Driving with Style: Tires and Wheels Blog

Pedal To The Metal: What To Do When Your Brake Pedal Is Too Loose Or Stiff

Posted by on Apr 11th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pedal To The Metal: What To Do When Your Brake Pedal Is Too Loose Or Stiff

Failed or malfunctioning brakes are the biggest nightmare of any driver, and keeping your brakes functioning properly is vital (not to mention legally required). However, modern vehicle brakes are complicated and sophisticated equipment, and without proper mechanical knowhow or professional assistance, it can be difficult to detect braking problems by looking at the brakes themselves. Brake pedal problems are a much easier and more noticeable way to determine if your brakes are failing.  Going down One common brake pedal complaint is that the pedal must be pressed very far down before actual braking occurs. This problem can signify a number of issues with your braking system as a whole: Low brake fluid levels — Check your brake fluid reservoir to ensure brake fluid levels meet the fill line. Contaminated brake fluid — Even if your brake fluid levels are optimal, contaminated brake fluid will not provide as much braking power as pure fluid. Brake fluid generally becomes contaminated over time as water seeps into the reservoir through porous rubber hoses and condensation build-up (a particular problem in humid climates), and can also become aerated by any air leaks in your braking system. This can also cause your brake fluid to boil at a lower temperature, potentially causing braking failure under intense driving conditions. Change your brake fluid as often as the manufacturer recommends, and have a professional brake repair service check for pinhole air leaks. Brake booster failure — Many brake boosters rely on the engine’s standard intake valves to provide power, but if your brake boosters have a separate vacuum pump attached, pump failure can dramatically increase how far you have to press down your brake pedal. Have a brake repair service inspect your pumps for malfunctions (this requires sophisticated electronic equipment, making it difficult to do yourself) and have faulty pumps replaced. Malfunctioning master cylinder — If your vehicle’s master cylinder has failed, your brakes will have little to no pressure, and you may be able to press the pedal all the way to the floor without appreciable braking. Failed master cylinders are very difficult to repair and are generally both cheaper and easier to have replaced entirely. Push it to the limit Malfunctioning brakes can also manifest as an excessively stiff brake pedal that can be difficult or impossible to depress effectively. Causes of stiff brake pedals include: Brake booster leaks — If your brake boosters are still functioning but your brake pedal has become stiff, your brake boosters may be leaking. If air is allowed into the vacuum chamber, it will greatly diminish the amount of power a booster can provide. Check for leaks and cracks and have them repaired — if this does not solve the problem, the booster itself has probably failed and will need to be replaced.  Clogged or impinged brake lines — Clogs in the lines that feed brake fluid to the brakes can make braking arduous and can lead to total brake failure if allowed to completely clog the line. Kinked or pinched brake lines can also cause this...

read more

Tips for Choosing Caster Wheels for DIY Projects at Home

Posted by on Feb 12th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Choosing Caster Wheels for DIY Projects at Home

When tackling DIY projects at home or building your own furniture pieces, you may want to use caster wheels or castors. While these may seem like simple pieces, once you start shopping, you may be surprised at the options available to you. Choosing the right castors can ensure that your projects are strong and durable and work with your furniture and other pieces. Note a few quick tips for choosing the right castors for any DIY project at home. 1. For furniture with legs If furniture and other pieces have legs, don’t assume they can’t have castors added. Look for castors with stems or sleeves as these are inserted into the legs. The sleeves disperse the weight of the leg itself so it won’t crack or break when you roll the furniture on the castors. 2. Using plate-mounted castors Plate-mounted castors have a plate that you attach to the bottom of the piece. These need to be measured carefully as you want to ensure that the plate won’t stick out from any edge of the piece, and that the screws of the plate won’t be so deep that they jut into the piece and cause a hazard, such as when mounting castors to a cabinet. You don’t want to have the end of screws coming up from the bottom of that cabinet, so choose plates with the appropriate size screws. If they seem too flimsy, upgrade to a steel or metal plate so it holds the weight of the castor more readily than a plastic plate. 3. Plastic versus rubber castors Plastic castors are meant for light duty and may not hold much weight, although they are usually cheaper.  If you need castors for something like a rolling bar, they may be sufficient. However, hard rubber castors are stronger and can hold more weight, and aren’t as likely to get chipped or cracked when run over a rough surface like brick or concrete. For outdoor pieces or anything very heavy such as a toolbox, always choose the hard rubber castors. 4. Note the swiveling You may not need castors that swivel a full 360 degrees for your bar or a coffee table on wheels, but for your toolbox that you’ll need to move around the garage or toy box you want the kids to move easily on their own, you want castors that swivel in all directions. Note too that castors that move in all directions may not cause as much wear on a carpet or other flooring surface, as they can glide much more easily over the surface. To preserve your floors with indoor projects, choose swiveling castors....

read more

How to Extend the Life of Your Truck Tyres

Posted by on Jan 13th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Extend the Life of Your Truck Tyres

In order to make sure that your truck is reliable, it is important that you care for your truck tyres. Maintaining the tyres on your truck can go a long way in increasing their lifespan. Tyres can be a large investment, but you can protect your investment in truck tyres by following a few simple steps throughout the year that allow you to get the most use out or your tyres and ensure that they wear evenly. There are a few helpful tips that you need to follow that are designed to make it easier for you to extend the lifespan of your truck tyres. Pressure One of the things that you need to be aware of with your tyres is the amount of pressure that exists. Checking the air pressure of your tyres is something that you should get in the habit of doing regularly. You do not necessarily need to check the air pressure in your truck tyres each day, but when the temperature changes significantly, it is recommended. The ideal tyre pressure should be indicated on the surface of the tyre. You can increase the lifespan of your tyres by making it a priority to check tyre pressure every few weeks. Having too much or too little pressure in your tyres will cause the tread to wear unevenly and can even increase the likelihood of a flat tyre. Cleaning If you take your truck along many back dirt roads, it is suggested that you make sure to use tyre cleaning chemicals regularly. These cleaning chemicals will remove the dirt and dust from the surface of the tyres. Dirt on your tyres has the ability to wear your tyres at a rapid rate, but cleaning off the tyres will allow them to look like new for longer. The cleaning products that are designed specifically for use on truck tyres will also prevent your tyres from collecting dirt as easily as before. Alignment The alignment of your wheels can also result in the tyre tread wearing unevenly. If you do not have your wheels aligned after you have your tyres changed or rotated, this can cause your tyres to wear out very fast. If the tyres are not aligned, the weight of the truck is not distributed evenly for each tyre and this can result in the tyres not getting very good traction on the road. This is a big problem, but it can be fixed by having your tyres aligned regularly. For more information on making your truck tyres last longer, contact a local...

read more

3 Immediate Actions to Undertake When You Experience a Tyre Puncture at Night

Posted by on Dec 14th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Immediate Actions to Undertake When You Experience a Tyre Puncture at Night

Driving at night can be daunting by itself, but it can really stress you out when you have to deal with a punctured tyre. If you don’t know how to replace your own tyres or if you’re too scared to step out of your car at night, follow these actionable steps to handle the puncture in your tyres in the middle of the night.   Halt on the Side of the Road & Put on Your Emergency Lights You naturally cannot drive once you tyre has punctures, so pull the car over to the side of the road gently and put on your emergency lights. This will help other drivers see you from afar, so they will stay clear of your vehicle. Failing to put on your emergency lights may result in some drivers not noticing you on the road, which could ultimately lead to fatal accidents. Never stop in the middle of any road, especially on busy highways because high-speed vehicles can easily clip you from behind. To stay as safe as possible, lock your car doors and windows and put on your emergency lights until help arrives. If you have a portable warning light or reflective triangle, place it at a distance behind your car to alert drivers. Call an Emergency Mobile Mechanic    Find an emergency mobile mechanic near your location and get them to come to you as soon as possible. Make sure you are as clear as possible with your location. Even if you can’t pinpoint your specific location, giving them the road name should be enough. Be as specific as possible about your punctured tyre. You can let the mobile mechanic know whether you have a working spare or whether they need to get a new tyre. Give them details of your car model and number plate registration, so they can find you easily with the right tools and equipment. Get Your Tyres Replaced of They Are Damaged While some small punctures can easily be fixed through patchwork, larger holes and damage will need the car tyre to be replaced. If replacement is your best option, it’s ideal to follow the recommendation of the mobile mechanic. While it may be a tad more expensive than a fix, it is certainly a safer choice, especially if you don’t want your tyres to give way a little further down the road at night. If your mobile mechanic undertakes a quick fix solution for the puncture, be sure to get your car checked thoroughly the next day to ensure that all your tyres are in good working...

read more

Tyre Replacement | 4 Telltale Signs Your Car Tyres Need Replacement

Posted by on May 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tyre Replacement | 4 Telltale Signs Your Car Tyres Need Replacement

Car tyres are fundamentally integral to safe driving because they are the only fixtures that actually touch the ground to balance the car’s movement. Like most car parts, tyres also get worn over time. Timeworn and damaged tyres can be catastrophic while driving, which is why it is important to identify the signs and replace tyres before they cause any real damage. Here are some telltale signs that car tyres need replacement. Don’t put it off if you value the safety of you and your loved ones: Reduced Tyre Tread  One of the most important signs that tyres need replacement is when they lose the depth on their tread. Tread depth is important because a loss in depth means reduced traction and grip while driving. This compromises driving safety. In Australia, if the tyre tread wears down to less than 1.5mm of depth on tyres, they are not considered safe for driving and need to be replaced.  Cracks on Sidewalls of Tyres Even the most expensive tyres are prone to damage and cracks on the sidewalls over prolonged use. If you notice cracks on the sidewalls, you should consider replacing your tyres. Sidewall cracks occur over time because the chemicals and oils in the rubber slowly evaporate. Cracks may also occur because of over exposure to harsh sun rays. Over a period of time, the rubber can lose its tightness, so you may notice cracks starting to appear. Sidewall cracks are an indication that the tread is starting to give way. Driving with sidewall cracks can cause a potential blowout of the tyres while you’re driving, which is extremely unsafe. Make sure you get the tyres replaced immediately.  Slits and Blisters in Tyres  One telltale sign of wearing tyres is when you notice blisters, slits and holes on the surface. The slits and blisters are dangerous because they allow tyre air to escape, which causes the tyre to deflate quickly. Even if you cannot detect these blisters and holes yourself and feel that the tyre is losing air too quickly, take it to a professional for a quick tyre check.  Unnatural Vibration  Unnatural vibration in your tyres is an indication of poor tyre alignment. Excessive vibration in tyres is not only troublesome, but it can also impair your judgement while driving. Poor judgement will give rise to accidents. If you ignore the vibration in your tyres for too long, they will sustain uneven wear. This will result in premature damage and will need replacement immediately for safe driving.  If you notice any of these signs on your tyres, make sure you get them replaced immediately to maintain...

read more

4 Major Tyre Maintenance Tips

Posted by on Mar 5th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tyres are indeed one of the most important part of the vehicle. They struggle each day to provide you with braking friction and bear the full weight of your vehicle. The forces experienced in the tyres is immense, and a lot of heat is usually produced together with brake dust. Brake dust is composed of a mixture of carbon fibres and metal shavings that can be highly corrosive to your wheels. With all these forces in play, you need to know how to keep your wheels in their best condition. Here are some expert ways to do so. Balance your wheels Most people tend to ignore this, but balancing your tyres is vital to increasing their durability. It eliminates any vibration on your tyres and prevents them from wearing out prematurely. Whenever you replace your wheel or get new tyres, all you have to do is use a balancer to ensure the weight is evenly distributed. Balancing also protects your steering system, suspension and the bearings of your car. Replace your tyre valves Tyre valves are products of rubber so they are definitely going to wear out over time. You need to check that they are in good condition, and the advantage about them is that they are relatively inexpensive to replace. Once the valve system goes berserk, your tyre can suffer from air loss especially at high speeds. This can be very dangerous and may lead to accidents. Match the tyres You need to keep your tyres even; it’s both stylish and safe. Check the amount of wear on the tyres and if you realise the front wheels have had more wear, interchange them with the rear wheels. This promotes equal wear levels on all your tyres. You should also ensure that the pressure levels are all the same. Different levels of pressure on the tyres makes it very easy to lose control of your vehicle when driving. One easy way to check the pressure this would be to use tyre check valve caps. These devices alert you when your tyre pressure is at dangerous levels. Tread depth The tread grooves are monumental when it comes to maintaining the control of your car. They disperse water and increase the grip your wheels have on the road. You can get tyres with tread wear indicators that will help you know when it’s time to replace the wheels. A penny test can also help. Insert a penny in between the treads and if you can see a large portion of Lincoln’s head, then that’s a red flag. For more tips and assistance, contact professionals such as Tyre & Wheel West...

read more

Wheel Alignment: What You Should Know

Posted by on Mar 2nd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The importance of wheel alignment is often disregarded by vehicle owners. This measure is an essential part of regular car maintenance and it involves the adjustment of wheels so as to restore their position according to the manufacturer’s specifications. The data used for each vehicle differs according to the distinctive make and model. The details taken into consideration by the manufacturer include the size, weight and in some cases, the variables involved in daily usage. For instance, off-road drivers will often have their automobiles altered beyond normal during alignment. If you are uncertain about the importance of wheel alignment and the servicing requirements, consider this basic information on the subject. Importance Alignment is a preventive measure aimed at improving your safety as well as the integrity of your vehicle. When the car is not in the original configuration, it will pull or lean towards one side or the other such that it will not move in a perfectly straight line. This anomaly accelerates tyre damage and causes uneven wear since the angle of the wheels is inclined. The brake efficiency is also reduced significantly which poses a risk to the vehicle occupants. Engaging a qualified technician for alignment services restores smooth functionality, mitigates tyre damage and enhances safety. Common Problems There are certain signs which indicate that your vehicle is need of wheel alignment. These include the uneven wear of your tyre treads, an off-centre steering wheel and strange vibrations in the same feature. Improper alignments are usually classified as camber, toe and caster. Camber can be described as the tilt of the tyres inwardly or outwardly when viewed from the front. The problem may be caused by worn bearings, problematic ball joints as well as anomalies other suspension parts. Toe misalignment is considered to be the degree to which wheels are inclined in either direction as seen from the above the vehicle. Caster angle is used to refer to the positioning of your vehicle’s steering axis and poor positioning will affect steering, cornering as well as general stability. Frequency of Wheel Alignment Vehicles should be checked and aligned according to the manufacturer’s interval recommendation in the operator’s manual. However, the provided average period is based on assumptions with regard to the terrain and general ideal driving conditions. Consider having your vehicle checked at least once a year, after any impact or accident and when you notice irregularities. If you are an off-road user, you should consult a licensed technician such as PEPPERS TYRES BERKELEY VALE for situation-specific...

read more

4 Reasons to Never Drive on a Flat Tire

Posted by on Feb 24th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When a tire goes flat, you may be tempted to drive it to a nearby repair shop to have it fixed or replaced. As tempting as it may be, it’s also very dangerous to drive on a flat and it can actually be more costly down the road than calling a tow truck to bring your car in or put on your spare tire for you. Consider why that is and why you should never drive even a short distance when you have a flat tire. 1. Tires cushion your car against bumps Remember that it’s not the rubber of the tires that cushion your car against bumps in the road, but it’s the air in the tires that protects your vehicle. When your car has even one flat tire, a bump in the road can mean bending the rim or even breaking an axle. This can be a very costly repair, and your car would be stranded on the road and need to be towed anyway. 2. Brakes cannot grip a flat tire Your brakes work by squeezing two parts against the rotor, which is a large cylinder inside the tire area of the car. When a tire is flat, the rotor is not level and even, so the pads of the brakes cannot grip it properly. In turn, your car may simply skid and slide when you apply the brakes, as if you’re driving on ice. This makes driving even a short distance with a flat tire very dangerous for you and everyone else on the road. 3. You cannot easily steer a flat tire The air in a tire is what elevates it off the ground and makes you able to steer your car. When a tire is flat, more of the rubber part of the tire is flat on the ground and this makes it difficult to steer the car. Turning a corner can be nearly impossible, and if needed to suddenly turn, your car you may not be able to do so with a flat tire. This too makes driving on a flat tire dangerous for you and other drivers. 4. Driving on a flat can ruin the tire itself Sometimes a flat tire can be fixed if it’s a simple puncture or other minor problem, but if you drive on the tire, you might shred the rubber and cause the air leak to become worse. In turn, you would need to replace the tire altogether, which is typically much more expensive than having it fixed or having your car towed to a repair shop.  For more information, contact a business such as Masons Budget...

read more