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When and how to check your vehicle’s tire pressure

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

It’s important to stay safe when behind the wheel.

Checking your tire pressure is one way you can protect yourself. It can also prevent your vehicle’s tires from wearing out too quickly.

Having your own tire pressure gauge is a good idea. Not every gas station pump is calibrated, and they can’t be trusted all the time.

Here is more information you should know about tire pressure:

When should I check my tire pressure?

You should check your air pressure daily. Most newer vehicles are equipped with tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which will give you a signal on your dashboard when your tire pressure is low.

If your vehicle isn’t equipped with this, there are some indicators you can look out for. These include a tire’s sidewalls being wider at the bottom and poor handling.

Under Inflated tires will promote outer tire edge wear. Overinflated tires are just as dangerous, as they can wear out the center of a tire.

What are the steps to check my tire pressure?

Verifying the correct pressure is the first step in checking your tire pressure. You can find it on the door jam on the driver’s side of the vehicle or on the sidewall of the tire.

The next step is removing the valve stem cap and using a tire pressure gauge to measure the pressure. A basic tire gauge will have a stem that pops out and gives you a reading. You may also use a digital gauge, which will give you a digital number.  

It’s important to double check the tire pressure to make sure you don’t have a false reading.  

After checking your tire pressure, make sure to replace the valve stem cap. This can prevent corrosion of the valve stem and TPMS sensor, and help you avoid a costly repair.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Why is my car making that noise?

In Suspension, Tires & Wheels, Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

There are many reasons why your car can make noise. If you’re married, most of them come from the passenger seat. If you have kids, most of the noise is coming from the back seat.

All kidding aside, noises can come from anywhere, such as your suspension and tires. They may also occur as engine components wear out, belts loosen, and your vehicle experiences normal wear and tear.

The hardest part sometimes is trying to describe the noises to your auto repair shop. So, when something is irritating you, pay attention to when and where the noises are happening.

We’ve had instances when the car only made noises when it was below 45 degrees and they were turning left. Another common noise description is when a driver is in a parking lot and turning the wheel.

Information about how fast you’re going, how far you’re turning the wheel, and whether you’re pressing the gas pedal can help us find your problem faster.

The other thing to consider when you’re bringing your vehicle into the shop is to schedule time to ride with the automotive technician. That way they can ride with you and you can make the exact condition that produces the noise — which saves time and money when repairing your car.

So, if you’re the only one in your car and you still hear noises, and you’re tired of turning the radio up to tune them out (Get it? Radio — tune … ) then try to be descriptive as you can and take a ride with your mechanic.

Check out this fun video we created.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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Are you going on vacation?

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Are you going on vacation this year?

Here are a few vehicle maintenance checks you should make before heading down the highway.

Tire tread

You want to make sure that the tire tread is thick enough. The tires are the only things that contact the road, which has everything to do with how well you go and stop. If it’s too low, it could cause issues with stopping, and you might skid across the road when it rains.

Tire pressure

It may cause damage to the overall tire if the tire pressure is too low. If you continue to drive on a tire that’s too low, you can damage the inside of the tire — and then a perfectly good tire has to be replaced. It can also give you lower fuel economy.

Windshield wiper blades

Windshield wiper blades are a wearable component and, as they wear down, they won’t clear as well as they should. If a windshield wiper is torn, it’s not clearing at all. If that blade comes off, you could scrape your windshield. Most of the time, people don’t check windshield wiper blades before they’re on the road.

Windshield washer fluid

Windshield washer fluid is going to help you clear your windshield if it’s dirty. Fortunately, if you keep a bottle of it in your vehicle, it’s the simplest task to do.

Oil level

It’s important to make sure that your oil level isn’t too low. With the newer types of enginers, the oil pressure has a lot to do with engine performance. If it’s too low, you can get lower fuel economy, rough running and other engine problems. Watch for warning lights and, if they come on, stop your engine immediately to prevent further engine damage.

Antifreeze level

The antifreeze is what circulates through the radiator and the engine, keeping it cool. It can prevent your engine from overheating.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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BFGoodrich KO2 tire can be used for off-roading vehicles

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

If you drive an off-roading vehicle and are looking for a new set of wheels, you may want to consider the BFGoodrich KO2 tire.

The BFGoodrich KO2 tire offers a longer treadlife and aggressive all-terrain traction, which allows you to travel confidently.

Its notched shoulder allows motorists to maneuver through soft soil as well as deep snow.

Sharp rocks are less likely to puncture the tire because of its tougher sidewalls.

“What I have found best about the KO2 Tire is when I’m not paying attention while driving down Dale Boulevard,” HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire Owner ST Billingsley said. “You can run over the curb while going 45 miles per hour and maintain control coming back on the road without experiencing any damage to the side wall.”

Having an alignment check performed is recommended when new tires are placed on a vehicle.

Placing road hazards on tires is a good idea, especially in construction areas.

You’re more likely to pick up a nail that may become lodged in a spot that can’t be repaired.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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The importance of wheel alignments

In Vehicle Alignment by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

You can get the most out of your vehicle’s tires through one check.

Wheel alignments, which should be conducted once a year, can prevent premature wear.

If you notice that the steering wheel isn’t centered or that it’s pulling to one sign, you may need an alignment.

Several conditions can cause tires to get out of alignment, including potholes, curbs and suspension wear.

Most cars nowadays require a four-wheel alignment. Even though most pickup trucks require a two-wheel alignment, it’s a good idea to make sure all the wheels are checked. This will ensure that something isn’t bent.

A qualified technician will be able to see if the castor, camber and toe are within specifications. They would also be able to evaluate if you need to replace any parts, such as ball joints, lower control arms, tie rod ends, and struts.

Read about what happens during an alignment.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

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When a disc brake caliper seizes up

In Uncategorized by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

A disc brake caliper seizing up is one problem that may occur in a brake system.

This issue is caused by various factors, including dirt, lack of maintenance and rust.

Rust that builds up over time can prevent the brake caliper piston from resending back into the disc brake caliper.

It will keep holding constant pressure on the brake pad that pushes against the disc brake rotor and will produce heat.

In extreme circumstances, it can actually boil the brake fluid and cause a very low brake pedal. This is one of the reasons why you want to change the brake fluid when automotive technicians are working on brakes.

When an automotive technician is performing a brake check, they can determine whether you need to replace the brake caliper. You don’t need to replace them every time, but may want to consider replacing them if the vehicle has a lot of age or miles on it.

If you’re having a problem with one disc brake caliper, you can change that one. However, it’s a good idea to replace both on the front or the rear, because if one goes bad — even though the other one is functioning — it’s not a guarantee that it won’t go bad in the near future.

Another thing that the automotive technician will do is lubricate the metal contact points of the disc brake caliper and pads.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.

ford expedition rear brake suspension

ford expedition front wheel discolored from brake caliper siezed

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Does your vehicle have a water pump problem?

In Vehicle Fluids by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

A few signs could mean that there’s a problem with an important vehicle part.

Those who find engine coolant on the ground, notice that their vehicle’s temperature gauge is running higher than normal, or see the check engine light turn on may have water pump issue.

Water pumps help keep engines from overheating by circulating antifreeze through the engine to the radiator.

It’s recommended that motorists experiencing these issues have their vehicle checked at an automotive service center.

Technicians should do a visual inspection and perform a cooling system pressure test to determine where the leak may be.

“External leaks are easier to find than internal engine leaks, but with today’s cars being so compactly built the technician may need to remove shield and other items to see where the coolant is leaking from,” the General Manager for HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire said.

A Dodge Charger that had a leaking water pump was recently brought to HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire.

“To address the issue, we replaced the timing chain and timing chain guides,” the manager explained. “We also used high quality valve cover gaskets to avoid future oil leaks.”

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagntics.

Water PumpWater Pump

 

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HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire accepting Toys for Tots gifts

In Uncategorized by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Want to help a child in need this year?

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire in Woodbridge is collecting donations for the Toys for Tots program.

Run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, the campaign provides gifts to children who are in need.

It was founded by Major William L. Hendricks in 1947.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is accepting toys through December 14.

“We are here from Monday through Friday, 7 to 7, and Saturday, 7 through 5,” Service Advisor Jessica Ulrich said. “Come by and drop off a new, unwrapped toy for donation.”

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When is a vehicle’s tire repairable?

In Tires & Wheels by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Whether a tire is repairable can’t be decided at a glance.

When inspecting tires, HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire uses guidelines set by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

Injuries that are located on the inner or outer shoulder can’t be repaired, according to General Manager Rich Campbell.

“The reason why is that’s where the tire curves on the inside, causing it to flex,” he said.

The Woodbridge-based repair shop doesn’t use older plugs to address the damage. It also isn’t allowed to use patches on those that have been previously repaired with plugs.

Tires that have been punctured in a safe area could still have invisible injuries.

“We have to keep in mind too is that — even if the screw, or nail, or whatever debris … looks to be in the repairable zone — we must remove it from the rim to establish that the inside of the tire [has] not been damaged,” Campbell said.  

Automotive technicians can address some damage using plug patches.

They apply them using rubber cement, which prevents water or dirt from accumulating in the holes.

“This is a[n] acceptable and safe method of repair,” Campbell said. “This keeps the tire usable throughout its remaining life.”

Providing safe and effective repairs is a priority for HomeTowne Auto Repair.

“Please understand that, while we may make you upset because we’re not going to be able to repair your tire, we’re doing that to keep you safe, your loved ones safe, and those that are driving on the roads with you safe,” Campbell said.

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High quality brake disk, pad repair service for Audis

In Uncategorized by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

When it comes to vehicle parts, quality is key.

It’s important that Audi owners make sure the parts installed on their vehicles will last.

The quality of brake disk rotors and pads can play a large role in the longevity of the repair of an Audi.

Audi owners should use a service center that is knowledgeable about how to correctly repair their vehicle.

Depending on an Audi’s make, model and year, a computer and special tools are needed to activate the electronic caliper.

With traction control, anti-lock brakes, and electronic brake components, Audis have one of the most high-tech braking systems.

Audi vehicles with hydraulic brake systems still require technical knowledge to make sure that everything works properly.

Making sure that a qualified automotive technician using high quality parts, and up-to-date specifications and procedures is vital to a driver’s safety.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire has the technicians, tools and knowledge to repair Audis and keep their owners on the road.