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Brothers Tire Often Asked About Premium vs. Regular Gas

Posted January 06, 2019 01:26 AM

Kannapolis residents often ask the question: "Will using premium gas make my car run better?" The answer is simple. But first, let's talk about what exactly premium gasoline is.

Different grades of gasoline have different octane ratings. Regular gasoline has the lowest octane rating and premium the highest. Most gas stations around Kannapolis, North Carolina, also carry a mid-grade that falls in between the two. The octane range for the different grades of gas varies by region due to altitude differences.

Engines require different octane ratings because of design differences. For example, turbocharged engines usually require premium gas.

There's a sticker on your gas tank filler lid that tells you the minimum octane rating your vehicle manufacturer recommends.

For help identifying the type of gasoline your engine needs, come by Brothers Tire in Kannapolis.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203



The Brothers Tire Guide to Saving Fuel: Car Weight

Posted June 19, 2018 11:38 AM

The team at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis, and North Carolina car owners are all talking right now. Better gas mileage. Fewer emissions. Kannapolis drivers want to save the environment and their pocketbooks.

And we all know—or should know—that preventive maintenance will help maximize fuel economy. But is there something more people in Kannapolis can do? After all, some of us folks can't cut back on our driving, and others would like to do more to economize.

Weight is one major enemy of fuel economy. The more you lug around in your vehicle, the more fuel you have to burn to get from point A to point B. And that means buying more gas in Kannapolis and producing more emissions.

Of course, your vehicle's weight isn't negotiable. And you can't do much about the weight of your passengers. And this isn't an article about diet and exercise.

But look around your vehicle. Are you hauling a bunch of unnecessary weight around? Do you really need your golf clubs every time you leave your home? Store sports equipment in the garage. Load it when you need it and store it when you don't. Who knows? The extra exercise just might reduce the other type of weight in your vehicle.

The same goes for anything else in your car: make-up kits, music collections, extra electronics, spare clothing; whatever your particular extras may be. Pack it when you need it; store it when you don't.

Clean out your trunk. You'd be surprised how much weight you're lugging around in plain old junk. Toss old papers, leftover food and regular old dirt. Even if it's not a lot of weight, you'll feel better when you get into your car. A good cleaning is also part of good car care.

Now, don't toss stuff you really do need. You do need that spare tire—the one in your trunk. And a kit of emergency essentials is not a bad idea. But just carry around the day-to-day essentials. You can pack a more extensive kit and store it in your garage, then toss it in your vehicle when you go on a longer trip, but you don't have to lug it around all the time. After all, are you a driver? Or are you a junk chauffeur?

Lose the junk and save some money in Kannapolis.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203

 



The Brothers Tire Guide to Saving Fuel: Beware of Myths

Posted June 11, 2018 01:57 AM

There's a lot of auto advice in North Carolina right now on how to save money on gas. Some of it is good advice. Some of it isn't. Some of it is myth. And it may well be a scam. Plain and simple. When someone offers you a product designed to save money on gas, ask yourself, “Does this sound too good to be true?” If the answer is yes, do more research.

The internet offers us a convenient and quick way to research someone's claims about gas savings. Kannapolis drivers can usually find out in only minutes whether that claim is questionable or not.

Chances are other Kannapolis drivers have already tried what you're being offered. If you find evidence that others feel they have been scammed, you should be wary of becoming the next victim. There aren't any pills, magic or otherwise, that you can drop into your gas tank to improve your gas mileage. Drop in enough of those pills and you can actually harm your vehicle. The last thing you need is a bunch more sediment or unknown, dissolved additives in your fuel.

There actually are proven, sensible ways that you can maintain good gas mileage, however. Good car care and consistent preventive maintenance are the keys to good fuel economy. An oil change at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis and a new fuel filter, when needed, will keep your engine running efficiently, which will translate to good fuel economy. It may be mundane, but it's solid, proven advice.

So be smart. Listen to advice from qualified Brothers Tire professionals, and stay away from unverified “magic” and conspiracy theories. Your wallet—and your vehicle—will thank you in the end.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203

 

 



Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Kannapolis, North Carolina

Posted December 17, 2017 10:20 AM

Let's talk about alternative fuel vehicles. In their quest to reduce the use of fossil fuels and harmful exhaust emissions in our North Carolina environment, automakers will have a number of alternatives for Kannapolis drivers very soon.

For instance, Flex Fuel vehicles are already available in the Kannapolis area. Flex Fuel vehicles can run on gasoline or on E85 fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The ethanol is made from corn. The benefits to Kannapolis drivers are in using less petroleum and reduced pollution. The drawbacks are that E85 gets lower gas mileage and when gas prices are low, E85 can be more than straight gasoline.

Kannapolis drivers should only use E85 if they have a Flex Fuel compatible engine. Flex Fuel vehicles have special seals and gaskets that can stand up to the high alcohol content of E85. Using E85 in a regular engine can lead to gas leaks and fires.

Diesel engines have been around North Carolina  for a long, long time. Modern diesels are very refined and fuel efficient. Diesel fuel can be made from renewable sources like vegetable oil, too. Diesel fuel from algae and sunlight is reported to be pretty close to being commercially viable.

There are also a number of natural gas vehicles on our Kannapolis roads. Gasoline engines are adapted to run on compressed natural gas. It's less expensive than gasoline and burns very cleanly. You can even refill it with a special pump from your gas line at home.

Plug-in electric vehicles are now available in our Kannapolis area. Battery technology is the limiting factor right now. Electric cars have a limited range and are really best for use close to home. As battery technology advances, electric cars will perform closer and closer to conventional power plants.

That brings us to hybrids. There are a bunch of hybrids on our North Carolina roads, with more to come. Hybrid technology combines internal combustion engines with electric motors.

A mild hybrid has a regular gas or diesel engine that's assisted by the electric motor. The electric motor can propel the vehicle by itself up to a certain speed under gentle acceleration. There are mild hybrids in full-sized pickups and SUVs. They deliver similar to their highway ratings.

A full hybrid will rely primarily on the electric motor for power. It'll have a small gas or diesel engine that generates electricity for the batteries.

A quick word from Brothers Tire about safety around hybrid and electric vehicles. Unlike the battery in your current family car, these carry enough voltage to kill you. Never mess around under the hood or with the batteries or electrical wiring. Your Kannapolis service technician at  Brothers Tire is trained to safely disable the flow of electricity before performing maintenance or repairs on the vehicle.

Hybrids are really not do-it-yourself vehicles unless you're specifically trained on hybrid systems.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203



Fuel System Cleaning at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis for Better Performance

Posted December 03, 2017 10:52 AM

A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle's engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

The pressure in a fuel injection system varies depending on its type. Many gasoline engines use port injection systems, which operate with a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch. Newer direct injection systems operate at 10 to 30 times that pressure. Some diesel passenger vehicles have fuel injectors that operate at 30,000 pounds or more per square inch.

Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle's control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle.  It also adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle's engine.

Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel economy and loss of engine performance.

So it's important to keep your fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name North Carolina fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel than do bargain stations in the Kannapolis area.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Check your owner's manual or ask the pros at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis to find out how often you should change your fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won't be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use.

If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis that will result in better fuel economy and improved vehicle performance.

Good vehicle care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203



Clean Fuel Makes a Happy Engine in Kannapolis, North Carolina

Posted January 03, 2017 07:14 AM

If the fuel system in your vehicle is dirty, you will be hurting your engine and losing performance as you drive around Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Unless they drive a vintage car, Kannapolis auto owners have fuel injectors which need to be properly maintained. That is why your vehicle owner's manual has a schedule for cleaning your fuel injectors and other parts of your fuel system.

Your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis has the tools and chemicals to do the job right. Brothers Tire uses a process that gives your car a deep, professional fuel system cleaning. The particles, gum and varnish that build up in your fuel system are removed so that it can run cleanly and efficiently.

After a professional fuel system cleaning at Brothers Tire, you'll notice more power, improved and reduced exhaust emissions. We strongly recommend you follow your fuel system cleaning service recommendations to keep your vehicle running strong.

Kannapolis drivers don't need the added expense of replacing a fuel injector that's been damaged by neglect. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable Brothers Tire service advisor and see when your car is scheduled for fuel system cleaning.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203



Fuel System Cleaning at Brothers Tire for Better Performance

Posted October 17, 2016 08:40 AM

Hi Kannapolis residents. Let's talk fuel injectors. A fuel injector is a valve that delivers fuel to a vehicle's engine. It has to deliver the precise amount of fuel to precisely the right place, precisely when the engine needs it. The fuel also has to be mixed with air before it can burn in the engine.

Fuel injectors are engineered to spray fuel in a specific pattern into the engine. (The pattern varies by engine type and design.) In order to achieve these spray patterns, the fuel must be pressurized.

Vehicles have one fuel injector for each cylinder in the engine. Your vehicle's control computer constantly monitors the engine and various sensors in the vehicle.  It also adjusts the fuel injectors accordingly so that they can deliver the proper amount of fuel to the engine. As you can see, fuel injectors are a sophisticated and vital part of your vehicle's engine. Because fuel injectors are such precision instruments, dirt and contaminants are a serious detriment to their performance. When an injector gets gummed up, it affects the pressure, pattern and timing of the fuel delivery. The result is a decrease in fuel efficiency and loss of engine performance for Kannapolis residents.

So it's to Kannapolis residents' advantage to keep their fuel injectors clean. That starts with keeping the fuel in your tank clean. High-quality fuel contains detergents and additives that help clean your engine. Brand-name fuel companies also deliver a more consistent quality of fuel to Kannapolis vehicles than do bargain Kannapolis area service stations.

The second way to keep your injectors clean is to keep your fuel filter clean. This filter screens dirt and rust out of the fuel as it travels from the tank to the engine. If the filter clogs up, fuel will bypass it and carry its load of dirt into the engine.

Kannapolis residents should check their owner's manual to find out how often they should change their fuel filter. This should be part of your regular preventive maintenance. Also, remember that if you use bargain-brand or low-grade fuels, or if you drive an older vehicle, your filter will need to be changed more often.

You can also purchase cleaners at Brothers Tire that will protect your fuel injectors. These cleaners are added to the fuel tank. They work best at preventing build-up in your fuel injectors and can clean up small amounts of carbon, gum and varnish. But they won't be able to clean a fully gummed-up injector. Read the labels before using any of these products for full directions on their use. If your fuel injectors are gummed up, you can get a professional deep cleaning service at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis that will result in better fuel economy and improved vehicle performance.

Good vehicle care will prevent serious damage to your fuel injector system. And this is one system that you want to keep in perfect condition.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203



The Brothers Tire Guide to Saving Fuel: Get Rid of Dirty Oil

Posted September 14, 2016 08:35 AM

A lot of us drivers are asking ourselves the same question lately: how can we save on fuel? Kannapolis area residents are all cutting back, if not in fuel consumption, then in other areas of our lives.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is an important way people in Kannapolis can conserve fuel by improving fuel economy. And one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is to keep the oil in our vehicle adequate and clean.

Oil lubricates your vehicle engine and keeps it running smoothly. If you're running low, there is increased friction in your engine. Friction creates drag, which means it takes more fuel to keep the vehicle motor running. This all translates to lower fuel economy.

Check your oil to make sure the engine is getting all it needs. Your owner's manual and service advisor at Brothers Tire will tell you the proper weight and type of oil for your vehicle.

Responsible Car Care

Dirty oil grits up your engine, which also increases friction. So even if there's enough oil, you're still getting that extra drag that reduces your fuel economy. That's why your owner's manual recommends getting your oil changed regularly. It's good auto advice.

While you're checking your oil, you should take a quick look at your transmission fluid as well. Your transmission also needs clean, adequate fluid to work efficiently. An inefficient transmission also translates into lower fuel economy.

Your service advisor at Brothers Tire will be able to check your oil and other fluids, top you off or change your oil if necessary.
Your owner's manual will have recommendations on how often you should check your oil and transmission fluid. But you can also consult with the pros at Brothers Tire in Kannapolis. The types of roads you drive on in North Carolina, the climate where you live and the air quality in your area can all affect how often you should change your oil.

And don't forget that this will improve our environment here in Kannapolis as well. Improved efficiency translates to fewer emissions. Changing your oil as scheduled doesn't just help your vehicle (and your pocketbook), it helps keep the air clean as well.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203



Service to Improve Fuel Economy

Posted July 12, 2016 01:13 AM

The price of gas in North Carolina has got people in Kannapolis talking. It seems that Kannapolis folks who need a bigger vehicle to carry family and gear, or provide four wheel drive, are hit especially hard. That is why we thought it would be good to review some things that anyone can do to improve fuel economy.

First let's start with how we drive around North Carolina. People in Kannapolis may not realize that they can really save on gas by just changing a few driving habits. One of the biggest is jackrabbit starts - you know, flooring the gas as soon as the light turns green. That really wastes a lot of fuel. Building up your speed at a slower pace uses less fuel and is easier on your engine and drive train. And don't drive with one foot on the brake. That's also a drag on fuel economy, and it wears out your brakes faster, too.

Another thing Kannapolis drivers can do is drive more slowly - but only when it's safe. Sometimes on the freeway we drive an extra five ... ten . . . twenty ... over the speed limit. We do it to save time, but it only saves a few minutes out of maybe an hour long drive, and we may use 10 to 15 % more gas. Just leave a little bit earlier, save some money and arrive more relaxed.

Kannapolis drivers can also try and combine all of their errands for the day into just one trip, rather than several. If you can put off a trip today that can be combined with one tomorrow, you can save some time and money.

Using your cruise control can save money too. Driving in North Carolina at a constant speed really improves fuel economy. Be sure to only use your cruise control under safe conditions; you can look in your owner's manual for some good tips on using your cruise control.

Did you know that reducing the weight in your vehicle saves gas? Clean out the trunk or back seat from time to time so that you are not paying to carry a lot of stuff around Kannapolis that you do not need in the vehicle. If you live in North Carolina where there is snow and ice, clear it off your vehicle; it adds weight and messes with aerodynamics too.

Another tip is to avoid long idle times, which includes warming it up when you start. Modern engines do not require a long warm up to get going;  just take it easy for a few minutes.

Be sure to get a new gas cap if yours leaks or is worn.

Now, let's start talking mechanical. Bottom line - the better you maintain your vehicle, the less fuel you will use. It all adds up in a big way. For example, replacing your dirty engine air filter will pay for itself in improved fuel economy before your next oil change - and will keep saving you after that.

A clean, well-maintained fuel system really pays big dividends. A clogged fuel filter wastes gas. So does a dirty fuel system, grimy fuel injectors and plugged up PCV valves. A fuel system service decreases the gas you use, and increases the power, so drivers in Kannapolis can't go wrong with that.

Some of us ignore our Check Engine light. But fixing the problem that caused the light to come on will usually save some fuel as well. It may be a bad oxygen sensor that can really rob your fuel economy.

And, it may be time for a tune-up. Tune-ups should improve your fuel economy. Don't overlook the routine maintenance items, like scheduled oil changes, transmission and cooling system service. Dirty or low fluids actually use more fuel. Just look at your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended service intervals in the owner's manual, or ask your Brothers Tire service advisor for the schedule.

Don't forget your tires. Underinflated tires waste gas. And if your wheels are out of alignment, you won't get the fuel economy you need.

None of these things are very complicated or expensive for people in Kannapolis to stay on top of. When you maintain your car properly, you save gas today and prevent repairs tomorrow.

Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203

 



Maintaining Your Diesel in Kannapolis

Posted June 05, 2016 11:31 AM

Diesel engines have been used extensively in Europe and Asia for many years. They haven't been as common in the Kannapolis area because of the high sulfur content in our diesel fuel. But the government is now mandating lower sulfur content and, as a result, we are going to see more Kannapolis diesel-fueled vehicles on the road, especially in passenger cars and SUV's.

Diesels are popular in North Carolina because they get better fuel economy than gas-powered engines. They also last longer. Modern diesel engines are quiet and powerful. And if you associate diesel engines with black smoke, then you're not up with the times. That smoke is a thing of the past.

Diesels don't produce any more pollutants than gasoline engines. The pollution standards for diesel-powered vehicles are as strict in North Carolina as for other vehicles.

Also, diesel engines can run on bio-diesel fuels as well as fossil fuels. Diesel fuel can be produced from vegetable oil or from cellulosic waste like wood chips and sawdust. In North Carolina, we may soon see bio-diesel produced from algae. These fuel sources will lessen Kannapolis drivers dependence on fossil fuels and may even become truly renewable and sustainable.

Diesel-powered vehicles also perform as well as other passenger vehicles. Most people don't notice a difference in driving one or the other. If you haul heavy loads or tow a trailer around North Carolina, however, the diesel is a definite improvement.

So, you may be asking, if diesels are so great, why don't all Kannapolis people drive them? Surely there are disadvantages you haven't told me about. That's true. Diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, and they cost more in North Carolina. The better fuel economy of the diesel engine is partially offset by the higher purchase price.

Because of higher fuel prices, diesel engines used to be more expensive to drive in Kannapolis. But now, with higher volatility in the prices of both gasoline and diesel fuel in North Carolina, that cost difference is less definitive. Whether a diesel or gas engine is more expensive for North Carolina drivers depends now on the current price of fuel and how far you drive.

Consider also that diesel-powered vehicles have a high resale value in the Kannapolis area, and the costs of owning and operating a diesel vs. a gas-powered vehicle in North Carolina becomes a real toss-up.

Preventive auto maintenance for diesel vehicles has also become similar to that of gas-fueled vehicles in recent years. The major difference is that diesels require cleaner fuel, air and oil, so their filters are more expensive than those for gasoline engines. The engine air filter must be changed more frequently as well.

The costs for car care and repairs in Kannapolis are similar. You may be thinking, wait:  You just told me that filters are more and have to be changed more regularly. True, but that is offset by the fact that diesel engines have a much longer lifetime than gasoline engines. So if you are the type of owner who prefers to hang on to a vehicle for a long time, you will be more than rewarded with a diesel engine.

So if you have been looking for Kannapolis auto advice on whether to switch to a diesel vehicle or stay with a gas-powered one, then we hope this helps. The answer as to which type of vehicle is better is that it depends on the driver and their driving habits. Now that you know the facts, you can make an informed choice based on your own priorities and needs.

 Brothers Tire
1216 N Main St
Kannapolis, North Carolina 28081
(704) 933-2203