Automotive Tips & Hints

BRAKES

  • Brake pads life ranges from 20,000 miles to 70,000 miles this number changes based on the type of pads, vehicle and driving condition.
  • Brake pads new measure 9-12mm
  • If pads that are worn and need replacement measure 2-3mm
  • There different types of brake pads they have to do with what the pads are made up of here is how they break down
  •  Organic – non-metallic fibers bound into composite material.  Treated with friction modifiers and complemented with fillers to reduce noise and heat.  Last the shortest amount of time.
  • Semimetallic – Mix of organic material and metals.  Harder and more resistant to heat.
  • Metallic – Variety of pressure bonded metals.  Almost obsolete due to organic and semimetallic brake pads
  •  Synthetic – Made from a composite of non-organic and non-metallic material, usually fiberglass.  They weigh about half as much, last much longer, work better in cold and hot conditions, and they are much stronger.  This type of pad tend to be the most pricy.

DISC BRAKES

  • When brakes are applied, a caliper squeezes the brake pads against the rotor, which is turning on the wheel/axle.  This squeeze creates friction and slows the wheel down. (brakes work by converting motion energy into heat energy)
  • Most commonly used brakes in vehicles today.
  • Dissipate heat better
  • Perform better in wet conditions because drum brakes can collect water in the   drum while disc brakes fling the water away due to centrifugal force
  • Disc brakes will last longer over time and under severe usage (quick stops, long braking periods)

DRUM BRAKES

  • Wider cylinder with an open back
  • When brakes are applied, curved shoes located in the drum are pushed outward into the wheel slowing it down
  • Hardware can wear out
  • Drum brakes can typically be cleaned and adjusted to maximums the life of the shoes

 

ALIGNMENT

Here are some signs that suggest you need an alignment fix.

  • Uneven wear  If your front or back tires shows a much different wear pattern them it’s time for a tire alignment.
  • Your vehicle is Pulling  If a vehicle’s wheels are out of alignment, you’ll notice the vehicle will want to drift from side or another.
  • Vibration. Bad alignment can also cause vibration as wheels pull against each other and may cause a vibration
  • A crooked steering wheel. Another sign of a vehicle that is out of alignment is that the steering wheel may be crooked while the vehicle is going straight ahead. This is a sign of an alignment problem.

ALIGNMENT TERMS AND WHAT PROBLEMS THEY CAN CAUSE

  • Toe:  Toe is the difference between leading edge and trailing edge of the front of the wheel & tire assembly. Problem from + or – toe can be rapid tire ware on the inner or out edge of the tire. Saw-toothed worn or scuffed tires steering instability, wander and shimmy.
  • Toe in: Distance across the front edge of the wheel and tire assemblies is less than the distance between the rear edges.
  • Toe out: the distance between the front edge of the tire is wider the rear edge.
  •  Camber: Is the inward or outward tilt of the top of the wheel Camber can cause the vehicle to pull, extra ware on suspension parts, tire ware
  • Caster: The forward or backward tilt of the upper ball joint or top of the strut, relative to the lower ball joint. Caster can cause steering wheel may not “return” after turning, steering wanders or weave at high speeds.
  • Thrust angle: The direction the rear wheels are positioned in reference to the vehicle centerline. Rear thrust angle problems can lead to tire ware, steering wheel misalignment, dog tracking, pulling.

Not all vehicle have the same adjustments. Sometime your vehicle may require parts to be installed or upgraded to make all necessary change to get the best handling and tire wear out of your vehicle.

TIRES

Tire safety is an integral yet often overlooked component of the overall driving safety. Taking the right precaution will save you money, worry and most important keep you & other safe.

  • For safe driving, tires on rain road should be 4/32
  • For safe driving, tires on snow packed roads tire should be 5/32
  • Tire should be replaced when they get to 2/32 to 3/32
  • Cracks in the tires develop regardless of tread life replace tires including your space every 6-10 year from the production date
  • What the tire size means
    •  The 1# is the width in millimeters
    • The 2# is the height from rim to the tread
    • The 3# is the wheel diameter in inches
  • Tractions rating on the tire ranges from AA which is the best to C the worst. The Traction grades represent the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as measured tire’s under controlled condition.
  • Temperature rating is the tires ability to with standard heat at high speeds. A rating is the best and c is the worst
  • DOT # this number is 2 parts the first 2 number are the week the tire was made, the second 2# are the prediction year the tire was made.