The forerunner of the modern day battery was developed by several different inventors in the late 18th century. Every grammar school student is familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s kite in a thunderstorm experiment conducted in 1748. The first electrochemical cell was developed by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1792, and in 1800 he invented the first battery by connecting many cells in series.
A battery is a device that converts stored chemical energy directly into electrical energy by producing electrons. The stored electrical power is measured in volts, thus named in honor of Alessandro Volta. Modern day car batteries
are 12 volts. The stored energy in a car battery is used to start the internal combustion engine. An electrical motor, known as a starter, is mounted on the internal combustion engine. When the ignition switch is engaged, electrical current flows from the battery to the starter. The starter turns the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine causing an air/fuel mixture to be drawn into the cylinders, starting the engine. This is also known as “cranking” the engine. When electricity is drawn from the battery, it must be replenished. This is done by a device known as the alternator. An alternator is mounted on the car’s engine
and is powered by a belt connected to the engine’s crankshaft. The alternator causes the chemical reaction to reverse and restore the energy that was drawn out of the battery.
When electricity is drawn from the battery, the current flow is measured in amperage or amps. The amount of amperage required to “crank” an engine is measured in “cranking amps” or CA. Since the chemical reaction that produces electrons slows in cold temperatures, a battery’s CA is rated at the amount of electricity it can deliver at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. For climates that experience extremely cold temperatures, batteries are rated for “cold cranking amps” or CCA. In extremely cold temperatures, the oil in an engine’s crankcase thickens and can require up to three times the amount of power to turn the crankshaft. CCA measures the amount of current flow a battery can produce at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
At Uptown Auto Service in Alliance, Ohio we specialize in providing the proper battery and battery maintenance to ensure reliable engine starts in cold weather. Come see us at 2075 W. State St. for a free battery test. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing your car will start easily on those cold, January mornings.
The average life of a car battery varies according to the conditions it is exposed to. A rule of thumb is 48 months. There are a few things the average driver can do to ensure the battery’s longevity. Keep the battery clean and secure. An unsecured battery vibrates and may cause damage to internal parts. Keep the terminals clean and cover with a dielectric solution to prevent corrosion. In extremely cold conditions, store the car in a heated garage when not in use. Using a block heater can improve cold starting conditions by keeping the crankcase oil warm requiring less battery power to start the engine.
Traditionally, autumn is when most drivers owners replace their car tires. While it may be August with temperatures in the upper eighties, now is a good time to carefully examine your car’s tires and make plans to replace them. Measure the tread depth with a gauge available at your local auto parts store. If the tread depth is 5/32” or less, replace them. If you see any nicks, cuts, cracks, or punctures, replace them. The condition of a auto tire becomes critical in terms of traction when roads become slippery with slush, snow, and ice.
Traction is the tire maintaining
contact with the road surface without slipping. At the point where the tire makes contact with the road, the weight of the vehicle causes the tire to flex and actually grip the road surface. This is what keeps the car from skidding when braking and cornering. However, if the tread is worn, this gripping action is lost. This will cause the vehicle to lose traction and skid out of control even in dry conditions.
Another function of a car tires tread is to remove water and slush from the contact area of the road surface. The grooves in the tread channel water away from the contact area and allow the tire to maintain traction. If the tread is too worn to remove the water, a layer builds between the tire and the road. The tire then loses traction causing a dangerous condition known as hydroplaning. In a hydroplane situation the driver totally loses control of the vehicle.
In conditions where snow is on the road surface, modern, all-season tire tread is designed to maintain traction. Small grooves known as sipes are molded into the tread block. These provide many edges which bite into and grip the snow. While it is advisable to drive slowly and carefully, a good all-season radial tread from your local tire dealer
should sustain traction where several inches of snow are present. However, tread worn to less than 5/32” will not provide the traction needed to travel in snowy conditions.
In severe, icy conditions, consider using a new tire especially built for winter driving. Traditionally known as a snow tire, these tires utilize a softer rubber compound to mold the tread. The tread blocks have many sipes in a saw-tooth design. These features provide better traction on an icy surface than standard all-season tread. However, these tires should only be used in bad weather months. In normal conditions the soft tread will wear quickly.
Winter months present many challenges to the commuter. Good tires may be the only thing between you and being stuck in a ditch or a serious crash. So stop in to your local tire shop today and have your car’s tires checked and drive with confidence.
Whether you are looking for car tires
or truck tires, getting the right ones at a good price is absolutely essential when it comes to your vehicle's safety and performance on the road. Keeping your car tires up to date is unbelievably important. Failing to check the tread and air pressure, or not rotating and installing new tires on a regular basis can set you up for a whole host of problems. These car maintenance tasks keep your vehicle from sliding on the road, can help prevent an unexpected flat, and also maintain good fuel economy. Therefore, although tires can sometimes seem like a costly afterthought, staying on top of their condition is actually vitally important.
Luckily, the internet now makes it easier than ever to find affordable car tires and, thus, properly maintain your vehicle. There are plenty of discount tires that you can purchase without needing to sacrifice on quality and safety. However, in order to find the tire dealers offering these deals or to locate coupons to save on tires, it is often best to search the internet. One of the biggest deterrents for staying on top of getting new or more weather-appropriate tires is often their excessive cost. Luckily, instead of being forced to pay the typical, high prices, it is now possible to locate local dealers offering the best promotions and lowest rates by looking online.
While most automotive tires for sale are marked up significantly it is possible to find dealers offering low prices. Especially when you factor in how often car tires need to be replaced in addition to your other vehicle maintenance costs, being able to purchase quality, discount tires
is a great option to have. Fortunately, using the internet to find tire dealers with the lowest prices or to find coupons makes it much more feasible to purchase new car tires when necessary and even to splurge on season-specific car tires.
When choosing which car tires to purchase for your, it is important to make sure that you get the right tread and the proper fit. For this reason, it is a good idea to consult a car tire sales professional. While using the internet to help locate local car tire dealers with the best prices is a good idea, it is essential to pay them a visit to them in person for proper fit and installation. By investing a bit of time locating car tire dealers with the best prices, you will be able to get the most appropriate automotive or car tires at a reasonable price, keeping you safe and secure on the road.
“Yes, my car has tires. So what? They’re black, round, and on the bottom of my car!”
The above about sums up what the majority of consumers understand about automobile tires. Many car owners think of tires only when they create trouble, such as flats, vibrations, and other problems. So, what is the big deal about tires? To put it bluntly, your life is riding on them. Tires
are one of the most important components on your car. No matter how much time and money went into engineering the ride, handling, and safety of your automobile, it all means nothing without good tires. A problem with your tires affects all these things. To sum it up, at sixty five miles per hour in heavy traffic, your tires are the last thing between you and the hard surface of the road. Here are a few straightforward, easy to understand, safety tips that every car owner can use to assure your tires are in a safe condition when pulling out your driveway.
Inflation: Check the air pressure regularly. Tires tend to lose air pressure over a period of time so check them once a month or before a long trip. Buy a good digital gauge that reads pressure in PSI (pounds per square inch). Friction causes heat to build up in tires when driving. For an accurate reading, check the pressure only after the car has been sitting for a few hours. For proper inflation pressure, check your owner’s manual or the sticker located on the driver’s doorjamb. Don’t forget the spare! If your car comes equipped with a space saver spare, check the sidewall of the tire for proper inflation pressure.
Tread Depth: Place a penny edgewise into the tread groove of the tire with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the whole head, replace the tire. The channels, or grooves, between the tread blocks are designed to drain water from the area of the roadway the tire
is in contact with. As the tire wears, the grooves become shallower and less effective in draining water. This may cause a condition known as hydroplaning. When water is not removed from the tire contact area of the roadway,
your car actually rides on a layer of water. This condition results in a complete loss of control and may cause a serious accident. Tire tread depth is measured in 1/32 of an inch increment. Many states have a minimum legal tread depth of 3/32. Buy a good tread depth gauge at your local auto parts store. Check the tread for wear regularly. Measure the outside circumferential groove, the middle groove, and the inside groove at three different places on the tread and average the measurements. This will give you an accurate picture of the tread wear.
Rotation: The most cost effective way to prevent premature tire
wear is to rotate on a regular basis. Rotating is simply moving a tire from one position on a vehicle to another. Rotation patterns vary from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the proper pattern for your car. Rotation should be on intervals of five to seven thousand miles. If your engine oil change intervals are every three thousand miles an easy rule of thumb to remember is rotate your tires every other oil change.
Buying new car tires
has become an ordeal for the average consumer. Negotiating the maze of types, sizes, ratings, warranties, and prices has many throwing up their hands in frustration. Here are a few simple things to look for.
What size and type of tire does my car require? Placards with size, service rating, and air pressure are posted on each car. Open the drivers door. The placard is usually placed on the edge of the door or on the body pillar. The owners manual will also contain this information.
When are tires worn out? A simple answer lies in the tread depth. Tread depth is measured from the top of the tread block to the bottom of an adjacent groove. It is measured in increments of 1/32 of an inch. Most new tires
begin with a tread depth of 10/32 or 12/32. A tread depth gauge, found in most auto parts stores, will help to determine when a tire is due for replacement. Most states require a minimum tread depth of 3/32 to 5/32.
What is a UTQG rating? UTQG is an acronym for Uniform Tire Quality Grade. The federal government requires manufacturers to test and grade tires in areas of tread wear, traction, and temperature. Consumers need to be aware that these tests compare the tires of an individual manufacturer and is not meant as a comparison of different brands.
What is a tread wear warranty? In simple terms, the manufacturer guarantees the tire to last a certain number of miles before the tread is worn to unacceptable levels. These warranties range from zero, on some truck and off-road tires, to 80,000 miles on high-end car tires
. These warranties have limits and cover only normal wear under normal conditions. They do not cover damage caused by road debris or any other impact damage. Mechanical wear, caused by lack of rotation, worn suspension, misalignment, or any other mechanical causes, is usually not covered. However, the tread wear warranty can be used to compare among brands. A guaranteed number of miles indicate the manufacturers willingness to stand behind its claims of the tires quality.
Armed with information, consumers are better equipped to shop for this most ubiquitous, and mysterious, of commodities. Do not be afraid to ask for a lower price. In todays economy, tire dealers are generally willing to negotiate. As with any other purchase, caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Be aware of what you are actually buying. Look for hidden fees. Does the price include mounting, balancing, and installation of the tires? Does it include new valve stems and disposal of the old tires? Press for the final price, including sales and excise tax before you commit to the sale.
The internal combustion engine in today’s family sedan or minivan still works on the same principles as the Model-T Ford of the early 20th century. However, achieving that combustion process has changed significantly. The single greatest change, beginning in the 1980s, has been by the use of computers to operate and monitor each cycle of the process. Cars are designed to be more reliable, run cleaner and more efficient, and last longer than ever before. Gone, are the days of the “tune-up” and the “shade tree mechanic”. Today’s automobiles are an amalgamation of very complex systems. Technicians spend hundreds of hours in classrooms and on-the-job- training to become certified in the various systems. Basic engine maintenance
still consists of fresh, clean fluids and clean filters. Developments in lubrication technology, such as synthetic oil, oil additives, and various viscosity grades have greatly improved the efficiency and lubricity of engine oil. However, oil still degrades and loses its effectiveness with usage. A general rule of thumb is to change the engine oil every three thousand miles. Some types of engine oil may last five to seven thousand miles before it becomes necessary to change it. However, dirt and contamination is the mortal enemy of internal, moving parts. It may be necessary to change the oil filter more often.
The combination of burning gasoline at high temperatures and steel parts sliding against one another at high speeds naturally creates a lot of heat. Today’s engines run at higher revolutions per minute (RPM) and higher temperatures. The engine oil absorbs and disperses some friction heat created by moving parts. Engine coolant, consisting of a solution of water and ethylene glycol, removes heat from the engine block, and cylinder heads. Ethylene glycol will oxidize and leave deposits on the walls of the engine block. Periodically power-flush the coolant system with a cleaner, such as borax, to remove deposits and rust scale.
Many break downs and unscheduled repairs are caused by electronic component failure. A majority of the electronic components prone to failure are associated with the elaborate emission control systems mandated by the US government. The computer that operates and monitors these systems is called the engine control module (ECM). The ECM may monitor as many as twenty-five to thirty different sensors. Whenever a sensor reads out of its preset range, an error code is set by the ECM. This causes the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), also known as the “check engine light
”, to illuminate. A technician uses a diagnostic computer to read and interpret the error codes.
Many times the repair is as simple and relatively inexpensive as replacing a sensor. Early detection and repair of any problem is essential to the engine’s longevity.
Never leave the MIL illuminated for extended periods of time because of a minor problem. If a major malfunction should occur with the MIL already illuminated, its first indication may be a breakdown at the most inconvenient time possible. With proper care and maintenance, an engine should provide reliable service for more than three hundred thousand miles.
. The recession of 2009 hit the entire automotive industry hard. New car sales dropped by an average of 40%, resulting in huge lay-offs and the closing of dealerships all over the country. Huge job losses in the parts and tire manufacturing sector contributed to the economic meltdown. One bright spot amidst all the doom and gloom has been the burgeoning used car market. Although the complete figures for 2010 are not available yet, it appears that used car sales have more than made up for the precipitous drop in new car sales. This boom in used car sales drove the replacement tire market to heights not seen since 2005. This trend is expected to continue through 2011.
In 2010, replacement tire sales topped out at $32.1 billion dollars. This reflects an average price increase of 11.3% over the two year period. Of the millions of tires sold, 76% were sold by independent tire dealers with only 8% sold by tire company stores. The other 16% were sold by big box stores, gas stations and auto parts stores. (Source: Modern Tire Dealer
Reasons why more than three quarters of all replacement tires are sold by independent dealers is largely due to price and established relationships with the consumer. Consumers shopping for replacement tires need to be aware of shady pricing methods practiced by some tire retailers. Many times the first price quote given is for the tire only. After the customer agrees to a price, which may be a 100% markup over cost, hidden fees are added. Suddenly, the consumer is presented with a bill that may be as much as 50% higher than originally quoted. Most consumers are unaware that state excise tax is levied on wholesale tires only and is simply passed on to the consumer by the retailer.
At Uptown Auto Service
in Alliance OH, we are an independent dealer in every sense of the word. We are not tied to one manufacturer but retail all brands. We do not have gigantic warehouses or huge, unwieldy inventories. This allows us to pass the cost savings to our customers. We are connected to our suppliers via the internet and most orders are same day delivery. Our tire prices have a very modest markup. A fee is added for mounting the tire on the wheel, computerized balancing, a new valve stem and for disposal of the old tire. We add the sales tax, and provide the consumer with the exact price. There are no hidden fees and state excise tax is not charged to the consumer. We bring this same concept of honesty, integrity, and forthrightness to our automotive service and repairs
. Our customers are our friends and neighbors.
Come, visit us at 2075 W. State St. or www.uptownautoservice.com
and experience how it feels to be treated like family.