hoses, and water system and hopefully catch an issue before it becomes a bigger problem. Make sure they check the fan as well.
  • Regularly check to make sure the antifreeze is topped off in your coolant system.
  • Inspect hoses for leaks or blockages.
  • In case of an emergency, be prepared by keep coolant and an emergency kit in your car at all times.

 

What To Do When Your Car Overheats

  • cooling system repair logan utahTurn off the engine and open the hood. This releases heat and allows the engine some time to cool off on its own. Typically a warning light will come on or your temperature gauge will rise beforehand, letting you know your engine has overheated. But don’t do anything until the engine has time to cool down on it’s own.
  • Don’t remove the radiator cap. When your engine overheats, your water system is under high pressure. Radiator fluid and steam could shoot out and cause severe burns.
  • Refill coolant/antifreeze. Remember, do this AFTER the engine has cooled down.
  • Check your cooling system hoses for leaks, or have a professional technician check it for you. Cars rarely overheat on their own. Chances are, something caused your engine to overheat. Do a thorough inspection for a leak in the cooling system or a broken thermostat or fan. You can always bring your car into Discount Tire in Logan or Providence and we’ll take a look for you.
  • If your coolant level was low and you were able to refill it, you car may be safe to drive. But if the coolant/antifreeze was completely gone, don’t drive it. This can cause serious damage to your engine. Instead, call a tow truck just to be safe.

 

To have your cooling system checked or repaired, come in and see us at Discount Tire and Automotive in Logan and Providence!

We also have locations in Idaho and throughout Wyoming!

Outsmarting High Gas Prices

auto repair logan utahThe sun is shining and summer is almost here! But warmer months also mean higher gas prices. The cost of fuel is rising, and many of our wallets are suffering for it. In fact, the average cost of fuel was $1.25 in 2002 compared to $2.25 today. That may not seem like too much of a difference, but a dollar per gallon adds up and can have a shocking impact on you financially.

So what can be done to avoid this burden at the gas pump? Making small changes in your vehicle maintenance and driver behavior can really add up, saving you money and extending the life of your car.

Don’t pay more than you have to at at the pump! Be proactive and apply these simple tricks to increase your fuel economy:

  1. Keep your tires inflated. Proper tire pressure makes a big difference, saving you an average of 3.3% on fuel.
  2. Check your gas cap. Make sure it’s always screwed on tight. A looks cap allows gas to vaporize and escape, sending your hard earned dollars floating out into the air.
  3. Follow octane guidelines for your specific make and model. Higher octane levels don’t actually give you more power, but they do guzzle your gas tank.
  4. Maintain proper alignment. This extends the life of your tires and also contributes to fuel savings.
  5. Tune up your engine regularly. Nothing promotes better fuel economy than a well running engine.
  6. Replace dirty air filters. Don’t clog your gas savings with a clogged filter.  

Your behavior as a driver also impacts fuel consumption. Reduce rage at the gas pump by avoiding the tendency for rage on the road! These tips can help:

  1. Don’t drive aggressively. Sudden starts and stops guzzle ⅓ more gas than doing the same maneuvers calmly.
  2. Don’t leave your car idling unless you have to. This wastes gas quickly.
  3. Stay in your lane. Weaving in and out of traffic reduces gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in the city.
  4. Don’t speed. Fast driving, as well as quick starts and stops use up more of your gas.

Now that you know the facts, we hope you’ll use them to save money at the pump!

Stop in and see us at Discount Tire & Automotive in Logan or Providence! We’re here to help with all your automotive needs.

The Best Time to Remove Snow Tires

snow tire removal logan utahSpring has sprung here in Logan, Utah! Which means it may be time to remove your snow tires. We’ve created a basic rundown so you can better understand your snow tires, plus our recommendations for when it’s safe to remove them.

How Snow Tires are Designed

The composition of your snow tires differs quite drastically from all-season tires. In order to hold up better in cold temperatures, snow tires are designed to generate more heat with a more flexible, soft rubber. These features enable them to perform better at gripping snow and ice on the road. Almost all snow tires are studded as well.

Why it’s Dangerous to Leave Your Snow Tires On

The heat produced by snow tires is actually very dangerous during warmer months. As they grip dry, warm pavement, there is a greater chance of tire blowouts. Snow tires make it more difficult to stop quickly and don’t maneuver as smoothly as regular tires. Also, gas mileage is decreased with snow tires.

It may be against the law to leave your snow tires on past a certain date. In Utah, studded snow tires are legal from October 15- April 15. See laws for surrounding states.

Our Recommendations:

  • Safety is the first priority. Avoid the tendency to remove your snow tires too early. Instead, wait until the threat of snow is gone.
  • When outside temperatures are consistently above 40-50 degrees fahrenheit, remove your snow tires.
  • Remove studded snow tires before April 15th in Utah. Be aware of your individual state requirements.

Bring your vehicle in to have your snow tires removed by a professional at Discount Tire in Logan and Providence!

The Best Way to Jump Start a Car

auto repair logan utahIt’s happened to all of us: you’re stuck somewhere when your car battery dies. But no need to fear, you’ve got jumper cables in you trunk! Right?  

You could be wrong. Although most of us carry jumper cables in our vehicles, few of us actually know how to use them, or we depend on the kindness of a random passerby to magically show up and help in our time of need. But leaving it to chance is a dangerous place to be when an emergency strikes.

We don’t want you to be left stranded! That’s why we’ve constructed a simple guide to help you become a pro at jump starting your own dead battery:

Check for safety. Make sure your car is off the road and away from danger. Remember that you’ll be dealing with an electric shock, so be smart. Make sure small children are away from the engine. Wear protective equipment like glasses or gloves if possible. Be aware of the metal clamps on the cables. Be familiar with your vehicle manual, as some cars require extra steps before jump starting. If you have any questions before you begin, feel free to call your local Discount Tire & Automotive technician.

Position your vehicle and the assisting vehicle so they’re facing each other. Picture having your cars be “nose-to-nose.” The two cars should be close, about a foot or so apart, but never touching. Make sure both cars are in neutral or park and the engines are turned off. Turn on the park brake for both vehicles as well.

Take out the jumper cables. Hopefully you have your own set in your trunk and don’t have to depend on someone stopping who does have them. Set the cables on the ground. Take extra caution to be sure the metal clamps don’t touch each other.

Pop the hoods of both cars.  The location of the switch will vary depending on the vehicle.

Find the batteries. Each battery has two terminals, typically identified in red and black with a “+” or “-” sign on top.

Attach a red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery. The positive terminal is usually bigger than the negative one, and will say “POS” or “+” on top. Make sure the clamp is attached securely.

Attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the functioning car’s battery.

Attach one side of the black clamp to the negative terminal of the functioning car’s battery.

Attach the other end of the black clamp to a clean, unpainted, metal surface under the hood of the car with the dead battery. Just make sure the metal surface you choose isn’t near the battery.how to jump start a car discount tire logan utahTry starting your car. If this doesn’t work, you may need to run the engine of the working car for a few minutes to juice up you dead battery. It may also help to rev the the engine of the working car. Repeat this process several times if necessary until your car starts.

*If this process doesn’t work, your battery probably needs replaced. In this instance, bring your car in for repair to your local Discount Tire & Automotive shop.

Disconnect the jumper cables. Remove the black first, then the red. Make sure the clamps don’t touch each other.

Go for a drive. Drive your car around for about 10 minutes or so. This will give the battery time to rebuild its charge.

For help with any other questions or to have a technician walk you through the process, call us at Discount Tire & Automotive in Logan or Providence! You can also check out this helpful YouTube video.

25 Necessities to Keep in Your Car

Do you know what’s in your trunk? Safetyvehicle maintenance logan utah and planning for the unexpected are vital responsibilities for you as a driver.

Whether your vehicle is packed with junk or clean and empty, it’s time to take a quick inventory and make sure you have these essential items with you at all times.

We’ve separated these items into three categories: Repair, Survival, and Comfort.

Repair

  1. Vehicle operation manual. Put it in your glove compartment and leave it there for a quick reference when needed.
  1. Repair shop, insurance, and registration information. You’ll need the contact information for your repair shop, AAA if you’re a member, your insurance information and vehicle registration in case of an accident. Keep all of these documents together in your glove compartment.
  1. Spare tire. Check the air and tread of your spare tire regularly to make sure it’s in good shape for when you need it. Also, be sure the tire jack and and tire iron are in place. You can’t replace your tire without them. Check out our blog post How to Change a Tire if you need a refresher.
  1. Inflator & sealant for tires. These can temporarily clog a leak and bide you some time until you make it to the auto repair shop.
  1. Tire pressure gauge. Regularly checking the air in your tires and keeping them at a safe level can help improve your gas mileage, provide better handling for your vehicle, make your tires last longer, and keep you safe.
  1. Jumper cables. You never know when the battery in you or a friend’s car will die. Be prepared to jump start your own car or others by keeping jumper cables with you. Also, stay on the lookout for our upcoming blog post, “The Best Way to Jump Start a Car.”

Survival

  1. First aid kit. Replace what you use so the kit is complete at all times.
  1. Water. If you happen to be stranded for an extended period of time, water is essential for your survival. Keep several bottles on hand and replenish what you use.
  1. Food storage. Energy or protein bars are an easy snack to pack. You could also put in other nonperishable food items or a few MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). These are prepared using water, so make sure you have enough water supply.
  1. Flashlight. Regularly check that the batteries are charged.
  1. Fire starter. Matches or a lighter are the easiest options.
  1. Tools. Include a small tool kit or a multitool.
  1. Communication device. In an emergency you’ll likely be out of cell phone range or away from a power source. Keep a radio or walkie talkies on hand, preferably solar powered.
  1. Paper map. Most of us rely on a GPS, but service or power could be unavailable in an emergency. Keep a paper map with you so you can find your destination safely in your car or on foot if necessary.
  1. Reflectors. Flares are always good to have, as well as reflective vests. This will help prevent you from getting hit on the side of the road in the dark.
  1. Window breaker & seat belt cutter. This helps passengers escape when trapped inside a vehicle. The best place to keep it is in the front of your car, preferably in your glove compartment or center console.
  1. Blanket. A regular blanket will do. However, we suggest using a mylar space blanket to keep you warm in extreme cold.
  1. Ice scraper. Keep a clear view out your windshield in extreme weather by cleaning off ice and snow.

Comfort

  1. Fresh clothes. You might need a clean, dry change of clothes, especially if you get stuck outside in the rain or snow.
  1. Umbrella. This is always good to have in case of a rainy day!
  1. Cash. You never know when you might need some extra cash.
  1. Mobile power source. These are perfect for when your car loses power and you need to charge your cell phone or other device. They come in many varieties, but we suggest you get one that is solar powered.
  1. Paper and pen. You may need to write down someone’s insurance info and other valuable information. Or maybe you’ll just want it to doodle on a long road trip!
  1. Towels. Paper towels or bath towels will do, whichever you prefer. You may need them to clean up messes.
  1. Toilet paper. You could have a sniffly nose, or maybe you’ll have to take a bathroom break out in nature somewhere! Either way, toiled paper or tissues are a must-have in your car.

Don’t let this list overwhelm you! Chances are you probably have most of these items laying around your house already. It’s simply a matter of gathering them all in one place for use when an emergency happens on the road. In a moment of need, you’ll be glad you took the time to pack these 25 necessities.  

Stop by Discount Tire & Automotive in Logan or Providence for help with any of your vehicle safety questions!

6 Tips for When You Lock Your Keys in Your Car

Tips for When You Lock Your Keys in Your CarMost of us know the feeling of accidentally locking your keys in your car. It can be very frustrating and embarrassing, and seem to always happen at the most inopportune time. According to the American Automobile Association, there are more than four million motorists that get locked out of their car every year. If you ever find yourself in this predicament, you don’t need to panic. Remember some of the tips below:

  • TIP 1 – One of the first things that comes to people’s mind when they realize their keys are locked inside of their car is to call their auto-insurance company to get roadside assistance. If you have recently purchased a new vehicle, often times roadside assistance comes as part of your warranty. Depending on where you are located, they usually send someone to help you get back into your vehicle. If you don’t currently have roadside assistance as part of your auto-insurance policy, you may want to discuss adding it.
  • TIP 2 – Get a temporary key made. The dealership would need your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in order to make the key. This key may not be able to actually start your car, but you would be able to unlock the doors and retrieve your permanent keys.
  • TIP 3 – Some cars will allow you to gain access to the inside of the car through the trunk by moving the rear seats. However, you would have to have access to the trunk to be able to do this.
  • TIP 4 – You might want to consider keeping an extra key on hand somewhere. If you seem to always be locking yourself out of your car, this might be a good idea. You could hide a key in a well-hidden part of your car or hide a key in your wallet/purse. Another option would be giving a spare key to a family member or trusted friend who could come rescue you.
  • TIP 5 – Most new cars on the market have systems in place that won’t allow you to lock the door if the key is in the ignition or if a door is open. Cars with other features such as telematics can enable your vehicle to be unlocked remotely. In addition, having a keyless combination lock is a smart solution.
  • TIP 6 – Dial 911. We believe that safety always comes first. If you are locked out of your car and feel like you are in danger, call the police. Sometimes they can even unlock your car, or get in contact with a tow truck or locksmith professional for you.

We recommend that you never give your children keys to play with in the car due to the fact that you may get locked out of the car, with your children still inside.

In some cases, we recommend not using a wire hanger or a screwdriver to try and gain access into your vehicle. This can sometimes lead to further damage, or even injury – costing you more money in the long run.

We hope these tips and tricks help you the next time you accidently lock your keys in your car! Trust Plains Tire and any of our 9 locations throughout Wyoming to take care of all your automotive needs.