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Shake It up in Albertville!: Why Wheel Balancing
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Our vehicles are not massage chairs. While we may enjoy a good vibration in an overstuffed recliner, we generally want as smooth a ride as possible in our vehicles. One way to achieve this is to keep a vehicle's wheels in balance.
When a tire is mounted onto a wheel, it is usually out of balance. This means that as the wheel spins, there is a slight wobble to the path of the tire. For best handling performance and safety on the road, Albertville drivers want to minimize this wobble as much as possible. So we balance our tires. To balance a tire, your technician at Wilks Tire & Battery Service spins it on a machine or drum to determine where it is off-balance. He then attaches weights that counter-balance the uneven weight. Most people in Albertville are surprised at how much balancing improves the smoothness of their ride.
High-quality tires generally hold their balance well. But over time, wear and tear take their toll and tires can become unbalanced. Albertville drivers can tell when a front tire is unbalanced if they feel a vibration in the steering wheel. If a back tire is unbalanced, you'll feel a vibration in your seat. You may not notice these vibrations until they get fairly serious — or until someone else drives your vehicle — because they usually develop slowly. If a vibration starts abruptly, it usually means you've lost a balancing weight.
The average tire rotates at about 850 revolutions per minute at 60 mph/97 kmh. When a tire is out of balance, it actually hops down the road, rather than rolling. So at 60 mph/97 kph, it is slamming into the pavement 14 times a second. That's what creates the vibration. When tires are out of balance, they wear out more quickly. The lack of balance also causes extra wear on shocks, struts, steering components and suspension parts.
Getting a balance job at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville can prevent repair bills and even an accident. It will improve the safety of your vehicle as well as its handling performance. When you change your rims or get a flat repaired at Wilks Tire & Battery Service, you'll need to get your tires balanced as well. When you rotate your tires, you may want to have them balanced, too.
Some Albertville vehicle owners, however, only balance their wheels every other rotation. You can check your owner's manual to see what is recommended for your vehicle. Balancing your tires is part of preventive maintenance. It keeps your vehicle in good repair and prevents damage to many of its components. So practice good vehicle care and make it a point to keep your tires balanced. It's quality auto advice from Wilks Tire & Battery Service. Massage chairs may vibrate away our worries, but unbalanced tires will just rattle Albertville drivers' nerves.
Wilks Tire & Battery Service 428 N Broad St Albertville, AL 35950 256.878.0211
Wilks Tire & Battery Service Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln
Welcome to the Wilks Tire & Battery Service automotive blog. Today, let's talk about the effect of tire wear.
Let's focus on stopping in wet Albertville conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.That's called hydroplaning. If it's really bad, Albertville drivers can actually spin out of control - endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won't stop as fast.
So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your vehicle tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your vehicle on wet Albertville roads.So that's why it's so important for Albertville drivers to replace their vehicle tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.At Wilks Tire & Battery Service, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Albertville streets. A safe stop from AL speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.There's an easy way to tell when a tire's worn to 4/32 of an inch.
Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your vehicle tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
Many Albertville residents have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln's head - the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, vehicle tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Albertville want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there's a real safety trade-off. It's your choice.
Wilks Tire & Battery Service428 N Broad StAlbertville, AL 35950256.878.0211
Automotive Tips from Wilks Tire & Battery Service: Tire Replacement Overview
Tires are an expensive purchase, so knowing when tires should be replaced is important for Albertville drivers. Tires will just wear out with normal use. The depth of the tread on your tire determines how well it will stop, start and steer – especially in wet conditions. 4/32th of an inch (3.2 mm) of tire tread is considered a safe amount of tread.Uneven tread wear can be a symptom of other problems, and simply replacing your tires will not prevent the same uneven wear from happening to the new tires. At Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville, we can inspect your tires for excessive or uneven wear. Unusual wear may lead to further inspection of steering, suspension or alignment problems. We can help with necessary repairs and with getting you the right tires for your needs.Give us a call.Wilks Tire & Battery Service428 N Broad StAlbertville, AL 35950256.878.0211
All About Your TPMS in Albertville
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Albertville drivers know that underinflated tires wear out more quickly. Underinflation is also a major cause of tire failure for AL auto owners. More flats, blow outs, skids and longer stopping distances are all results of underinflated tires.It's hard for many Albertville drivers to tell when a radial tire is underinflated. If your owner’s manual recommends 35 pounds of pressure, your tire is considered significantly under-inflated at 26 pounds. The tire may not look low until it gets below 20 pounds.Uncle Sam to the rescue! A recent U.S. federal law required vehicle manufacturer’s to include a Tire Pressure Monitoring System - or TPMS system - in all vehicles. Many Canadian vehicles have them as well. The system is a dashboard mounted warning light that goes off if one or more of the tires falls 25% below its pressure recommendations.Obviously, all of this doesn't come free for Albertville car owners. Government studies have estimated the net costs. Of course, the TPMS system itself will cost something. Maintaining the system will have a cost, replacement of worn or broken parts and tire repair cost increases. The net cost is estimated to be between $27 and $100.AL service centers have purchased new scanning equipment to work with the TPMS sensors and updated expensive tire change equipment to better service wheels equipped with the new monitoring systems.Wilks Tire & Battery Service service advisors have been trained on many systems and new tire-changing techniques. All of this adds up to significantly increased cost to the service center to perform what was once a very inexpensive service. So if you've noticed the cost of flat repairs, tire changes, and rotations going up, please keep in mind that it's because of government mandated safety equipment. Your Albertville service center just wants to keep you safely on the road - and it's committed to do so at a fair price. Remember, this change will help you avoid the most common vehicle failure, and possibly a catastrophic accident.
Tire Replacement: What Albertville Drivers Need to Know
Looking at getting some new tires? Maybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there's nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you've got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.Let's suppose you zip around Albertville in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather's good. When AL weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Albertville drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.When it's time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He'll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Albertville drivers. With so many choices, you'll be able to get what's best for you. Take your time. And don't worry about what's in stock. If you want something that isn't here at Wilks Tire & Battery Service, we can order it. Chances are you'll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.
Let us know if you have any other questions!
Wilks Tire & Battery Service 428 N Broad St Albertville, AL 35950 256.878.0211
The Wilks Tire & Battery Service Guide to Custom Wheels
If you're interested in customizing the wheels and tires on your vehicle, there are a few things you should know first.Most importantly, the wheels you buy need to fit your vehicle. Not all wheels are created equal. Too many Albertville drivers have bought a set of wheels that caught their eye, then, after going to the work of mounting them, have found that the wheels don't fit right and the tires rub against the vehicle when they turn or go over a bump.To ensure a proper fit, you can consult with your Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire professional. He/she can also help you find tires that are suited to your driving habits as well as your vehicle. You may find their auto advice invaluable, and you'll probably be happier with your new wheels once you purchase them.But if you just have to have that set of wheels, and you're willing to pay for them, you can modify your vehicle to fit the wheels. Again, you should seek a knowledgeable professional's help ahead of time. For example, if you want a bigger set of wheels on your pickup truck, you can get a suspension lift so they will fit the truck. A professional Albertville custom wheel shop, like Wilks Tire & Battery Service, can help you get the work done right.The anti-lock brakes and stability control system on your vehicle are engineered to work with a particular height of tire. This is another reason you should be careful when purchasing custom wheels in Albertville. The new wheel and tire combo needs to match the height of the tires that came with your vehicle.Your car's computer gauges your speed by the revolution of your tires and sends commands to the brakes and traction control based on that speed. If you put larger or smaller tires on your vehicle, your computer is calculating the wrong speed and, consequently, sending incorrect commands to the brakes and traction control. This can have serious consequences as it may result in damage to your vehicle or, worse, an accident.If you change the size of your wheels, you need to get your engine's computer reprogrammed at Wilks Tire & Battery Service to accommodate the new tire size. New wheels shouldn't just fit your vehicle, they should also fit your lifestyle. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from. You should do a little research about which wheels and tires will best fit your personality, give you the performance you want and meet your handling needs. We're not saying you shouldn't personalize your ride, we just want you to be happy with the result. Talk to us at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville.After all, good vehicle care isn't just about preventive maintenance. It's also about making good choices.
By the Numbers: Tire Replacement at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville
Ever notice that your tire is covered with writing? It's like some hieroglyphic art form. Of course, Albertville drivers know that it's not just graffiti, but to most of us, it might as well be. Would you like to know what all those codes on your tire mean? It won't lead you to buried treasure, but it could help you make a better tire purchase at your local Albertville tire store.Prominently featured on your tire is a set of numbers and letters that looks something like this: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters, or the width between the sidewalls of the tire when it is fully inflated and not carrying a load. When Albertville drivers replace tires, they need to match this width number, or the tires won't fit properly in the wheel wells.The 50 is the aspect ratio of the tire, which is measured by taking the height of the sidewalls and dividing it by the tread width. If you drive off-road around the Albertville area, it should have a high aspect ratio. For high performance on the road, you want a lower aspect ratio.The R simply means this is a radial tire.The 92 is the load rating index, or in other words, a rating of how much load a tire can safely carry. If you frequently haul heavy loads around Albertville, you will want a tire with a high load rating.The last letter in our “code” sequence is the speed rating on the tire. Not all tires have this rating. In general, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the higher the speed rating. In other words, Z is the highest rating and A is the lowest. One exception: H comes between U and V. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.If you'd just as soon ignore all of the markings on your tire, that's okay. When you need to replace your tires just ask your friendly and knowledgeable Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire professional for his auto advice on the best tires for you and your vehicle. Replacing tires is a standard part of preventive maintenance for Albertville drivers vehicles. We all have to do it sooner or later. And the better we understand what we're buying, the better our vehicle will perform and the safer we will be on AL roads. Good vehicle care is informed vehicle care.
Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at Wilks Tire & Battery Service
A lot of us Albertville drivers like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We're picky about color and body style. We'll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for AL motorists to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.Fifteen or 16-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, but today, because a lot of Albertville drivers like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with 17 or 18-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of 20 inches or more are also available in Albertville.If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it's not a do-it-yourself project. There are factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn't jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.First of all, you need to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don't rub in turns or over bumps. If that's more work than you're willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.It's not as hard as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can't make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.Rolling diameter is important because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You'll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some Albertville drivers who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.Further, many vehicles in Albertville are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as safety concerns.Your friendly and knowledgeable Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle's computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.So to maintain rolling diameter, you'll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you'll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many AL auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around Albertville, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on Albertville roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help you select wheels and tires that will suit your driving needs and habits.For example, if you drive off-road around Albertville, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from damage while you're bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around AL, you'll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your friendly and knowledgeable Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.Once you've got your new wheels, have your service advisor at Wilks Tire & Battery Service see if you need an alignment. You don't want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville.Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they'll need slightly higher pressure. You'll need to stay on top of preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to check their pressure at least once a week. If you don't keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also affect your braking and handling performance.So smile and show off your vehicle around AL. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!
Keep Your Tires Well Rounded in Albertville: Tire Rotation and Wheel Balancing at Wilks Tire & Battery Service
Taking care of our tires is part of vehicle care for Albertville 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 Albertville 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 Albertville 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 Wilks Tire & Battery Service. 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 Wilks Tire & Battery Service 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 Albertville 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 Albertville 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 Albertville, 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.
Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Wilks Tire & Battery Service
When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.Buying tires at Wilks Tire & Battery Service in Albertville is a lot like buying shoes, except that Albertville vehicles don't have changeable apparel and don't need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of crazy AL road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Albertville drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around AL need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough AL mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the market, although prices don't vary much from brand to brand.Tire chain stores in Albertville often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in the Albertville area are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don't hesitate to ask your Wilks Tire & Battery Service tire professional who makes their private brand.The cheapest tires on the AL tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don't have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, you get what you pay for.At Wilks Tire & Battery Service, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40,000 mile/65,000 km tire,” or a "60,000 mile/100,000 km tire." This refers to the number of miles/kilometers a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you're really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It's always better to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.That said, if you're driving on Tier 3 tires, it's a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That's the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Albertville area drivers.So, some good auto advice would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you'll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there's some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won't have to purchase tires as often.Good vehicle care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.