At Crabapple Automotive we value the safety of our customers above all else. We want to ensure that you get to where you're going every time with a reliable and safe vehicle. A major problem area for the cars and trucks that come into Crabapple Automotive, are tires. Your tires are your connection to the road, and without them doing their job properly, all the handling development and safety testing that went into your car may not keep you safe. Here is some basic information on your tires and how to know when the time has come for replacements.
Why are old or bad tires dangerous?
As stated above, your tires are an extremely important component of your car or truck. If you've ever been out of control in a vehicle, you'll know how scary being a powerless passenger inside a two ton metal box can be. Driving on tires that are too old, improperly inflated, out of balance, or not suited to weather conditions can spell disaster for your safe journey. Your tires were designed with a very specific task in mind. Using them improperly can have sudden and catastrophic consequences.
Signs your tires need air
This issue can be fairly simple to spot. If your tire seems to be wider at the part which contacts the road, they probably need to be topped up with air. Driving on under-inflated tires wears them out faster due to uneven pressure on the sidewall and can lead to full-on flats and even end up shredding the tire off the wheel! Low tire pressure ruins your vehicle's fuel economy. If you've ever ridden a bicycle with under-inflated tires you know how much extra effort you have to put in to get moving and stay rolling. On the flip side of this, driving with too much air in your tires is also unsafe. While it's unlikely that hitting a large pothole would cause the tire to burst (remember they're built to last for thousands of miles) having too much air pressure in a tire reduces the size of the contact patch, or the area where rubber meets road. This can lead to less grip and control over your vehicle. Every tire manufacturer prints the correct tire pressure on the side of their tires, so it's easy to find out the perfect pressure for your ride.
Signs your tires are out of tread
As with having over-inflated tires, a lack of tread can lead to less control and worse handling for your car or truck. Your tires' tread patterns help them to hold the road as well as channeling mud and water away from the areas that need to do the gripping. Without enough tread depth, your car can ride up on top of water on the road and cause you a complete loss of control. There are a few common methods of measuring tread depth, such as using a penny to gauge whether or not it's time to replace your tires, but we recommend coming into Crabapple Automotive in Alpharetta, GA for a professional opinion on the matter. Not all tires are created equal and must be replaced at different times.
Signs your tires are damaged
Signs that your tires are damaged can come from a few sources. A visual inspection can catch potential problems before they become major issues such as nails or rocks embedded in the tread grooves. Always remember that there's a great deal of pressure contained within your tires. If you see any gashes, bubbles or hear the hiss of air escaping it's best to stay away from that tire and enlist the help of a professional. Believe us, you don't want a tire exploding anywhere near you.
You can sometimes feel tire damage while driving. If your car begins to make strange noises as it goes down the road or the handling suddenly becomes worse you should pull over as soon as it's safe. Driving on a flat is a bad idea, and can often lead to more severe damage to your vehicle.
What can and cannot be repaired
Tires are expensive and we take any opportunity we can to repair them safely and save you money. Small punctures can often be plugged and patched (it should always be both!) but sometimes the tire's day is done. If the puncture is on the outer edge of the tire (outside the tread) it's probably unsafe to repair. The same goes for a tire that's been driven on while flat. In this case the sidewall has become weakened and the tire is no longer safe. As with recommended pressures, each manufacturer has guides for what can and what can't be repaired.
At Crabapple Automotive, customer safety is our number one priority. We hope you'll be a little safer with this information. If you'd like to talk about whether your tires may need inspection or replacement, call us at 770-696-1486 or visit us at 12265 Crabapple Road in Alpharetta, GA. Happy travels!
We offer most major brands of tires. These are a few of our preferred brands.
Tires Questions and Answers
Q: At what mileage interval should I rotate my tires?A: Experts recommend you rotate your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. While this is a good rule of thumb, your vehicle's exact interval will depend on its drivetrain and your driving habits. More aggressive drivers in the Alpharetta area may need to rotate their tires more often. Our experts at Crabapple Automotive can work with you to determine the tire rotation schedule that will work best.
Q: What are the advantages to rotating my tires?A: The main advantage of getting your tires rotated is to even out the tread wear of your tires. Evenly worn tires contribute to a smooth and comfortable ride. Rotating your tires consistently can also extend the life of your tires. It can enhance safety by helping to prevent pulling and an uneven grip between the tire and the pavement.
Q: How do you check tire pressure?A: First, remove the cap from the air valve on the tire and put it somewhere you won't lose it. Press the tire gauge against the open valve stem for a second or two. Next, read the air pressure gauge. Compare the number on the gage with the recommended tire pressure from your car's owner's manual or the sticker that should be next to the driver's side door opening. Finally, replace the tire's air valve cap. You can also bring it right here to Crabapple Automotive.
Q: Does my tire warranty influence my rotation schedule?A: Tire manufacturers know that tire rotation is important for even tread wear. Tire mileage warranties are most often set by the manufacturers with tire rotations included. Failing to rotate your tires may void your tires manufacturer warranty.
Q: What throws tires out of balance?A: If you hit a curb or pothole your wheel-tire assembly can get out of balance. Everyday wear on tires and wheels can also cause an imbalance. Many experts recommended that you get your tires balanced every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or every 2 years. If you buy a new set of tires, you may find that tire balancing is included in your purchase. At Crabapple Automotive, we can check your tire balance and make any necessary adjustments for you.
Q: How do you check tire tread depth?A: Check all of your tires in multiple locations by inserting a penny into the tread groove on your tire with Lincoln's head facing toward you and the top of his head touching the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tires are worn out and you need new tires. Of course, you can bring your vehicle to Crabapple Automotive in Alpharetta and our experts can check it for you.
Q: How does snow tire usage influence rotation decisions?A: If you have snow tires check your tire pressure and rotate your winter tires on a regular schedule. Rotating snow and winter tires is important to maintaining even treadwear and preserving maximum traction in icy conditions.
Q: Is it okay to mix tire brands on a car?A: Sometimes mixing brands and models on your car is unavoidable, but having a complete matching set is best. If possible, use the same tire on the front or rear wheels. While it's not usually advised, you can mix different tire brands on the same car, if you follow a few simple guidelines. Those include: never mix winter tires with all-season or summer tires; and to not mix run-flat tires with non-run-flat tires. For guidelines in the Alpharetta area, give us a call at 770-696-1486.
I used to live in this area and when I returned to buy a car I was happy to see this shop was still around. They did a pre-sale inspection for me, and were able to work me into their busy day. The cost was $139, and would include up to 3 cars to be inspected. To compare, the Toyota dealer was $160 per car and it's only a visual inspection. This was a great relief to know I could look at multiple cars without paying for each one. They did a thorough inspection and talked me through the whole thing. I was super impressed with their knowledge and dedication to doing a good job. I would trust them with other needs for my vehicle.
Do you remember when mechanics were the good guys? Truly loyal to their craft of automotive wizardry? When was the last time a "service writer" smiled (without deviously licking their chops), and made sustained eye contact with you when entering the facility? In movies they are helpful, honest, and dependable. Although in real life most interactions with the auto repair industry leave one with a sense of wonder, doubt, and the ever present, possible easy deception.... Have you ever encountered a mechanic or shop that told you what you need to do, what you should do and what you should save for? I know it's an easy concept, just think about it for a second..... Automotive enthusiasts aka repair technicians/mechanics know that your vehicle is an investment, not just a transportation device. In transportation safety is always paramount, so why not trust in people who see every vehicle as an extension of the customer (it is your baby after all) and treat it more like a doctor would a patient? With doctors, you make an appointment you walk in, they ask questions, and charge you $150 dollars. Then send you off to the next place for some testing, but you trust them because they have a large building, spotless uniforms and clean floors (dealerships). Why not take your baby/ investment to an automotive Dr. and shamen, who has the equivalent education of an 3 automotive PHD's (owner/ lead tech has ~40 years of successful businesses)! Long story short... I, myself am a mechanic and frequently take my children/ cars to his shop for all repairs. There is no greater remark possible in the auto repair industry than a referral!!! I guess this is mine. Thanks Grey! And remember, diagnostic fees are expected in all industries! You are paying for Dr's visit after all!