Archive for March 26, 2015

Go Big or Go Home: Upsize Your Wheels at Euro Motors

A lot of us Auburn car owners like our vehicles to reflect our personalities. We’re picky about color and body style. We’ll customize anything from floor mats to window tints to license plates. One popular way for California motorists to customize a vehicle is to get new wheels.

Wheels come in thousands of designs. Custom wheels can add personality, style or sass to a vehicle. Many of these customizations involve getting a bigger wheel.

Fifteen or sixteen-inch wheels used to be the factory standard, But today, because a lot of Auburn drivers like the look of larger wheels, many vehicles are available with seventeen or eighteen-inch wheels. Optional wheel packages of twenty inches or more are also available in Auburn.

If you want to upsize the wheels on your current vehicle, however, you should know it’s not a do-it-yourself project. There are important factors involved in ensuring your wheel change doesn’t jeopardize the safety of your vehicle.

First of all, it’s important for California car owners to understand rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is the overall height of a tire. If you increase the rolling diameter of your tires when you upsize your wheels, you may have to modify your suspension to make sure the larger tires fit in the space and don’t rub in turns or over bumps. If that’s more work than you’re willing to do or pay for, then you need to maintain rolling diameter when you change your wheels.

It’s not as hard for Auburn motorists as it sounds. Imagine a doughnut. That doughnut represents rolling diameter, so you can’t make the doughnut bigger. However, you can increase the size of the doughnut hole. That gives you a bigger wheel. Tires with reduced sidewall on larger wheels will preserve your rolling diameter.

Rolling diameter is important because your wheels and tires still need to fit inside the wheel well. Also, your speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brakes are all programmed to work with a specific rolling diameter. You’ll throw off the readings on your speedometer and odometer if you change your rolling diameter. And for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, your rolling diameter has to be within 3% of factory recommendations. While some Auburn motorists who upsize may not be concerned about meter readings, throwing off the brake system is a serious safety hazard.

Further, many vehicles in Auburn are now equipped with electronically controlled suspensions. Changing the rolling diameter will negatively affect this system as well, which can lead to a less smooth ride and lower handling performance as well as harmful safety concerns.

Your Friendly Euro Motors tire professional may be able to reprogram your vehicle’s computer to adjust for a larger (or smaller) rolling diameter.

So to maintain rolling diameter, you’ll need tires with a shorter sidewall. These tires will be designed to give the sidewalls the strength they need to maintain ride quality. Consider that doughnut again. As the wheel (the doughnut hole) gets bigger, the sidewall of the tire (the width of remaining doughnut) gets shorter. That means the tire holds less air. The sidewalls have to be made stiffer to compensate for the decreased air capacity.

To improve their strength, the shorter tires will also be slightly wider than your previous tires. But this means you’ll have a larger contact patch, or, in other words, a larger area of tire making contact with the road. This can actually increase your handling performance and decrease braking distances. Many California auto buffs customize their wheels just for this reason—they want the improved performance rather than looks or style. If you drive a truck or an SUV around Auburn, you might be interested in the extra control an upsized wheel can provide.

Now, that larger contact patch still has to fit inside your wheel well without rubbing when cornering or when bouncing over bumps or potholes on Auburn roads. This is termed fitment, and you may need a few vital adjustments so your new wheels will fit properly. You may need spacers so that your brakes will fit inside the new wheels, as well.

Euro Motors tire professionals are experts at mounting, adjusting and customizing wheels. They can give you a lot of good auto advice about wheels and tires and how they affect driving performance and car care. They can help Auburn drivers select wheels and tires that will suit their driving needs and habits.

For example, if you drive off-road around Sacramento, you should consider a higher profile tire. This type of tire will protect your rims from costly damage while you’re bouncing over rocks. Or, if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads around California, you’ll want a tire with a load rating equal to your demands. Your Friendly Euro Motors tire professional can help you with these types of concerns.

Once you’ve got your new wheels, have your Friendly Euro Motors service professional survey to see if you need an alignment. You don’t want those new wheels and your higher performance compromised by poor alignment. Get the most out of your investment by getting the work done right at Euro Motors in Auburn.

Last but not least, remember tire pressure. With larger wheels, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need slightly higher pressure. You’ll need to stay on top of essential preventive maintenance and keep them properly inflated. Be sure to check their pressure at least once a week. If you don’t keep your tires at their correct pressure, they will wear out really fast. It will also lessen your braking and handling performance.

So smile and show off your vehicle around Sacramento. Make it all yours. Bumper stickers, vanity license plates, custom wheels — strut your stuff!

Finding Vehicle Recall Information In Auburn California

No matter how well they’re made, vehicles in Auburn, California will have design or manufacturing problems.

And when the government thinks a problem is really serious for people in Auburn, California, they require the vehicle manufacturer to issue a recall notice and fix the car free of charge. The auto maker then tries to contact everyone in Auburn, California who owns that type of car to get the recall work done. Perhaps you have received a postcard notifying you of a recall issue on your car. Because these recalls always affect safety, Auburn car owners should take them seriously. This isn’t difficult to do because it’s easy to see if a vehicle’s being recalled.

Finding Vehicle Recall Information The government has links on its websites, or just visit AutoNetTV for links. There are many websites with free recall information and searches. There’s CarFax, AutoByTel and the DMV.

Recalls are serious, but not all that common. But sometimes there are less essential issues, and for these, vehicle manufacturers issue a Technical Service Bulletin, or TSB, that tells service centers like Euro Motors how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.

The pros get updated information through subscription plans, also available in consumer versions for a reasonable cost. So when auto manufacturers recalls occur, get the work done, and keep you and yours safe.

Bouncy Bouncy

When Auburn auto owners think about preventive maintenance, what usually comes to mind is oil, fluids and brakes. We don’t generally think about our shocks or struts, but these critical auto parts keep our tires on the road.

Auburn motorists don’t think about shocks as often as oil changes because shocks and struts last a long time and wear out slowly. They don’t need to be checked as often as our brake pads or air filters. By the time your shocks have fifty thousand miles on them, their performance will have noticeable degraded. If you want to restore the handling and ride designed for your Sedan, reflect on replacing your shocks and struts.

Of course, if you drive off-road around Auburn, carry heavy loads, tow a trailer, or put in a lot of mileage on poor driving surfaces, your shocks or struts will wear out more quickly. You’ll need to replace them more often or upgrade to better shocks.

Your suspension system uses springs and shocks to absorb the “shocks” and vibrations of driving over road surfaces. Springs support the Sedan’s weight, suspending it above the axles so the body of the Sedan is protected from most of the bumps on the road. Shocks control the bounciness of the springs by moderating rebound. They also push your tires down onto the road’s surface, maximizing traction. Without shocks, your wheels would bounce over bumps and lift against curbs and corners. Shocks are critical to the safe handling of your Sedan as well as a comfortable ride. Struts are a combination shock and spring in one unit.

Worn shocks result in lowered vehicle handling performance. If your vehicle “squirms” around corners or gets “floaty” over bumps, then you need to check your shocks. If the rear end of your vehicle squats while accelerating, the front end dips while braking, or one corner sags, you probably need new shocks.

Uneven tire wear may also be an indication of bad shocks. If shocks are damaged or leaking, they definitely need to be replaced.

If one of your shocks needs to be replaced, you need to replace them all. This will maintain an even ride and predictable, safe handling.

If you’re unsure whether you need new shocks, or if you’re considering upgrading to a higher quality shock, then consult with your Friendly Euro Motors tech. They can give you vital auto advice on the condition of your shocks and how to match your driving needs to the quality of your shocks.

Good car care is essential to the safety, performance and efficiency of your Sedan. It can improve the comfort of your ride as well.

A Cold Day In Auburn

Most Auburn drivers worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy California highway but don’t worry too much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown at the side of the road can be a miserable and dangerous affair during Sacramento rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot Sedan.

A lot of Auburn drivers judge their vehicles’ air conditioning systems as “non-essential” and so may neglect them in favor of repairs and maintenance that keeps the Sedan running. But preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is simple and inexpensive, while auto a/c repair can be very pricey in Auburn.

Elk Grove auto owners should have the refrigerant in their air conditioning system checked regularly to ensure it is adequate and clean. Air conditioning systems often fail because air and water have contaminated the refrigerant. Air reduces the efficiency of the refrigerant, and water can cause rusting of the system’s components. If your refrigerant is contaminated, the system should be evacuated and recharged. This will actually extend the life of your air conditioning system, preventing pricey repairs, and keep it at peak performance.

Inadequate refrigerant indicates a leak in the air conditioning system. Over time, seals in the system can crack, causing the refrigerant to leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system. Replacing these seals will keep your Sedan air conditioning system at its best, and, again, will help you avoid more expensive repairs.

At Euro Motors, we advise our Auburn customers to run their air conditioner periodically in the winter. This will keep the seals from drying out and cracking, saving them the inconvenience of this relatively minor repair.

Check with your Sedan owner’s manual or with your Auburn service specialist for information about how often your Sedan air conditioning system should be serviced.

Another piece of good auto advice: if your Sedan air conditioner isn’t working or is starting to show signs of breakdown, NOW is the time to get it fixed at Euro Motors in Auburn. Waiting will only increase the chances that you are in for major repairs and a significant repair bill.

On a final note, if you own an older vehicle, you should check into upgrading the air conditioning system. Vehicles manufactured before 1993 often contained a refrigerant known as Freon. The manufacture of Freon was outlawed in 1993, leading to an ever-dwindling supply, which leads to an ever-steeper price for Auburn drivers in California. If your vehicle still uses Freon, you should have it retrofitted to use the new, EPA-approved R134A refrigerant. The retrofit will actually pay for itself by reducing the cost to recharge the refrigerant in your Sedan.

Remember, preventive maintenance — of your entire car — will keep you on the road. And, in this case, it will help you keep your cool!