October 19, 2018

Automotive Breakdown… by Denny Mandeville, Owner/Canyon Automotive, Sedona

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Purchasing tires is a no brainer, and about as much fun as going to the dentist, but before you go, here are some hints and rules.  With the popularity of AWD (all wheel drive) SUV’s, cars, and pickups there is a hard fast rule the salesman seldom tells the new owner- you have to replace your tires in sets of 4. The AWD feature has separate differentials, one of which is in the transmission, and an odd tire can overheat and ruin this component $$$$$.

Different brand tires, while having the same size printed on the sidewall, are not all created equal in size. Think clothing- different brand clothes have the same size on the tag, but they all seem to fit just a bit different. Tire manufacturers are the same; same size label but different physical size between brands. If only one tire is replaced it will be larger diameter than the older tires causing a differential to work creating internal heat- $$$$. Replace tires in pairs, at least- while AWD requires that all four be replaced.

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Like any consumer product, tires come in all price ranges, and like any consumer product the middle price range fits the average consumer’s needs best. Lowest priced tires will often leave you disappointed and the highest priced tires have features the average driver won’t use. If you drive faster and harder than the average driver, you may want the higher priced units.  Price, alone, should not be the determining factor when purchasing tires.

The best time to think about new tires is the late fall, just before winter arrives.  New tires, with the deeper tread, will offer more traction in the winter rain or snow. The thinner the tire tread, the more likely a traction accident or getting stuck. While 2/32” tread is the replacement depth, tires in the 3/32” tread depth range may leave you at a disadvantage on a winter road. And not only is tread depth important, so is tire age. Motor Vehicle Department, along with the tire manufacturers, does not recommend a tire older than 5 years old regardless of tread depth. Ask your repair facility to check age and tread depth if you are not sure it is being inspected during routine service.

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Our shop is one of 55 ASA-AZ shops that are listed as “Green” by Arizona Department of  Environmental Quality. We control our waste stream; we re-claim and re-cycle antifreeze, waste oil, refrigerant, plastics, paper, and most metals. Our floors are not washed into the sewer system, and we control our drain water quality through the use of hydro-carbon socks. We have installed low energy fluorescent lighting and use low energy computer systems. Our outdoor lighting, for night time security, is low density and meets dark sky recommendations. Additionally, we purchase products in bulk (eliminating plastic bottles) wherever practical. Our chemicals are chlorine free. Being green is not always cheap, or easy- but it is right and good for Sedona.

 

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