pre trip checklist

Be Ready For Your Summer Road Trip

Summer is here, school  is out, and it its time for those family vacations you’ve been waiting for all year! Most of us have experienced going on a trip and forgetting something back home. In order to prevent that, here’s a pre-trip checklist. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it should get you started.

  1. Place stop order on mail/newspaper.
  2. Find a house/pet sitter.
  3. Pay bills.
  4. Turn off lights or set light timers.
  5. Unplug electronics.
  6. Turn off water and gas.
  7. Close and lock windows.
  8. Take out trash.
  9. Throw out any food that will expire.
  10. Take out cash at ATM.
  11. Refill prescriptions.
  12. Confirm hotel reservations.
  13. Confirm flight/train/bus reservations.
  14. Make sure each person has packed clothing, underwear, socks, shoes, and toothbrush.
  15. Have snacks and games for the road.
  16. Take your car in to Discount Tire for a FREE Pre-Trip Inspection that includes an inspection of tires, alignment, steering, suspension, brakes, fluids, and brakes.

Discount Tire & Automotive makes it easy to get your car ready for the road! Located conveniently in Logan, UT and Providence, UT, we are your one-stop shop for all of your auto needs! Have fun and be safe this summer!

 

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 accidentally lock your keys in your car! Trust Discount Tire to take care of all your automotive needs in Cache Valley.

 

In-Depth Look: Air Filters

Even if you don’t know anything about your car, you’ve probably heard of engine air filters before. You’ve probably also heard that they should be replaced here and there.

But what is an air filter? What does it actually do?

What is it?

An engine air filter is a vital element of your car engine delivering maximum performance. It keeps undesirable contaminants and particles out of the combustion chambers.

What does it do?

Your vehicle pulls air from outside into the engine to be able to combust and create movement. The air passes through the vehicle’s air box where the air filter is. The air then goes through the filter’s pleated material.

This filtration keeps the engine clean and running smoothly. Unfortunately, when the filter get clogged up, it keeps  proper air flow from entering the engine and decreases performance.

Did you know a clean air filter can increase your acceleration up to 11%?

Should I replace it?

If you aren’t sure if your filter needs replacing, just ask a certified mechanic. But if you want to do the diagnosis yourself, pay attention to these signs and symptoms. A decrease in acceleration, a rough engine start, or a check engine light are all signs that you should take your vehicle in for a check-up.

It is generally recommended that you replace the air filter every 15,000-30,000 miles. If you drive on a lot of dirt roads, you’ll probably want to replace it more toward the earlier part of that range.

If a bad filter isn’t replaced when it should be, then you’re engine will have to work that much harder and may not last as long. Sometimes filters can get so clogged that they finally tear and let in contaminants into the engine itself, causing irreparable damage.

Who should replace it?

Here at Discount Tire, you can be sure that you are receiving the best care possible. We have years of experience, and our friendly staff will treat you in an honest manner. For all of your vehicle maintenance needs, come visit us!

air conditioning repair

Common AC Failures

Are you excited for summer? We sure are, and it will be here soon! As you start getting ready for all those fun summer BBQ’s, pool parties, and vacations with the family, we hope that you don’t forget to get your car ready for summer too. Because it needs it! One of the common problems people encounter with their cars in the summertime is an air conditioning unit that goes out. We all know that driving in the heat of the summer with no AC is no fun, so if this happens to you, you’ll want to know how to diagnose the problem.

There are 2 common symptoms when it comes to the AC illnesses. Let’s talk briefly talk about them so you can identify the problem and get it taken care of.

Symptom #1: No Air Coming Out

If no air is coming out (not even hot air), then one of the major components of the air conditioning unit has probably died. The vehicle’s AC system is comprised of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve and a tube/fan system. All of these components are important, and if any of them fails for any reason, the air will stop flowing from your vents. Newer cars have a safety mechanism that shuts down a component if their is a refrigerant leak detected. Check underneath the car for oil stains, which hint that their is likely a leak somewhere.

Symptom #2: Only Warm Air Comes Out

If the weather is really warm, it will usually take a few minutes for your car’s AC to get going at full capacity. But if the AC continues to blow nothing but hot air, then you know you have a problem. This symptom is common to multiple AC-problems, and knowing how to treat it may require help from the experts over at Discount Tire & Automotive. It could be something simple, like recharging the AC unit, or something more serious such as a freon leak.

Whatever AC problems you have, you can rest assured that the certified technicians at Discount Tire & Automotive will take care of the problem at the best value in all of Cache Valley!

Knowing When Your Tires Need Aligning

tire alignmentIn the simplest of terms, tire alignment essentially means that the tires are pointing in the right direction. That said, the most obvious way to know that your tires need to be aligned is if your vehicle pulls to the left or to the right.

Your tires can become unaligned due to a variety of causes. The most common cause is hitting potholes or the curb.

Not only is it annoying to have to hold the steering wheel to the left in order to drive your vehicle straight, it is also important to have your tires aligned in order to preserve the life of your tires. Your tires will wear down very quickly if they are not properly aligned.

Even if your car seems to be driving straight, you may still need your tires aligned. The alignments are performed with equipment that measures to a fraction of an inch. Sometimes the need for an alignment can’t be detected by the human eye. A general rule of thumb should be to have your tires aligned at least once a year.

When you bring your vehicle into Discount Tire for an alignment, we will set the camber (inward or outward tilt of the wheels when looking head on), the caster (wheel tilt front or back looking from the side), and the toe (looking down at the wheels from above). We will also set the tire pressure to the manufacturer’s specifications. And with our 6-month/6,000 mile guarantee, you will know that you are getting the best value possible.

Since 1976, Discount Tire has been Cache Valley’s trusted tire and automotive shop. Call or visit us online to schedule an appointment today!

 

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.

Is Your Vehicle Winter Ready?

6701230297_6741d091ea_zLike it or not, the with the winter months at the doorstep. We thought we would shed some light on the importance of getting your car ready for the cold and the snow that is sure to come. Whether you’re going to work, or driving in the mountains on the way to a ski resort, your car will need to be able to get you and your loved ones there safe. Make it a priority now to get prepared so that you won’t have to stress while you’re driving in the winter this year. Following some of these tips could literally be life-saving!

Getting An Oil Change

During cold temperatures, your oil tends to thicken. If it becomes too thick, it will not be as effective in lubricating your engine. You may think about using a thinner oil in the winter to keep your oil at the right viscosity, or thickness. Check your owner’s manual, or talk to the technicians the next time you get your oil changed.

Windshield & Windshield Wipers

Can you remember the last time you replaced your windshield wiper blades? You might consider investing in new ones if your current blades are not effective. You also should check the level of your windshield washer fluid. We recommend getting washer fluid with an antifreeze solution in it to help out on those cold mornings. Using just water will not work during this time of year because it will just freeze on your windshield. Along those same lines, check to ensure your heater and defroster are working properly so that your windshield stays clear. Another tip is to check for air leaks around windows and doors. Keep out the extra moisture and cold in the winter months!

Check Your Battery

This time of year is ideal for inspecting your battery. Your battery capacity is reduced when the weather gets cold. You engine needs more current from the battery in order to start so make sure your battery is functioning properly. If you battery is more than three years old, you may want to have your local repair shop test its ability to hold a charge. Also, check for cracks and breaks in the battery cables, as well as other belts and hoses under your hood.

Tires

It is common for the air pressure in your tires to have dropped due to the cold temperatures outside. Refer to your owner’s manual to know what the target tire pressure should be. Tires that are properly inflated give you the best possible traction on the road. Additionally, if your tires do not have a lot of tread, your handling ability will be decreased. In some cases, you may want to consider switching to snow tires. This is more practical in places with hills and that get a lot of snow. Another option would be to get all-season tires.

Four-Wheel Drive

Most people in this part of the mountain west have vehicles with four-wheel drive. For those people, we recommend making sure that it is working correctly. The system should engage and disengage easily. We also advise making sure all the people that may drive that vehicle during the winter months know how to activate the four wheel drive system.

Emergency Kit

Having an emergency kit in your car is important, especially in the winter months. You never know what will happen while you are driving, so it is wise to keep an emergency kit in your trunk just in case of an emergency. You can include items such as: boots, washer fluid, cell phone charger, sand or kitty litter, flares, flashlight, small shovel, blanks, engine oil, coolant, snacks, etc. And don’t forget to make sure your spare tire is in good shape and that there are the required tools to change it out if necessary.

Other Tips and Tricks

A good thing to remember is to be mindful of your gas tank. You never really know what the weather or circumstances may be like, so we suggest keeping your gas tank at least ¼ to ½ full at all times. Make sure to check that all your lights and bulbs are working properly. This will ensure that you can see well, and that other vehicles on the road will be able to see you if there is poor visibility. Next, if your door is frozen shut and you’re not at home to use your own warm water, try to find a nearby store that sells glycerine that you can use for de-icing.

We hope that some of these suggestions will help you not only in the winter months, but all year round. Discount Tire & Automotive is here to assist you in any way that we can. When you actually take the time to properly winterize your car, you can have the comfort and the peace of mind when you are driving in the cold and the snow. Don’t expect your car to function properly if you don’t give it the attention that it needs. Plan ahead and make sure your vehicle is safe and reliable this winter!

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!

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!

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.