New Car FEVER !

I get alot of calls from people doing some research on tires prior to buying a new (or used) car, and I can't say it's a bad idea in the least! You'd be surprised how many people damage a tire on their "brand new baby" and are SHOCKED to find out that the fancy 19" wheel and tire option they added now has cost them an extra $50 to $75 more per tire than the...  Read More

Silicone, the wave of the wiper blade future from TireRack

I have been a huge fan of our PIAA Super Silicone wiper blades for some time.  Last week I ran through a construction zone that splattered tar all up the front of my truck.  I had to use Laquer Thinner to clean it all off the windshield.  I followed it up by 50/50 alcohol and water mix and then finally Windex. At that point I knew it was as clean as it...  Read More

Peace, Love.....and Daisy shaped wheels from Tire Rack.

Flower Power.  Since the 60's it has been a catch phrase for everything involving freedom of peace,  expression and love.  If you drive a VW Bug, show your love for your car and bring peace to the intersection with a set Sport Edition Daisy wheels bought direct from Tire Rack!   Made in 16" for your stock tires.  They accept stock mounting hardware, they...  Read More

Disc Brake Challenge Part III: Removing and Replacing the Brake Rotors

With the worn out brake pads off and the calipers checked and repaired, it was time for Samuel to move on to the brake rotors.Step 1: Removing The Old Brake RotorThis looks simple enough right? There are no stud clips so the brake rotor is just resting on the nose of the axle hub ready to be lifted off. Well, not quite, as Samuel soon discovered...Normally...  Read More

Energy Saving Tires. Not just for Hybrids.

Today I set out for another routine tire test on the streets of South Bend. This time we were testing the new low rolling resistance tires on a fleet of Toyota Prius (yawn). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job, but this doesn't give the same exhilaration as tossing a BMW through the slalom cones on maximum performance summer tires. As an sideline to comparing...  Read More

it's August and it's hot so, let's talk about something cool

Let's talk about winter. As I am typing this it's the 'dog days' of summer and you should be  enjoying your automotive lifestyle with cruise ins, track days or car shows but, before you know it, you will be breaking out the heavy coats and putting the toys away. Yes, winter is right around the corner so, now is the time to start thinking about winter tires.Th...  Read More

Winter tires ... how do they work

There's more to tires than black, round and hold air. This post should help you understand the mechanics of winter tires When you look closely at any road surface it is really not that smooth as represented by the model in this picture The engineers who design those high grip summer performance tires we love so much, also know this and use it to their...  Read More

Disc Brake Challenge Part II

With the parts checked out, it's time to start tearing down the brakes. Refer to your vehicle's shop manual for the proper wrench sizes for your vehicle. Step 1: Removing the caliper retaining boltsSamuel started by removing the two bolts attaching the brake caliper to the sliding pins on the caliper bracket. These were pretty tight and required some...  Read More

Performance of Performance Winter Tires

I purchased the Dunlop Winter Sport 3D in size 235/40-18 for the front and rear of my BMW 335i.  These tires are part of the performance winter tire category.  As a whole, performance winter tires handle well but give up some traction compared to standard winter tires.   My experience has been mixed.  They do deliver on the handling and perform well in light...  Read More

When is the Best Time to buy Winter Tires at the Best Price?

NOW!!! Yes, it's sunny and 75 degrees most days but snow is coming!!!  We have some great winter tires from Bridgestone at discount closeout pricing.  One Blizzak winter tire to mention is the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 with over 30 sizes in stock ready to ship this winter tire is a great choice.  The buyer of the Blizzak LM-25 would be looking for...  Read More

Brake Job Part 1: The Set Up

Well, my son Samuel finished up the brakes this past Saturday and they are working fine. The rear drum brakes were in good shape so he only had to work on the fronts. The whole process took about two hours from start to finish and he's justifiably proud of himself. I'm going to break this up into a few posts so let's get started!By the way; Samuel was under...  Read More

Disc brake challenge: easy enough for a 13-year-old???

Automotive repair, even on newer vehicles is nothing to be afraid of. To prove my point, I'm going to post a series of reports about my son.He's 13 and he will be performing his first brake job.  If he can do it with a few simple hand tools, you can too!The vehicle in question is our family's 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan SE. Last weekend he replaced a bad ABS...  Read More

Pull Those Stud Cips!

One of the most common issues we hear about is wheel vibrations after new tires and aftermarket alloy wheels are installed. More often than not, the vibrations are caused by little washers attached to the brake rotor or brake drum. These locking washers are called stud clips.These are found mostly on domestic vehicles produced by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Saturn,...  Read More

Should I Purchase Road Hazard Protection on My Tire Order?

Many times clients are unsure whether to purchase the Road Hazard ProtectionProgram.  I am asked the question what do you think; is it worth it to purchase the Road Hazard Protection?  My answer is this; What gives you more confidence driving your vehicle.  Knowing you have the protection plan if needed?  The road hazard protection program gives you peace of...  Read More

Wider is better some of the time

    Most of the time a wider tire will offer better performing and cornering but, not always.  Without the correct supporting parts and hardware wider tires may not always produce the desired results.    While at a driving school in Utah I was able to participate in an interesting exercise involving different tire and wheel sizes.    Three identical Ford...  Read More

Don't forget the tip! Keeping exhaust clean with Griots Metal Polish.

     Driving 70 miles round trip to work I see a lot of great looking cars. Shiny paint, clean wheels, etc. However, one area people always forget about is their exhaust tips. Kills me to see a great looking car with dull carbon covered exhaust.     I went out to our parking lot and took a few pics of employee's exhaust tips. Many of the cars were washed...  Read More

Get shorty ... or not

    My years of involvement in the automotive industry has seen many trends come and go but, the 1 thing that doesn't change is the enthusiast. You might be a lowrider from Chico, an SCCA autocrosser from Topeka or a 4 wheeler from Moab it doesn't matter, stock is just not good enough for you, or me for that matter.     In this post I am addressing tire load...  Read More

Michelin pulls off a historic upset

Can you really use the term historic when talking about a tire? Some say "yes" some say "no".      If you look at the way in which a tire achieves such status you can make a valid argument for either answer. I think the issue is not, if a tire is 'historic' but, the circumstances which lead a given tire to be placed in a historic position.    Goodyear is...  Read More

I'm back from Gator Country

    I have just returned from a family vacation. In true 'car guy' fashion we covered just over 1850 miles in 8 days. I can report many things but, to make this interesting to more people than my immediate family and friends I will try to keep focused on some of my automotive observations and what can be learned from them.        Our travels went from...  Read More

Sumitomo HTR ZIII....are they worth it?

The answer is YES.My BMW came with the Bridgestone RE050A run flat tires mounted on OE 18" sport package wheels.  I replaced these with 19" wheels and the Sumitomo HTR ZIII in sizes 235/35-19 and 275/30-19.  They handle really well and offer very good dry traction.  They are pretty quiet and their ride quality is good considering their profile. Their tread...  Read More