wiper blades installation

Do My Windshield Wipers Need To Be Replaced?

Windshield wipers are essential to your safety in unfavorable weather. According to the Federal Highway Administration, impaired visibility is a leading factor in 46% of fatal car accidents. Having windshield wipers that don’t function properly is an easy way to impair your vision on the road. In the US there are 3400 weather-related car accidents every day. It is extremely important that you know when your windshield wipers need to be replaced.

It is recommended that you replace your windshield wipers about every 6 months, although, depending on where you live and the type of wiper blades you have, you may need to replace them more or less frequently. The easiest way to know if it is time to replace your windshield wipers? Are you able to see clearly out your windshield when it is raining? If so, double-check for these additional warning signs:

  • do my windshield wipers need to be replacedCracks or breaks in the rubber
  • Bent frames/blades
  • Consistent film of grime on windshield
  • Squeaking noises while operating
  • Streaks on windshield
  • Imperfections in wiping pattern
  • Season changes (here in Idaho it’s a good idea to install winter blades during the cold months)

Windshield wipers are incredibly important, yet they are rather easy to replace. But, if you aren’t the hands-on type and would rather have a professional install your windshield wipers to ensure it is done correctly, come on over to Bargain Tire in Chubbuck, Idaho. One of our technicians will install new premium blades and get you back safely on the road in a matter of minutes. To learn more about our selection of windshield wipers give us a call today!

How To Check Your Tire Tread: The Penny Test

If you want your tires to maintain a good grip with the road (especially when the road is wet) it is important that your tires have sufficient tread. The tread is the rubber grooves that surround the outside of the tire. The more you drive, the more your tread wears down. Typically a tread depth of 4/32″ or deeper is safe. 3/32″ is safe to drive on, but should be replaced soon, and anything less than 2/32″ is considered a ‘bald’ tire and should be replaced immediately.

Those are some small measurements that would be hard to measure. The Penny Test makes it quick and easy to evaluate where your tire tread is at.

bargain tire penny test

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Find a penny and insert it into the tread with Lincoln’s head pointing down.
  2. Check to see how much of his head is showing above the tire tread.
  3. If you can see his entire head, it’s time to get your tires replaced at Bargain Tire.

It is possible that some areas of your tire will fail the penny test, but other areas are deeper and pass the test. If any part of the tire is less than 2/32″, you should replace the tire. Don’t procrastinate doing this, as it could save you from being in an accident. Bargain Tire makes replacing tires hassle-free. Come see us today in Chubbuck, ID!

Car Basics: Checking Your Oil

Checking the oil in a vehicle is a very basic car-maintenance skill that all drivers should have. It’s not difficult, and all drivers both young and old can learn how.

The oil plays an important role in keeping your car running smoothly. If you fail to keep the oil level/quality where it needs to be, you’ll experience some serious problems with the engine. So, here’s how to check your oil (which should be done at least once a month):

Open the hood, remove the dipstick, and clean it with a rag

The exact location of the dipstick varies from vehicle to vehicle, but look for a circular handle (usually yellow). Pull the handle and remove the dipstick. Wipe off the end of the stick so that it is clean of any oil. Once it is clean, insert the dipstick back into the tube and push it all the way in.

oil change idahoOnce again, pull out the dipstick and check the oil level

The dipstick will have some type of markings on the end. You might see the words “MIN” and “MAX”, “Full” and “Add”, or there may just be a section of the dipstick that has a cross-hatched pattern. Whatever the markings, you are checking to see if the oil is below the minimum mark indicated on the dipstick. If so, that means the oil in your engine is low and more is needed. Find a cap labeled “Oil Cap”, or something along those lines, and add the oil there, NOT into the dipstick tube.

Now that you have checked the level of the oil, you will want to check the oil’s quality. Not only do you need enough oil, but you need clean oil. First take a look at the oil’s color. If it is light-colored or milky, you should take it to a mechanic such as Bargain Tire to have it checked. There may be a coolant leak. Also pay attention to how the oil smells – if it smells like gasoline it is probably time for a change. To finish, rub some oil between your fingers. If it leaves a dirty smudge it’s also time for a change.

Congratulations, you’re done!

Piece of cake, right? You’ll be able to finish this whole process in under a minute in no time! When adding oil, check the vehicle owner’s manual to make sure you use the right type of oil. For oil that needs to be changed, bring your vehicle to Bargain Tire in Chubbuck, Idaho for our top-of-the-line oil change services. We’ll have you in, out, and safely back on the road!

Give us a call, or visit our website to schedule an appointment

pre trip checklist

Pre-Trip Checklist

With summer here, you probably have some trips planned with your family! Since we all know there’s nothing worse than arriving to your destination and then realizing you forgot something back home, here’s a checklist that you can go through before leaving to help you be prepared to go have some fun.

  1. Place stop order on mail/newspaper.
  2. Find a house/pet sitter.
  3. Pay bills.
  4. Turn off lights or set light timers.
  5. Unplug electronics.
  6. Turn off water and gas.
  7. Close and lock windows.
  8. Take out trash.
  9. Throw out any food that will expire.
  10. Take out cash at ATM.
  11. Refill prescriptions.
  12. Confirm hotel reservations.
  13. Confirm flight/train/bus reservations.
  14. Make sure each person has packed clothing, underwear, socks, shoes, and toothbrush.
  15. Have snacks and games for the road.
  16. Take your car in to Bargain Tire to check the fluids, alignment, air pressure, brakes, battery, and make sure your car is ready for the road!

The more prepared you are, the smoother your trip will go. Have fun, be safe, and remember Bargain Tire is here for all of your auto needs in the Chubbuck, Idaho area!

air conditioning repair

Diagnosing a Broken AC

Summer is just around the corner. As you get ready for all those summer BBQ’s, pool parties, and road trips with the family, we hope that you’ll also remember to get your car ready for the warmer months of the year. One of the common summer-time vehicle problems that people will encounter is an air conditioning unit that doesn’t work. Driving in the summer with no AC can be pretty miserable, so if this happens to you, you’ll want to know how to diagnose the problem.

There are two common problems when it comes to the AC. We’ll discuss how you can identify the problem and get it taken care of.

Symptom: Little or No Air Coming Out

If no air is coming out (cold nor warm), then one of the major components of the AC has likely failed. The vehicle’s AC system is made up of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve and a bunch of tubes and fans. Each of these components is important, and if any one of them fails for any reason, you won’t get any air coming out of your vents. Newer cars have a safety mechanism that shuts down a component if their is a refrigerant leak detected. Check underneath the car for oil stains, which indicate their is likely a leak somewhere.

Symptom: Only Warm Air Comes Out

It’s normal for the vehicle to take a minute or two to start blowing cool air, but if it continues to blow nothing but hot air then you know something is wrong. This symptom is shared by a few different illnesses, and knowing how to treat it may require help from the pros over at Bargain Tire. It could be something simple, like recharging the AC unit, or something more serious such as a freon leak.

Whatever AC problems you have, you can rest assured that the certified technicians at Bargain Tire will take care of the problem at the best value in the Pocatello, ID area!

In-Depth Look: Air Filters

Whether you’re a mechanic or you don’t have the faintest clue how your car works, you’ve heard of engine air filters. You’ve probably be advised to replace it a time or two.

So what is an air filter? What is its actual purpose?

What is it?

An engine air filter is an essential element of your car engine delivering maximum performance. It keeps unwanted particles and contaminants out of the combustion chambers.

What does it do?

Your vehicle pulls air into the engine to be able to combust and create movement. The air comes through the vehicle’s air box where the air filter sits. The air then passes through the pleated material of the filter.

This filtration keeps the engine clean and running smoothly. Unfortunately, when the filter gets clogged up, it keeps  proper air flow from entering the engine and decreases performance.

A clean air filter can increase your acceleration up to 11%.

Should I replace it?

A certified mechanic can tell you when your air filter needs to be replaced. However, there are signs and symptoms you might notice too. If you notice a decrease in acceleration, a rough engine start, or a check engine light engaging then you should bring your vehicle in to get it checked.

It is generally recommended that you replace it every 15,000-30,000 miles. If you drive on a lot of dirt roads, you’ll probably want to gravitate toward replacing in the earlier part of that range.

If a bad filter isn’t replaced in a timely manner, then you’re engine will have to work that much harder and may not last as long. Sometimes filters can get so clogged that they finally tear and let in contaminants into the engine itself, causing irreparable damage.

Who should replace it?

You can always trust the friendly staff at Bargain Tire. We have a lot of experience under one roof and can see that you’re taken care of in an honest manner. Let us be your go-to for the maintenance work that your vehicle needs.

 

The Basics of Tire Alignments

tire alignmentIn the simplest of terms, tires that are properly aligned are pointing in the right direction. That said, the most obvious way to know if your tires need to be aligned is if your vehicle pulls to the left or to the right.

Your tires may become unaligned due to many different causes. The most common cause is hitting potholes, the curb, or some other hard thing.

In addition to being annoying to have to hold the steering wheel to the left in order to drive your vehicle straight, it is also important to have your tires aligned in order to preserve the life of your tires. Your tires will wear down much quicker if they are not properly aligned.

However, whether your car is driving straight or not, you may still need your tires aligned. The alignments are performed with equipment that measures to a fraction of an inch. Sometimes the need for an alignment can’t be seen by the human eye. You will typically be safe to have your tire alignment checked annually.

When you bring your vehicle over to Bargain Tire for an alignment, we will set the camber (inward or outward tilt of the wheels when looking head on), the caster (wheel tilt front or back looking from the side), and the toe (looking down at the wheels from above). We will also set the tire pressure to the manufacturer’s specifications. And with our 6-month/6,000 mile guarantee, you will know that you are getting your money’s worth.

For years, Bargain Tire has been Idaho’s trusted tire and automotive shop. Call or visit us online to schedule an appointment today!

Winter/Snow Tires Vs. All Season Tires

As winter begins it is important to understand which variety of tire will keep you and your loved ones safe. The first thing to consider is what the region is like where you live:

If where you live sees occasional flurries of snow and infrequent ice on the roads, an all weather tire will be your answer. If you deal with excessive snow all winter long, and constant ice and slush on your roads then a winter tire will be best. Here are some of the reasons why, and benefits of each:

All Season Tires:

  • Tread on all season tires has less depth and pronounced features (less aggressive)
  • This tread provides more comfort and a quieter driving experience, but will exhibit less traction in snow and ice
  • Tires will last longer in year round use and the ware will be more evenly distributed
  • All season tires offer a low rolling resistance, so they can produce a higher fuel efficiency
  • A harder rubber is used in all season tires, so it can adapt to all temperatures, but in icy conditions it can harden and reduce handling

Winter Tires:

  • Aggressive tread is especially designed to block snow build up and add traction in inclement weather
  • Rubber stays malleable against cold asphalt to maintain handling and control
  • Tread is engineered with snow and ice with a better biting edge for wet and snow covered roads
  • Winter tires provide the driver more control and confidence in potentially dangerous situations
  • Stopping time is significantly improved compared to all season tires

It is important to note, that winter tires should not be used in the summer as the soft rubber designed for snow will wear very quickly and will not handle well in heat.

When Do Your Brakes Need Maintenance?

Brakes undebrake maintenance and repair service rgo regular wear with age and eventually have to be replaced. How fast they wear out depends on a number of factors including driving habits, the quality of the brake pads, and vehicle type. While annual brake system inspections are vital to ensuring your safety, there are occasional warning signs between check-ups that might mean your brakes need attention.

Remember that it’s very important to replace your brakes before they get too far gone. Metal-to-metal braking without braking pads can lead to expensive fixes on your vehicle.

Here are some of the warning signs that you should have your brakes looked at:

  • Brake Light: the red brake light lights up on your vehicle’s dashboard.
  • ABS Light: The automated braking system light is constantly lit up on the dashboard.
  • Low Pedal: brake pedal gets very low before it actually starts engaging.
  • Hard Pedal: you have to push the pedal really hard to make it move so that the brakes can engage.
  • Grabbing: brakes grab almost too hard and fast at the slightest touch to the pedal.
  • Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.
  • Noise: screeching or grinding noises when applying brakes.
  • Vibration: brake pedal excessively vibrates, even under normal braking conditions.

If you experience any of these things, talk to a brake inspection professional as quickly as possible. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your vehicle.

Keep in mind that Bargain Tire offers complete brake system inspections and repairs for very affordable prices! Let us be your resource to diagnosing your brake problems. 

The Choice Between Regular and Synthetic Oil

bargain tire oil changeWhen you walk in to get your oil changed, you will be asked the question: Would you like synthetic or regular? You might be able to guess that synthetic oil is higher quality due to it’s higher price, but you may not know exactly why. In order to make the decision that is right for you and your vehicle, let’s break it down.

What is it?

Regular, or conventional, oil is created from crude oil, and that is pretty much the end of the story. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is regular oil that undergoes further modifications which remove many of the impurities that are found in the crude oil and improve its protective and lubricant properties.

Lubrication

Your car engine has lots of moving parts. In order to keep the parts moving fluidly, motor oil is used to create a slippery coating of lubrication. Synthetic oils have a greater ability to keep the parts slick, especially at higher temperatures. Better lubrication means less wear and tear on your engine, which could extend the life of the engine.

Cleaning

Another purpose of motor oil is to clean your engine of debris. Regular oil sometimes forms sludge which can be harmful for your engine. Synthetic oil, with its fewer impurities, is better able to work without forming sludge, also increasing the life of your engine.

Oil Changes

Any type of oil will eventually break down and become less effective. That is why you should regularly have your motor oil changed. The benefit of synthetic oil is that it can last as much as three times longer than regular oil before breaking down. So despite being more expensive, it will get you further down the road than conventional oil.

It is easy to see that synthetic oil is superior in many ways. However, regular oil will get the job done and is a good option as well. The most important thing to remember when it comes to caring for your car is to follow the recommendations from your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Rather than stressing about changing your oil, just bring your car on over to the nearest Bargain Tire. We will ensure that your vehicle has the oil it needs so that your engine will keep getting you where you need to be, when you need to be there! Schedule an appointment today!