Diagnosing Your Vehicle at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis
Posted January 28, 2018 08:36 AM
When we Kannapolis residents get a car repair bill, we really shouldn't be surprised to find “diagnostic fees” as one of the line items. When we get a computer fixed, there is usually a charge for the time it takes to diagnose the problem. When we go to a medical doctor, most of his fee is for his ability to diagnose what's wrong. It's no different with our vehicles.
Some diagnoses are fairly simple. Brake repairs at Brothers Tire usually require only a visual inspection, for instance. But other problems are much more difficult to diagnose. An intermittent engine problem, for example, takes time and expertise to pinpoint.
Modern vehicles have multiple computers that monitor a variety of sensors throughout the vehicle. When one of those sensors has a reading that is higher or lower than the standard parameters, the computer turns on the Check Engine light. Technicians at a service center such as Brothers Tire in Kannapolis can scan the engine's computer for a trouble code. This code tells the technician which reading is too high or too low.
That's where some Kannapolis residents get confused. They think that this reading concludes the diagnosis, and they don't understand why the diagnostic fee is as much as it is when all the technician did was to scan the computer. But the truth is the trouble code is only the beginning of the diagnostic procedure.
Remember, the trouble code only tells which reading is out of parameter. It doesn't say what is causing the reading to be too high or too low. Your Brothers Tire service technician still has to find the underlying problem. It's a lot like going to the doctor. He can take your temperature and discover that you have a fever, but that doesn't tell him what is causing your fever.
Automotive diagnostic technology can cut down the time it takes to figure out what's wrong with a vehicle that isn't running right. But it doesn't do away with the need for your friendly and knowledgeable Brothers Tire service technician to make a proper diagnosis. Car care, like medical care, still requires the human touch.
Budget for Maintenance in Kannapolis
Posted January 23, 2018 07:39 AM
Sometimes busy Kannapolis residents dream about going back to the “simpler” days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around North Carolina in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Kannapolis residents spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.
Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple — you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Kannapolis drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience, and it's likely that yesterday's Kannapolis drivers didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Kannapolis area auto service centers.
Kannapolis drivers certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Vehicle care in North Carolina simply costs more than it used to. So if you think about it, Kannapolis drivers can avoid many vehicle repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.
Just a bit of auto advice from Brothers Tire: If you like new vehicles and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new vehicle every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and North Carolina auto insurance with an older vehicle and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for preventive maintenance you have done at Brothers Tire, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less!
Power Steering Service in Kannapolis
Posted January 14, 2018 08:44 AM
Most Kannapolis drivers are too young to remember life before power steering - cranking those great big steering wheels! It was a pretty good workout. Now power steering is standard. Let's look at how it works. The heart of any power steering system is its pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid that provides assist for steering. Most pumps are driven by a belt that is run by the engine; a few are electrically powered. A high-pressure hose passes fluid from the pump to the steering gear. A low pressure hose returns the fluid back to the pump.
These hoses can develop leaks, so it is a good idea for Kannapolis drivers to have them inspected at every oil change. Low fluid can damage the power steering pump. That is why power steering fluid level is on the checklist for a full-service oil change. The fluid needs to be compatible with the hoses and seals, so check your owner's manual for the right type - or just ask your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis.
The fluid cleans, cools and lubricates the power steering system. It breaks down as the years go by and collects unwanted moisture, so Kannapolis drivers need to replace it from time to time. Many vehicle manufacturers specify power steering service intervals. Unfortunately, this important service is sometimes left off the car maintenance schedule for many of us. So, when in doubt, every 25,000 miles/40,000 km or two years is a good fallback. Your technician at Brothers Tire will use a detergent to clean the system, flush out the old fluid and replace it with the good stuff.
Here are some warning signs of trouble with your power steering: It's harder to turn the wheel, there's erratic power assist, you hear loud whining coming from the pump (which may be difficult to hear over the loud whining coming from the backseat), you have to top-off the fluid frequently, or you hear squealing belts. Remember to never hold the steering wheel to the far right or left for more than a few seconds at a time. That will wear out your power steering pump quickly.
Other steering components can be bent or damaged from wear or hard knocks: ball-joint, idler-arm, steering-gear, steering-knuckle and tie rod to name a few. Warning signs here are steering play, wandering, uneven tire wear and an off-center steering wheel. An annual alignment check at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis will reveal bent or damaged steering components.
Most SUV's, pick-ups and rear-wheel-drive cars need regular front-wheel-bearing service.
The bearings should be cleaned and inspected. If they are excessively worn, they need to be replaced. The bearings are then repacked in clean grease. The team at Brothers Tire also recommends the wheel-seal be replaced when the bearings are serviced. Like everything else, check your owners' manual maintenance schedule. It's usually required around every two years or 40,000 miles/64,000 km. If you drive through water in the Kannapolis area, the bearings will need service more often.
Automotive Tips from Brothers Tire: Serpentine Belt Overview
Posted January 07, 2018 07:41 AM
The technicians at Brothers Tire know your serpentine belt drives important engine accessories like your alternator, air conditioning compressor, and power steering. In some cars it may also power the power brakes or water pump. The serpentine belt is powered by the engine and winds around pulleys and the accessories. Some cars in Kannapolis have two serpentine belts.
The serpentine belt, the belt tensioner (which maintains the appropriate tension on the belt) and the idler pulleys are together known as the accessory drive system.
Now your serpentine belt and the belt tensioner will just wear out over time – that’s why your vehicle manufacturer has a scheduled belt replacement interval. The team at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis can inspect your serpentine belt for wear and get it replaced if it’s time.
Give us a call.
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
Beware of Cheap Tires in Kannapolis
Posted January 03, 2018 08:22 AM
Do you like to shop for shoes in Kannapolis?
When buying a running shoe, is quality important?
Does durability matter as long as the shoes look fabulous?
Would you rather have one pair of long lasting shoes or two pairs of lower quality shoes at the same price?
Is the warranty important when buying tires?
Kannapolis drivers should also think about the safety aspect of tires. The tires do a lot of work – they carry the weight of the vehicle and you and your passengers. You want to be sure they hold the road and provide good traction on North Carolina freeways and surface streets. If you carry heavy loads or tow a trailer on North Carolina highways, the tires need a high load rating.
Ask your friendly and knowledgeable Kannapolis tire professional at Brothers Tire. I think it's important that Kannapolis residents understand the effect of price on a tire's quality, performance and durability. When I was a kid, my dad would say, “Pay twice as much and buy half as many.”
The same principle applies to tires. The major tire brands that you're familiar with in Kannapolis are known as Tier 1 tires. These tires are high quality and well-engineered. Comparable vehicle Tier 1 tires are usually priced similarly.
Stepping down, you come to private label tires. Some large North Carolina tire store chains carry tires with their own brand. It's important to know that most private label tires are built by the same Tier 1 companies that you are familiar with – so you are pretty safe in choosing them. To be sure, you can ask your Brothers Tire tire professional which manufacturer makes their private brand.
The lowest priced tires on the market in Kannapolis are Tier 3 tires which are usually imported from China or South America. Since you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Tier 3 tire to deliver the same performance and durability as the others.
What's the difference in the tires with high mileage warranties? It's the rubber compounds and the amount of tread material. As you might expect, you'll pay more for the longer-lasting tire.
Your tires are the only parts of your vehicle that touch the road. You're only as safe as your tires are well built. Buy value – not price.
Give us a call.