Picking the Right Tires in Kannapolis
Posted October 28, 2018 12:07 PM
Shopping for tires in Kannapolis can be bewildering because there are many choices. Let's simplify. There are four main classifications of tires, each designed for different purposes.
First off, there are summer tires. Those who buy summer tires in Kannapolis are looking for maximum summertime performance. The rubber is a little softer to help stick to the road on fast corners on North Carolina roads. The tread has wide blocks at the shoulder to stiffen the tire in turns. The tread design can handle rain but really isn't set up for snow and ice.
Next comes winter tires. Kannapolis people buy winter tires because they still like performance driving when it's cold and slippery on North Carolina roads, so they need a tread design that'll really bite into ice and snow. The rubber compound is formulated to stay pliable when temperatures drop below 45 degrees F/7 degrees C so they get great traction even on dry roads. On the other end of the winter tire spectrum are tires designed to handle well in severe ice and snow conditions.
The third category is all-season tires. Most new cars in Kannapolis showrooms come with all-season tires. This is a tire that is designed to be used all year round. The tread design and rubber compound is a compromise that won't give you the extreme capabilities of summer or winter tires; but if you're driving and weather conditions aren't at the extreme ends of the range, all-season tires might suit you just fine.
The last category is what you might have on your SUV or pickup. All-terrain or off-road tires are designed for both highway and off-road use – a tire that gets good traction in the dirt and on off-road obstacles, but still performs well on paved Kannapolis roads.
Choosing the right tire is important for Kannapolis car owners. Talk with your Brothers Tire tire professional about your driving requirements and receive valuable guidance on tires that will meet your needs.
Give us a call.
Hold the Oil! (Oil Pan Gasket Replacement)
Posted October 21, 2018 06:50 AM
You've likely heard how important oil is to your vehicle's engine. Did you know that there's one part that's responsible for holding that oil so you can use it every day? It's called the oil pan, and it sits at the bottom of the engine.
The oil pan is a vital, though simple, part of your engine's lubrication system. Oil circulates through parts of your engine to keep them lubricated. It reduces friction so everything works smoothly. Without oil, friction would quickly destroy your engine. The oil pan keeps that oil contained in the lubrication system, so it's important that the oil doesn't leak out. Since it's a metal part attached to another metal part, there is a gasket between the oil pan and the part of the engine it attaches to.
Various things can put stress on the oil pan and gasket, including weather extremes, the speed you're traveling and the condition of the oil. You may drive over a couple of bad roads and kick up debris onto your oil pan. All this wear and tear, heat and time can take their toll. So after a while, the gasket can just wear out and start leaking. It usually starts pretty slowly. If you see oil visible under your vehicle where you park it, that might be a sign of a leaky oil pan gasket. Another sign? You smell burning oil coming from your engine. If the leak is bad and your engine has lost a lot of oil, you may eventually see the oil light go on.
Let your service advisor know if you are experiencing any of these things. Driving with insufficient oil can badly damage your engine. And it can do it quickly. A Brothers Tire trained technician will check to find the source of the leak. It may just be a gasket, but it also could be the oil pan is damaged and needs replacing as well.
This is a repair you should get taken care of. Your engine needs its lubrication system intact to provide you many years of service.
Does My Choice in Oil Affect Change Intervals?
Posted October 14, 2018 07:00 AM
Oil changes are probably the most recognized service on a vehicle. Almost all Kannapolis residents know about them. But do we know enough?
Several decades ago, oil changes were fairly standard: every three months or 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometers. But recent advances in both engine technology and oil quality have led to longer oil change intervals.
Delayed or skipped oil changes are a problem for Kannapolis residents because they lead to the build-up of oil sludge in your engine. Oil sludge forms when engine oil breaks down, which happens with both time and miles. Obviously, driving will take its toll on engine oil, but the oil also breaks down even as the vehicle just sits in the garage. This is why oil change intervals are listed in both time and distance traveled, and the phrase “whichever comes first” is applicable.
Oil sludge is essentially petroleum jelly. Imagine this stuff squishing around in your vehicle engine, pushing into small engine passageways and blocking passage of oil to vital engine parts, shortening your engine's life expectancy.
To prevent sludge, you have to get your oil changed regularly, as often as the manufacturer recommends. Check your owner's manual for every vehicle you own to know the interval for each one. Don't assume they will be the same.
If you tow a trailer, haul heavy loads, make a lot of short trips around Kannapolis, usually engage in stop-and-go (or around-the-town) driving, drive in cold or hot North Carolina weather, or drive in polluted or dusty conditions, you may need to change your oil more frequently. Check your vehicle's owner's manual for a “severe service” recommendation.
If the manual doesn't give you the advice you need, talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Brothers Tire service advisor. He will be able to answer any questions about preventive maintenance or vehicle care that you may have, including how often to change your oil.
Kannapolis residents need to get the right weight and type of oil recommended for their vehicles. More and more are using synthetic oil in their vehicles. Synthetic oil typically lasts longer and is more resistant to sludge formation than conventional motor oil. But it is also more expensive. So it can be tempting for Kannapolis residents to ask for conventional oil, but if you replace synthetic oil with conventional oil, you will have to change your oil more often to prevent sludge build-up. In the end, you're probably not saving money at all.
Also, your engine may not be designed for the conventional oil. Check your owner's manual before replacing synthetic oil with conventional.
Talk to your Brothers Tire service advisor for more information.
The Brothers Tire Guide to Caring for Your Transmission
Posted October 07, 2018 07:36 AM
Most vehicles have automatic transmissions, yet a lot of Kannapolis drivers only have a fuzzy understanding about what a transmission does. Think back to the last time you rode a bike in Kannapolis. You started out in a lower gear and shifted to higher gears as you went faster. Down shift for hills, stuff like that. Think of your legs as the engine – there's an ideal speed you can pedal and you change gears to leverage the work you're doing.
Lower gears for power on hills or for starting out. Higher gears for more speed. That's what the automatic transmission does – it automatically starts in lower gears and shifts up to higher gears to go faster on North Carolina roads. And it automatically shifts back down to climb Kannapolis hills, pass or start up again.
Vehicle automatic transmissions have certainly gotten more sophisticated in recent years. They have more speeds than before: the base is four speeds, five is very common.
At Brothers Tire, we routinely service transmissions with six speeds and several have seven or even eight speeds. As you can imagine, this means more parts. Any they all have to fit into roughly the same space.
Transmissions are computer controlled these days, with some high end transmissions having two or three computers. Transmissions are engineered to last. But they are also engineered to tighter tolerances. If a portion of the transmission is starved for lubrication, it can lead to failure.
Not enough fluid can starve the transmission, or dirty transmission fluid can clog small passages in the transmission. Then the lubricant is blocked and can't get to all the parts to protect them, so they wear out prematurely. The technicians at Brothers Tire see far too many transmissions that needlessly failed due to neglect.
And, as you can imagine, repairing one of these new transmissions at any Kannapolis service center can be quite costly. That's why owner’s manuals have a schedule for how often you should change the fluid and what type of fluid to use.
It's really important for Kannapolis area drivers to carefully follow the manufacturer's transmission service schedule.
At Brothers Tire in Kannapolis, we hope you never become shiftless in Kannapolis because you didn't take care of your transmission.