Salinas Tires & Wheels Bloghttp://salinastiresonline.com/blogMost recent posts.Thu, 27 Apr 2017 13:31:12 -0700en-ushourly1Spark Plugs – How Often Should They Be Replaced?http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/spark-plugs-how-often-should-they-be-replacedhttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/spark-plugs-how-often-should-they-be-replaced#commentsThu, 27 Apr 2017 13:31:12 -0700http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/spark-plugs-how-often-should-they-be-replaced<p> In the old days, a tune-up was necessary about every 35,000 miles. It would usually consist of setting the ignition timing, replacing the mechanical breaker points in the ignition, cleaning and adjusting the carburetor and replacing the plug wires and spark plugs. Today, of course, the carburetor&rsquo;s job is done by fuel injection and the ignition timing and spark are controlled by the engine computer. Few vehicles still have plug wires anymore either, as the distributor was replaced by the computer and a coil-on-plug design which delivers a spark at each spark plug.</p> <div> <p> But what about the spark plugs themselves, though? How often do they need to be replaced now?</p> <p> Manufacturers tout an 80k-100k mile service interval on spark plugs now, thanks in part to improvements in plug design and materials. That might be stretching it, however. Remember that if you have a 100,000-mile spark plug, its electrode is worn down 4/5 of the way at 80,000 miles. A worn electrode means a wider spark plug gap, which can mean a loss of power and fuel economy.</p> <p> Worse, though, spark plugs that have been in the engine&rsquo;s cylinder head for years and tens of thousands of miles have a tendency for their threads to seize. A seized spark plug can be pretty difficult to extract from the head&nbsp;and can mean a hefty repair bill before it&rsquo;s all said and done.</p> <p> If your vehicle was originally equipped with a specific type of spark plug, it&rsquo;s a smart idea to keep that design of plug when you replace them. It&rsquo;s also a good idea to check a few other things under the hood when it&rsquo;s time to replace the plugs, including</p> <img alt="Spark Plug" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/644/spark-plug.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /> <p> --Air filter</p> <p> --Cabin air filter</p> <p> --Belts and hoses</p> <p> --Charging system</p> <p> --Starter</p> <p> --O2 sensor</p> <p> --All vacuum lines and junctions</p> <p> Today&rsquo;s cars may be a lot less maintenance-intensive, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean &ldquo;maintenance free.&rdquo; Remember that a well-maintained car is a reliable and strong-running car&hellip;and don&rsquo;t put off maintenance like spark plugs just because it doesn&rsquo;t need to be done very often!</p> </div> /blog/view/spark-plugs-how-often-should-they-be-replaced/feed0Reasons Why Tire Inflation Is So Importanthttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/reasons-why-tire-inflation-is-so-importanthttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/reasons-why-tire-inflation-is-so-important#commentsThu, 13 Apr 2017 13:15:14 -0700http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/reasons-why-tire-inflation-is-so-important<p> Even just a pound or two of underinflation in your tires can be a problem. Why, though? There are several reasons.&nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="Tire Inflation" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/643/Tire-inflation.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /></p> <p> <strong>Fuel economy:&nbsp;</strong>If you ever rode a bicycle with a low tire, you know that it feels like you&rsquo;re riding through wet cement due to the added rolling resistance. The same thing is happening with your car, and compromising your fuel economy. Over the course of 10,000 miles per year, that can add up to 150 gallons of gas or $500 out of your pocket!</p> <p> <strong>Handling:&nbsp;</strong>Low tire pressure means poorer control and longer stopping distances. At high speeds, in particular, this can be downright hazardous.</p> <p> <strong>Premature tire wear:&nbsp;</strong>Underinflated tires are under a lot of stress, especially their steel belts. Take a paper clip and work it back and forth until it snaps. Feel how hot it gets when the metal is stressed? The same thing happens with the steel belts in your tires, which are already heating up anyway due to normal wear. This heat and stress will cause uneven tread wear and can even cause tires to fail altogether.</p> <p> Proper tire inflation can give you as much as a 3.3 percent increase in fuel economy, or even more. Remember that you can&rsquo;t really detect low air pressure from looking at a tire&nbsp;until it gets really low (under 20 psi or so). Remember also that air will migrate out of a tire through the valve stem and the tire sidewalls just through normal wear; you should get a quality tire gauge (not the ones built into the hose at the gas station) and check the tire inflation at least once a month. Air expands when hot, so remember to check tire pressure when the tires are still cold.</p> <p> Tire pressure isn&rsquo;t at the forefront of most drivers&rsquo; minds, but it&rsquo;s still important. Having to replace a prematurely-worn-out set of tires or to dump more gas into your fuel tank seems like a pretty dumb way to spend money, doesn&rsquo;t it? Do yourself a favor and be mindful of your tire inflation levels!&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/reasons-why-tire-inflation-is-so-important/feed0Uh Oh…My Check Engine Light Is Onhttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/uh-oh-my-check-engine-light-is-onhttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/uh-oh-my-check-engine-light-is-on#commentsThu, 30 Mar 2017 13:43:31 -0700http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/uh-oh-my-check-engine-light-is-on<p> So you come out to start your car one morning and the Check Engine light on the dashboard comes on&hellip;and doesn&rsquo;t go back off again. You can&rsquo;t really notice any difference in the way the car runs and drives, but it&rsquo;s on anyway.</p> <p> What does it mean?<img alt="Check Engine Light" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/608/check-engine-light.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /></p> <p> Since the late 80s, most engine functions have been controlled by a central drivetrain computer. This includes emissions controls, fuel metering and delivery, ignition timing, shift points and many other elements of drivability and performance. The drivetrain computer relies on information from a chain of sensors that monitor exhaust composition, camshaft position, throttle position and many other factors.</p> <p> The voltage readings from any of these sensors are supposed to fall within a certain range. When these readings are out of normal parameters, the drivetrain computer stores a trouble code and illuminates the Check Engine light (also known as a Malfunction Indicator Lamp or MIL). Some problems on some makes may take several failure cycles before the MIL will illuminate.</p> <p> The trouble code could originate from something as minor as a loose gas cap or a loose or corroded wire to a sensor. On the other hand, it could mean something considerably more serious.</p> <p> The trouble code can be accessed by a technician using a code reader or scanner device, which hooks up to a standardized connector usually found under the dashboard. The code (or codes) can then be interpreted to diagnose the problem. It takes an experienced technician, however, to know why a given code occurred in the first place and find the problem and repair it.</p> <p> So for you, the driver, what should you do when the MIL is illuminated?</p> <p> You should, of course, get your vehicle to a shop for a proper diagnosis as soon as you can. If you notice problems like rough running, poor idle, transmission roughness, smoke or other real driveability problems, don&rsquo;t put it off! The good news is that the whole system of onboard diagnostics has made it easier for a technician to track down a problem and address it, taking a lot of the guesswork out of the process.&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/uh-oh-my-check-engine-light-is-on/feed0Five Things You Didn’t Know About Tireshttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/five-things-you-didn-t-know-about-tireshttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/five-things-you-didn-t-know-about-tires#commentsThu, 16 Mar 2017 13:32:55 -0700http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/five-things-you-didn-t-know-about-tires<p> <img alt="Tires" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/607/Tires.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" />1. For performance and handling, the trend has long been toward fatter tires with a bigger footprint. That&rsquo;s starting to change, though. Skinnier tires mean lower rolling resistance and better fuel economy, as well as a smaller aerodynamic profile. While fatter tires do handle better, tire engineers are making up the difference by designing skinny tires with a stickier tread formulation for traction and cornering ability.</p> <p> 2. Static electricity used to be a real concern for vehicles; if you&rsquo;re old enough, you may remember seeing station wagons with a &ldquo;ground strap&rdquo; dragging along the pavement. It&rsquo;s become a concern again, with newer tread compounds cutting back on the amount of carbon black in newer tires. The solution? Many tires are now designed with an &ldquo;antenna strip&rdquo; of more conductive material down the center of the tread, providing a positive electrical contact between tire and pavement.</p> <p> 3. Like with cars, tire manufacturers are doing everything they can to cut the weight of their products. A heavier tire means more inertia, while a lighter tire means lower rolling resistance. Bridgestone is now using a lighter gauge of cord for steel belts, and Michelin has actually cut the depth of the tread surface while using a tougher, high-mileage tread formulation for longer treadwear.</p> <p> 4. Sure, you know about the rubber, nylon, steel and Kevlar in modern tires. However, tires include some compounds you might not have known about, such as cobalt and titanium to bond the rubber to the steel belts. Yokohama uses citrus oil to modify how tread stiffness changes with temperature, and silica helps enhance wet and snow traction (as well as cutting rolling resistance).</p> <p> 5. Airless tires are on their way. They&rsquo;re already in use for industrial vehicles&nbsp;and are pretty close to market phase for passenger cars and trucks. These tires (sometimes an integral tire/wheel) use a honeycomb- style structure to carry the vehicle&rsquo;s weight and maintain rigidity. They&rsquo;re amazingly tough, too &ndash; in some testing, drivers have been able to hit a curb dead-on at 50 mph with no damage to wheels, tires or suspension!&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/five-things-you-didn-t-know-about-tires/feed0Get Your Car Really, Really, REALLY Clean!http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/get-your-car-really-really-really-cleanhttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/get-your-car-really-really-really-clean#commentsThu, 23 Feb 2017 13:22:08 -0800http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/get-your-car-really-really-really-clean<p> It can be a lot of work and attention to detail to get your car really clean&hellip;especially if it&rsquo;s pretty dirty to start with&hellip;but here are some ideas for truly thorough cleaning that you may not have thought of!<img alt="Cleaning Car" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/606/cleaning-your-car.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /></p> <p> --A cheap foam paintbrush can get into crevices (like A/C vents) that might be impossible otherwise. As you loosen up dust from these spots, keep a vacuum cleaner nozzle at work in your other hand to suck up the dust and prevent it from settling other places.</p> <p> --A soft-bristled brush is perfect for cleaning around radio knobs and other buttons.</p> <p> --While you&rsquo;re cleaning, don&rsquo;t forget to locate your cabin air filter and replace it. A dirty cabin air filter can lead to a lot of odd smells and stinks. Check your owner&rsquo;s manual; cabin air filter locations can vary a lot from one make/model to another.</p> <p> --Get all the junk out. That means checking under the seats and far up in the front foot wells, even under the dash.</p> <p> --A Magic Eraser, with some light rubbing, can be great for getting drips, stains, and gunk out of both leather and fabric.</p> <p> --Armrests and door panels tend to get pretty grimy with embedded dirt. A mild soap and water solution will do the trick; scrub with a toothbrush to dislodge this grime. The toothbrush is also really handy for getting dirt and fine crumbs out of the seams of seat cushions.</p> <p> --If your dashboard or seats have started to dry out or crack, you can condition and polish them with olive oil.</p> <p> --Dog hair on cloth upholstery? Try a spray bottle of water and a squeegee, then vacuum up what&rsquo;s left. If there&rsquo;s any left after that, try doubling a length of duct tape into a loop and picking up the remains.</p> <p> --Stains in upholstery or carpeting can come out surprisingly well with diluted all-purpose cleaner, a sponge or scrub brush and washcloths.</p> <p> With a little time and elbow grease, you&rsquo;ll be driving around in a nice clean car again. Hope this helps!&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/get-your-car-really-really-really-clean/feed0Can I Buy Just Two Tires?http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/can-i-buy-just-two-tireshttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/can-i-buy-just-two-tires#commentsThu, 09 Feb 2017 13:10:52 -0800http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/can-i-buy-just-two-tires<p> We know that a lot of drivers are working pretty hard to make a dollar go farther&nbsp;and that the outlay for a full set of four tires &ndash; even inexpensive tires &ndash; can be considerable. That&rsquo;s why we run across drivers pretty often who ask if it&rsquo;s okay to just replace a pair of tires, then buy the other pair when they can afford them.</p> <p> The answer is&hellip;yes, but&hellip;<img alt="New Tires" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/605/new-tires.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 168px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /></p> <p> You&rsquo;ll really need to pay attention to the size of the set of tires that you&rsquo;ve already got and go with that exact same size of tires for your new pair. Having mismatched sizes of tires on your vehicle can result in squirrelly and unpredictable handling and ride quality. If your existing tires are all-season, go with all-season tires. If they&rsquo;re winter tires, go with winter tires. Ideally, you should even have the same tread pattern and design on the new tires.</p> <p> Also, the new tires will need to go on the rear, and you can then take the tires that have the most tread left and put them on the front. Rear wheel traction is vital to getting you down the road safely and preventing the rear end from oversteering and &ldquo;fishtailing&rdquo; out as you go around a corner, especially on wet pavement.</p> <p> Really, though, you should try to get that other pair of tires under your vehicle as soon as you possibly can afford them. A matched set of tires &ndash; all the same brand, same age, same size, same tread pattern and design &ndash; will mean a vehicle that&rsquo;s suddenly much quieter, smoother riding, better handling and safer all the way around!</p> <p> While tires are a big investment and can be pretty daunting to try to afford, we encourage you to check back on our site for specials and sales&hellip;we carry a wide variety of premium brand tires in all sizes for various fitments and we&rsquo;re sure we&rsquo;ve got tires that&rsquo;ll be a great fit for your vehicle!&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/can-i-buy-just-two-tires/feed0Are You Ready For A Roadside Emergency?http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/are-you-ready-for-a-roadside-emergencyhttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/are-you-ready-for-a-roadside-emergency#commentsThu, 26 Jan 2017 12:59:37 -0800http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/are-you-ready-for-a-roadside-emergency<p> Yeah, yeah&hellip;your vehicle&rsquo;s fairly new and you take care of it, and you&rsquo;ve even got a membership in AAA. That doesn&rsquo;t mean that your chances of <img alt="Car trouble" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/604/car-trouble.jpg" style="width: 275px; height: 183px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" />ending up in a tight spot are zero. It&rsquo;s just common sense to be prepared with a trouble bag in your car. Here&rsquo;s a pretty good rundown of things you should keep in a car emergency kit:</p> <p> <strong>Fully charged cell phone:&nbsp;</strong>You may want to consider a cheap prepaid &ldquo;burner phone&rdquo; with a long battery life and keep it strictly in the car. If nothing else, at least keep a charged-up power bank on hand.</p> <p> <strong>First-aid kit:&nbsp;</strong>At a bare minimum, a first-aid kit should include gauze pads and bandage tape, aspirins, antiseptic wipes, scissors, antiseptic cream or ointment, Band-Aids, rubbing alcohol and burn cream.</p> <p> <strong>Tools:&nbsp;</strong>It doesn&rsquo;t have to be anything comprehensive; just a good quality Leatherman-type tool and some duct tape can be real, real handy.</p> <p> <strong>Fire extinguisher:&nbsp;</strong>It&rsquo;s kind of bulky, but it can literally be a lifesaver. Try to find a fire extinguisher that&rsquo;s rated for Class B and Class C fires: flammable liquids and electrical fires.</p> <p> <strong>Warning triangles or highway flares:&nbsp;</strong>Self-explanatory.</p> <p> <strong>Tire gauge:&nbsp;</strong>You know you should be checking your tire pressure regularly anyway&hellip;right? Right?</p> <p> <strong>Foam tire sealant:&nbsp;</strong>If you got a flat tire and it didn&rsquo;t completely shred before you could get off the road, a can of tire sealant can keep you going for a while.</p> <p> <strong>Gloves, sweater, cap:&nbsp;</strong>Self-explanatory for cold climates or cold weather.</p> <p> <strong>Flashlight and tow strap:&nbsp;</strong>Self-explanatory.</p> <p> <strong>Nonperishable snacks:&nbsp;</strong>Try to find snacks that are protein-rich, as they will make you feel full and satisfied a lot longer than crackers or chips. Also, try to avoid salty snacks that will only spike your thirst.</p> <p> Of course, you hope that you won&rsquo;t find yourself stuck by the side of the road. But even if you don&rsquo;t know how to repair a problem yourself and get back on your way, a well-stocked trouble bag can make your emergency a little more tolerable while you wait for help.&nbsp;</p> /blog/view/are-you-ready-for-a-roadside-emergency/feed0Flat Spots? Let’s Clear Up Some Myths About That…http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/flat-spots-let-s-clear-up-some-myths-about-thathttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/flat-spots-let-s-clear-up-some-myths-about-that#commentsThu, 12 Jan 2017 12:39:59 -0800http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/flat-spots-let-s-clear-up-some-myths-about-that<p> So your vehicle&rsquo;s been sitting for a while&hellip;you get in it, start the engine and pull out of the driveway when you notice a hard, rough (but very regular) vibration that only gets worse with speed. It doesn&rsquo;t feel like it&rsquo;s coming from the driveline or suspension &ndash; so what is it?</p> <p> <img alt="Flat spots on tires" src="http://salinastiresonline.com/images/display/603/Flat-spot-on-tire.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; float: right; margin: 10px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></p> <p> It could be that the tires have developed flat spots.</p> <p> With the weight of the vehicle pressing down on the tires for long periods, a section of the rubber and belts can become softer (or harder) than the rest of the tire. This can be exacerbated by cold weather, or just by parking on a cold concrete floor.</p> <p> Low-profile tires with short sidewalls can be more prone to flat-spotting, as can tires with an H or higher speed rating. In most cases, you can just grit your teeth and drive and the flat spots will work their way out of the tires&hellip;but not always. In some severe cases, the flat-spotting is permanent.</p> <p> So, what can you do?</p> <p> There are all sorts of old-wives&rsquo;-tales about parking your vehicle on sheets of plywood or carpeting or sandbags to prevent flat spots. Unfortunately, they are all pure nonsense.</p> <p> If you&rsquo;ve got a vehicle that&rsquo;s going to be stored for a long time, the only way you can avoid flat spots is to have the vehicle up on jack stands at all four corners. That&rsquo;ll take the weight off the tires completely. Unfortunately, that&rsquo;s also pretty inconvenient.</p> <p> The other solution? There&rsquo;s a product called &ldquo;FlatStoppers&rdquo; which supports the tire using a curved shape, distributing the vehicle&rsquo;s weight evenly and reliably.</p> <p> It may seem like a lot of trouble, but it beats the alternative&hellip;which is a set of tires that are potentially ruined with flat spots that won&rsquo;t come out again!</p> /blog/view/flat-spots-let-s-clear-up-some-myths-about-that/feed0Website Launch Announcement: Salinas Tires & Wheels Launches New Sitehttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/website-launch-announcement-setting-company-launches-new-sitehttp://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/website-launch-announcement-setting-company-launches-new-site#commentsMon, 02 Nov 2015 16:05:00 -0800http://salinastiresonline.com/blog/view/website-launch-announcement-setting-company-launches-new-site<p> We are excited to announce the launch of our new website. The site features a fresh look, easy navigation and more focus on what the customer needs.</p> <p> The new site offers inventory listings with pictures and specs. You can search a variety of ways including by vehicle and size.</p> <p> With the addition of our blog, we are able to help inform and educate our customers on important tire and service information.</p> <p> We invite you to visit our new website today.</p> /blog/view/website-launch-announcement-setting-company-launches-new-site/feed0