How To Defog Your Car Windshield

The cold weather has arrived here in Idaho, and with it comes the challenge of operating a car in less-than-ideal circumstances. Many of us have experienced those cold, winter mornings when we rush out to the car, running late for work, anxious to get on the road, only to find that the windshield is fogged up from the inside, forcing you to sit patiently and wait while the fog dissipates.

You are always better off waiting for a clear windshield than driving with your vision impaired. And although it usually only takes a few minutes to defog, it is sometimes hard to wait. Is it hot air? Or cold air? Many people switch the settings back and forth, impatiently trying to rid their windshield of the fog.

According to science experiments conducted by former NASA engineer Mark Rober, there is one combination of settings that is superior to all others.

  1.  Defroster on high.
  2.  Temperature control set to hottest temperature.
  3.  A/C turned on.
  4.  Turn off the inside air circulation.
  5.  Crack open the windows.

For a more detailed look at Rober’s experiment, check out his video:

This trick is helpful for defogging the inside of your windshield, but when heavier snow falls, you’ll need an ice-scraper to defrost from the outside of the windshield.

Bargain Tire is your one-stop-shop for all of your vehicle repair and maintenance needs. Whether it’s a broken heater, faulty windshield wipers, you name it, we can get you back safely on the road. Come see us at Bargain Tire in Chubbuck, ID!

 

5 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Many people prefer buying used cars over new cars. The price tag makes buying used cars much more viable. Buying a used car can also be scary – you don’t always know exactly what you’re getting into. We’ve heard the horror stories of undependable used cars. Following these 5 tips will make your experience purchasing a used car much more pleasant.

tips for buying a used car1. Decide What You’re Looking For – Before anything else, what exactly are you looking for? Is it something cheap and affordable, or are you looking for more of a long-term vehicle? Do you want a small car, a truck, or possibly a van? Are there certain features you are looking for in a vehicle, such as 4-wheel drive? In addition to deciding what you want in a car, decide exactly how much you’re willing to spend. Whether you plan to pay in cash or take out a loan, it is important that you have a defined budget, as this will make your search a lot more manageable.

 

2. Do Your Homework – Once you know what to look for, it is time to do your homework. You never want to make a big purchase without having made an informed decision. Most used cars that are for sale will be listed online, whether that’s on the website of your local used car dealership or on a bigger site such as cars.com or autotrader.com. Shop around (a lot), compare prices, view the vehicle history reports, and come up with a list of 3-5 cars that you are seriously considering.

 

3. Go Check Them Out – Call the seller and confirm the availability of the car. When you’re on the phone, ask a lot of questions – you may learn things about the car that you didn’t know before. Arrange a time for you to meet and see the car.  Take it for a test drive. While in the car, you’ll need to use 4 of your 5 senses (not taste – you don’t need to lick anything). How does everything look, both the interior and beneath the hood? As you are driving, how does the car sound and feel? Are there any unusual smells? If everything still looks good, arrange to have it checked by a professional mechanic. Bargain Tire can help give you an expert opinion.

 

4. Make Your Decision – After you’ve driven a few different cars, and you still have a list of 3-5 vehicles that you are seriously considering, it’s time to make a decision. Weigh the pros and cons of each vehicle, talk to a trusted friend or family member, and make your choice.

 

how to buy a used car5. Negotiate -Some people hate negotiating, but when you’ve done all this work to research the car, chances are you’ll be able to get the car for less than it is listed. Your initial offer should be less than the amount you’re willing to spend. Be reasonable and realistic. When both sides are happy, close the deal, do the paperwork, and enjoy your new vehicle.

 

Many people have positive experiences buying used cars. To make sure you are one of them, be sure to follow these 5 tips for buying a used car. For any vehicle maintenance or repair needs here in the Pocatello, ID area, come see us at Bargain Tire! Good luck shopping!

The Bargain Tire App

In a world dominated by technology, we now have a way for you to quickly and easily find new tires, schedule an appointment, and connect with Bargain Tire. Introducing the Bargain Tire app: a revolutionary new app that makes it easier than ever before for you to get the vehicle help you need, spend less time in the shop, and more time living life.

After downloading this free app for Apple on the App Store or for Android on Google Play, you can create a personal account with your information, including your vehicle’s year, make and model. With your personal account you can quickly and easily find the right tires for your vehicle, get notifications on your vehicle’s status when it’s in our shop, receive exclusive deals and promotions, and schedule appointments.

Also, with the Bargain Tire app you can call Roadside Assistance or the Warranty Hotline at the touch of a button. This will give you peace of mind for the unexpected problems you may encounter on the road.

Bargain Tire is your one-stop-shop for tires and vehicle repairs. Located conveniently in Chubbuck, Idaho, we are committed to providing friendly customer service and professional service. Download the app or give us a call today!

bargain tire app

6 Car Skills Everyone Should Have

Most people drive a car every single day, and have been since their teenage years. Despite the years of driving experience, many never learned some basic, important skills that are involved with maintaining your vehicle.

Whether you are 16 or 60, you should master the following 6 car skills. If you are a parent, make sure your teenagers do the same.

  1. How to check the oil – Even if you don’t plan on actually changing the oil yourself, at least know how to check the oil,  read the dipstick, and determine if more oil needs to be added, or if you are due for an oil change. Time between oil changes varies depending on the year and model of your vehicle, as well as how much you drive. You may need an oil change change every 3-6 months. The engine is the heart of your vehicle, so knowing how to care for your engine is important.
  2. Flat tire repair Pocatello, IDHow to change a flat tire – Your tire could go flat anytime, anywhere. There may or may not be people around to help, so it’s important that you know how to change a tire by yourself, and that you have the appropriate tools. Everyone needs to know how to jack up the car, remove the flat tire, and replace it with a spare. Then you can take it to a mechanic nearby to get it fixed.
  3. How to check fluids – There are fluids that your car needs to function properly in addition to engine oil. You should know how to check and refill these fluids. These include the coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid. Each fluid has its own location beneath the hood. Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn which is which.
  4. dead battery pocatello, IDHow to jump start the car – Knowing how to jump a car will be helpful not only for you, but other drivers who you may be able to help. If your battery is dead, grab some jumper cables (which you should keep in the back of your car) and hook up the cables to another vehicle. First attach the red positive clip to your battery, then the other red clip to their battery. Third, attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal on their battery, and lastly clip the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car that isn’t near the battery.
  5. What to do after an accident – In the case of an accident, it is important (especially for young drivers) to know how to handle the situation. If possible, move your car to a safe spot off the road. Be calm and get out of your car. Check on the others involved. Call the police. Gather as much info as possible, taking pictures to document the scene if possible.
  6. Who to call – Last, but certainly not least, is knowing who to call when you need help. Bargain Tire has been providing the Pocatello, ID area with a wide variety of car maintenance services for many years, and our experienced mechanics can help with any of your car needs.
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.