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Archive for August 2015

Treat Your Vehicle to Good Tires at Auto Authority LLC

Posted August 28, 2015 12:00 PM

When we shop for shoes, most of us know that we can get two pairs of cheap shoes or one good pair for about the same price. And since the two cheap pairs wear out in about the same time as the good pair, there really is no difference in cost. If you like having a closet full of shoes to match your moods and outfits, then cheap shoes can be what you want. But if you spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably know that cheap shoes can come with an added cost of sore feet and other foot ailments. When you add in the benefits of comfort and protection, the more expensive shoes are actually the better value.

Buying tires at Auto Authority LLC in Oshkosh is a lot like buying shoes, except that Oshkosh vehicles don't have changeable apparel and don't need a closet full of tires to match. Vehicles spend a lot of time on their tires—all the time, in fact—so they need tires that can stand up to the job. Tires are work shoes: they have to deal with a lot of crazy Wisconsin road conditions, all while carrying the weight of a vehicle and its passengers.

Bad tires, like cheap shoes, can also be a safety concern for Oshkosh drivers. Tires need good traction, and they need to be strong enough to handle the loads they carry. Vehicles that carry heavy loads or tow trailers around Wisconsin need tires with a high load rating, in the same way that you are better off on a rough Wisconsin mountain trail with sturdy hiking boots rather than flip-flops.

The best tires on the market are called Tier 1 tires. These are high-quality tires engineered to stand up to a lot of wear while maintaining good traction. They are also the most expensive tires on the market, although prices don't vary much from brand to brand.

Tire chain stores in Oshkosh often carry tires with their own brand name. These are private label tires. They are less expensive than Tier 1 tires but are still a quality product. In fact, many private label tires sold in the Oshkosh area are manufactured by the same companies that make Tier 1 tires. Don't hesitate to ask your Auto Authority LLC tire professional who makes their private brand.

The cheapest tires on the Wisconsin tire market are Tier 3 tires. Most of these tires are imported from Asia or South America, and they just don't have the same standard of engineering behind them that the higher-priced tires have. When it comes to Tier 3 tires, you get what you pay for.

At Auto Authority LLC, we sometimes express tire quality in terms of the warranty. In other words, we call a tire a “40,000 mile/65,000 km tire,” or a "60,000 mile/100,000 km tire." This refers to the number of miles/kilometers a tire will be under warranty. Tires with a higher mileage warranty are made with higher quality rubber compounds and have more tread. As you might expect, they also cost more than tires with low mileage warranties.

Cheap tires often have no warranty at all. However, if you find yourself in a position where you need new tires and you're really strapped for cash, purchasing Tier 3 tires is better than waiting until you can afford Tier 1. It's always better to drive on new tires, even cheap ones, than driving on tires that are worn past their safety limits.

That said, if you're driving on Tier 3 tires, it's a good idea to budget and plan to buy higher-quality tires the next go-around. Two sets of cheap tires may wear out in the same time as one set of quality tires, but the quality tires actually cost less than two sets of cheap tires. That's the great fallacy of cheap tires. In the long run, they actually cost more than good tires and come with significantly reduced performance and durability to boot. Not exactly the best value for Oshkosh area drivers.

So, some good auto advice would be to always buy as much tire as you can afford. That way you'll get the most durability and performance and the most mileage out of every tire. Plus, with a better tire, there's some peace of mind that comes with knowing you won't have to purchase tires as often.

Good vehicle care requires checking your tires occasionally for tread wear and road damage. Practicing this preventive maintenance can help you avoid flats and blowouts.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com

 



Under Pressure in Oshkosh: TPMS

Posted August 19, 2015 12:00 PM

Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat tire fixed in Oshkosh, or have your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely underinflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause crashes and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on Wisconsin roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Oshkosh drivers who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires, has made it harder for Oshkosh drivers to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn't look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their vehicles are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it's being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV's, minivans and pick-ups. Besides warning drivers in the Oshkosh area when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won't come without increased costs. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Oshkosh service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. The pros at Auto Authority LLC have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Oshkosh drivers.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, Auto Authority LLC will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to be removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Oshkosh drivers.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle's battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you've noticed an increase in the cost for vehicle care at your Oshkosh tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you're paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Oshkosh if drivers don't pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn't come on until the tire is severely under inflated; you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. You can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Safe driving!

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Clean Air for Your Engine: A New Engine Air Filter at Auto Authority LLC

Posted August 14, 2015 12:00 PM

All of us in Oshkosh know we have to get the oil changed in our vehicles periodically. That's just part of good vehicle care. But when Auto Authority LLC technicians change your oil, they also usually inspect your air filter. That's why they sometimes let you know that your air filter needs to be changed before releasing your vehicle.

Don't just chock this up to trying to sell you something else. Oshkosh area drivers really do need to change their air filter when it gets dirty. You can check your owner's manual to see how often your air filter should need to be changed, but remember, if you live in an area in Wisconsin with poor air quality, or if you drive a lot or drive under harsh conditions in the Oshkosh area, you may need to change that filter more often than is recommended.

Changing an air filter isn't guesswork. If a filter's dirty, it needs to be replaced. Air filters aren't very expensive at Auto Authority LLC. But the problems they cause if Oshkosh auto owners don't change them can get to be.

Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



Coolant/Antifreeze Service at Auto Authority LLC

Posted August 6, 2015 12:00 PM

Anyone who drives a car in Oshkosh knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good vehicle care requires keeping its cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle's cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the vehicle's engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn't Oshkosh auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your vehicle engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn't it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Wisconsin weather. That would spell disaster for your vehicle's engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your vehicle. Oshkosh area drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your vehicle's manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Auto Authority LLC service advisor for these recommendations, as they vary widely among vehicles.


Auto Authority LLC
804 Witzel Ave
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902
920-231-1016
http://www.autoauthorityoshkosh.com



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