Gattos Tires & Auto Service Blog recent posts.Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400en-ushourly1Website Launch Announcement: Gatto’s Tires & Auto Service Launches New Site, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400TCS<p> We are excited to announce the launch of our new website. The site features a fresh look, easy navigation and more focus on what the customer needs.</p> <p> The new site offers inventory listings with pictures and specs. You can search a variety of ways including by vehicle and size.</p> <p> With the addition of our blog, we are able to help inform and educate our customers on important tire and service information.</p> <p> We invite you to visit our new website today.</p> /blog/view/website-launch-announcement-setting-company-launches-new-site/feed0Questions You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Auto Repair Tech, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400<p> Often, drivers are mystified by how their cars actually work. It&rsquo;s to be expected. Even an older car is a complex machine with many sub-assemblies that all work together to move it down the road.<img alt="Car questions? Ask them!" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 243px; float: right; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 20px 10px;" /></p> <p> As a result, drivers tend to be a little intimidated by auto repair and often tend to not inform themselves by asking the necessary questions of a tech or a garage. Too often, that ends up being a big mistake. Here are some examples of the kinds of things you really should know before any auto repair work starts:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Does your shop work on any kind of vehicle?</strong> Of course, most shops can service a product from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and the other leading makes. Some makes, however, require a lot more training and experience, or even factory certifications. Vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW and certain other makes often require specialized tools and training; that&rsquo;s why many towns have repair shops that are for specific makes of vehicles.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <strong>What kind of equipment does your shop have?</strong> Every model year, vehicles and systems get more sophisticated, requiring specialized and up-to-date equipment for diagnostics and repair. Some equipment is dedicated to specific makes of vehicles. It&rsquo;s important that your auto repair shop stays current with technology, and this is a question that&rsquo;s certainly worth asking.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <strong>What kind of certifications does your shop (and your techs) have?</strong> Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a trade group that sets standards for auto repair with testing and certifications for techs; the blue ASE seal means that a tech has met the group&rsquo;s levels of expertise. Many auto repair shops and techs also have factory certifications for certain makes of vehicles.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <strong>What kind of replacement parts are you using?</strong> Not all replacement parts are the same! There are plenty of inferior parts on the aftermarket, and are usually a &ldquo;you get what you pay for&rdquo; proposition. Your shop should only be using factory or at least factory-quality parts to repair your vehicle. You also have the right to ask to see the part that failed and was replaced, and any good shop should be willing to let you.</li> </ul> <p> And while we&rsquo;re at it, here are a few others that don&rsquo;t really need elaboration&hellip;</p> <ul> <li> <strong>What&rsquo;s your warranty policy?</strong></li> <li> <strong>What would you do if this was your vehicle?</strong></li> <li> <strong>What are your shop rates for labor?</strong></li> <li> <strong>Do you do free estimates?</strong></li> <li> <strong>Do you provide shuttle service or a loaner car for while mine&rsquo;s in the shop?</strong></li> </ul> <p> &ldquo;Forewarned is forearmed,&rdquo; and it&rsquo;s important to know what you&rsquo;re getting into with any auto repair shop. By asking the right questions before any wrenches are turned, you can at least make auto repair into a somewhat less overwhelming experience. At <span id="BugEvents">our shop</span>, you know you can expect not only expert auto repair for a wide range of cars, minivans, light trucks and SUVs, but also top-notch customer service. It&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;ve built our business on &ndash; give us a call and make an appointment for your next auto repair or maintenance job.</p> /blog/view/questions-you-shouldn-t-be-afraid-to-ask-your-auto-repair-tech/feed0Self-Inflating Tires…Soon To Be A Reality?, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400<p> Driving around on underinflated tires is just a bad idea all the way around. Underinflated tires increase a car&rsquo;s rolling resistance, meaning a drop in fuel efficiency since it takes more energy to move the vehicle down the road.<img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /><br /> <br /> A single tire that&rsquo;s down by ten pounds of air means a 3.3 percent drop in fuel economy&hellip;multiply that by all four tires, and you can figure on giving up ten percent of your gas mileage. The added friction and rolling resistance also means more heat is generated, and heat is the enemy of the internal structure of a tire. That heat will damage a tire to the point of failure. Studies show that underinflated tires are a full 25 percent more likely to fail, and at least half of one-car accidents involve a tire problem as a factor. And still, it&rsquo;s estimated that 60 to 80 percent of the vehicles on the road are rolling on tires that are low on air.<br /> <br /> The tire pressure monitoring systems on newer cars are all well and good, but what can be done to stabilize tire pressure in vehicles, especially when many drivers just ignore it?<br /> <br /> Self-inflating tires are on the horizon. For military vehicles and heavy trucks, self-inflating tires have been around for a while, but they always involved a compressor or air reservoir on the vehicle to supply air. There are now a couple of new, innovative designs for self-inflating tires:</p> <ul> <li> A system from SIT uses a tube chamber near the bead of the tire wall. At its lowest point, the tube is kept closed with the normal deformation of a tire due to the weight of the vehicle. The portion that&rsquo;s squeezed closed constantly changes as the tire rolls. If the tire pressure drops, sensors and an automatic pressure regulator kick in and the squeezing/releasing action of the tube begins to suck in atmospheric air. When the tire reaches its proper pressure again, a check valve prevents the tube from introducing any more air. The SIT design actually won the 2009 Tire Technology of the Year award at the Tire Technology Expo.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> &nbsp;A system designed by Halo uses a pendulum-type mass that&rsquo;s suspended at the center of the truck wheel. As the wheel rolls, the pendulum swings and drives a self-contained pump which adds air until the desired air pressure is reached. This five-pound unit mounts directly to the wheel&rsquo;s axle cap, not unlike a hub odometer. While it&rsquo;s currently only available for heavy trucks, buses and tractor-trailers, the Halo system has been tested for over 8 million miles on various vehicles.</li> </ul> <p> While these self-inflation designs may not be widely used yet, they point the way to a time when having to worry about tire inflation will be a thing of the past. What kind of shape are your tires in? Have you checked their inflation level lately? Give us a call and make an appointment at the shop and let us have a look at your tires!</p> /blog/view/self-inflating-tires-soon-to-be-a-reality/feed0Cars That Last 250,000 Miles or More, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400<p> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; float: right; margin: 5px 10px;" />If you&rsquo;re old enough, you probably remember the cars from the late 70s and early 80s that weren&rsquo;t good for much more than 120,000 miles before they started to develop real problems and were junkyard bound. Today, thanks to improvements in design, metallurgy, manufacturing techniques and machining, those days are over and it&rsquo;s not at all unusual to see vehicles with well over 200,000 miles on the odometer and still running strong.</p> <p> Here&rsquo;s a quick rundown of some vehicles to consider which have a track record of being good for 250k miles or more:</p> <ul> <li> <b>Toyota Corolla:</b> Probably not a surprise to fans of Toyotas, the simple, no-frills Corolla hasn&rsquo;t changed much since the early 00s&hellip;but Toyota&rsquo;s approach to the tried-and-true Corolla is, &ldquo;if it ain&rsquo;t broke, why fix it?&rdquo; The Corolla has a reputation for just soldiering on down the road with little need for anything more than routine maintenance.</li> <li> <b>Honda Civic:</b> The Honda counterpart to the Corolla, Civics offers sedan, coupe, hybrid and sporty Civic Si models, all with a reputation for great longevity and driver satisfaction.</li> <li> <b>Subaru Outback:</b> Is it a wagon? A crossover? Who cares, the AWD Outback is a strong runner, and the majority of the Outbacks ever made since the 90s are still on the road today.</li> <li> <b>Acura TL:</b> This midsize entry from Honda&rsquo;s luxury brand can easily put in 200,000 miles or more with the right maintenance, and is available in front-wheel-drive or AWD editions.</li> <li> <b>Ford Crown Victoria:</b> True, the Crown Vic hasn&rsquo;t been made for a few years, but it relies on simple, old-school technology like a pushrod V8, body-on-frame construction and a lack of high-tech cabin accessories. The result is a car that police departments would run to 130,000 miles, then taxi services would buy them and drive them for 250,000 miles more. The same goes for the Vic&rsquo;s stablemates, the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis.</li> <li> <b>Ford Taurus:</b> Comfortable, spacious and reliable, the new generation of Ford Taurus can easily make it past the 200,000 mile mark with many more good miles left in it.</li> <li> <b>Dodge Grand Caravan:</b> Not sexy or flashy, the Grand Caravan offers dependable, practical and comfortable transportation. Earlier generations of the Grand Caravan were prone to transmission problems, but later GC&rsquo;s have a reputation for easily putting in a quarter-million miles or more.</li> <li> <b>Nissan Altima:</b> The Altima&rsquo;s been around for over 20 years, in a few different iterations, but it&rsquo;s still the same comfortable, reliable Nissan it&rsquo;s always been, with the same reputation for quality and long service life.</li> </ul> /blog/view/cars-that-last-250-000-miles-or-more/feed04 Things About Tires You May Not Have Known, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400<p> Tires all look sort of the same&hellip;round and black&hellip;and people tend to think tires don&rsquo;t change much over the years. That&rsquo;s really not true, though &ndash; engineers and designers are constantly working on advances in tire designs for more miles, better fuel economy and better performance.</p> <p> Here&rsquo;s a rundown of current trends in tire technology you may not have been aware of:</p> <p> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 0px 10px; float: right;" /></p> <div> <ul> <li> <b>Tall, skinny tires are coming back.</b> If you&rsquo;ve ever ridden a beach cruiser bike vs. a racing bike, you know that skinny tires have lower rolling resistance. Carmakers are going in that direction, too &ndash; the BMW i3 electric/plug-in hybrid uses Bridgestone Ecopia tires, with higher inflation pressure and a taller, skinnier profile. Tall, skinny tires also reduce the car&rsquo;s frontal profile for lowered wind resistance and aerodynamic drag. It isn&rsquo;t just the BMW i3, either&hellip;the Corvette Z51 is going with taller, skinnier tires.</li> <li> <b>Static electricity can be a problem with tires.</b> Static electricity and an inadequate electrical ground can be a real concern when you&rsquo;re refueling, or when you&rsquo;re sliding out of the car. Modern tire compounds feature less carbon black to cut rolling resistance and weight, but that also means a tire that&rsquo;s less conductive for an electric ground between the vehicle and the road surface. The solution is an &ldquo;antenna tread&rdquo; in the tire&rsquo;s surface &ndash; a thin, continuous strip of rubber that serves as an efficient conductor between the tire and pavement so the vehicle is always grounded.</li> <li> <b>Run-flat tires can make it another 100 miles or more after losing pressure.</b> Tire manufacturers design run-flat tires to cover 50 miles at 50 mph, but at slower speeds you can get a lot more miles than that out of them. The idea is to lessen the amount of heat generated by the tire and reduce the fatigue in the belts and the rubber. Imagine flexing a paper clip&hellip;if you bend it back and forth quickly, it&rsquo;ll break quickly, but if you flex it slowly, it&rsquo;ll last longer.</li> <li> <b>There are more than 200 materials in a modern tire.</b> You probably know about Kevlar and nylon and rubber and steel, but you probably didn&rsquo;t know rubber batches also include metals like cobalt and titanium which help the compound bond with the steel belts. Silane (silicon hydride) is being used to help inorganic silica bond with organic polymers for enhanced traction in wet or wintry weather. Silica is a major ingredient in low-rolling-resistance tires, and silica compounds like silane have been used a lot in the last 10-15 years to enhance performance. Tire companies are also using &ldquo;green&rdquo; materials for tires, such as citrus oil to control how tread viscosity and flexibility changes with temperature.</li> </ul> </div> /blog/view/4-things-about-tires-you-may-not-have-known/feed0The Latest in Green Tech Innovations for Tires, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400<p> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 200px; height: 199px; float: right; margin: 5px;" />When it comes to your car, oil isn&#39;t the only thing there&#39;s a finite supply of. Rubber has its limits too, and it&#39;s estimated by 2020, the supply of natural rubber in the world may be outstripped by demand. And of course, tires require a great deal of oil to produce as well. Tire manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to innovate and conserve resources in tire production. Here are some recent advances:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Dandelions</strong>: Yes, those humble yellow flowers you try to eliminate from your yard. Dandelions actually contain a minute amount of latex in their milky oil, and research shows they can actually produce about as much latex, pound-for-pound, as rubber plants. German scientists have cultivated 1-foot-tall dandelions for just this purpose. This isn&#39;t a new development, either -- in WWII, American companies were growing and cultivating Russian dandelions to cope with rubber scarcities due to wartime conditions.</li> <li> <strong>Silica</strong>: Tires are a complex blend of many different ingredients. Tires require friction for traction and control, but too much friction means heat buildup and rolling resistance, which hurts fuel economy. Engineers have discovered that mixing silica, the main ingredient in sand, in with carbon black and other elements can cut rolling resistance for better gas mileage. Too much silica means poor tread wear and traction, but manufacturers are aiming to strike the right balance between silica and carbon black in recent designs.</li> <li> <strong>Orange oil</strong>: In the search for alternatives to fossil fuels, a major manufacturer has taken the lead in using oil derived from orange peels in tire formulations. Orange oil has been used in cleaning products and other applications for years, but engineers have now figured out how to use it for lowered rolling resistance and better flexibility in tires.</li> <li> <strong>Soybean oil</strong>: While it&#39;s still in the development stages, it has been discovered that soybean oil can add up to ten percent to tire life, and can reduce fossil fuel use by up to 8.5 million gallons per year.</li> <li> <strong>Recycling</strong>: Vulcanization of rubber has been around since the 1830s. Vulcanized rubber is harder and more serviceable, but unfortunately vulcanization also means rubber which can&#39;t be recycled into tires again. Ironically, the same source that discovered this process has now uncovered a means to &quot;de-vulcanize&quot; rubber so it can be recycled for tire use. Currently, the recovery rate is about 80 percent; if the process can be scaled for mass-market use, it could mean a great solution for recycling the 800 million tires which are scrapped every year.</li> </ul> /blog/view/the-latest-in-green-tech-innovations-for-tires/feed0<link></link><comments></comments><pubDate>Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400</pubDate><dc:creator/><guid isPermaLink="true"></guid><content:encoded/><wfw:commentRss>/blog/view//feed</wfw:commentRss><slash:comments>0</slash:comments></item><item><title>Regular, Synthetic or Blend...What Kind of Oil Do I Need?, 29 Jun 2016 12:03:36 -0400<p> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; float: right; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px 10px;" />At one time, there were only a couple of choices for motor oil. Today, that is no longer the case, and hasn&#39;t been for quite some time. Here&#39;s a quick breakdown of what you need to consider when it&#39;s time for an oil change:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Viscosity</strong>: Viscosity is how thick your oil is, and how it retains its pour properties at various temperatures. In this respect, synthetic oil is far superior. Conventional oils will thicken in cold weather and thin out when very hot, while the viscosity of synthetic is much more uniform. Check your owner&#39;s manual -- many newer models require a thinner, lower-viscosity oil, which also helps the engine run more efficiently. Viscosity is expressed as a numerical value -- the lower the number, the thinner the oil. Many are designed to work at various viscosities, i.e. a rating like 5W-30.</li> <li> <strong>Premium Conventional Oil</strong>: For most vehicles, premium conventional oil is just fine. Conventional oil does a good job of protecting engine parts from wear and overheating, and is available with various additive packages and viscosities for different applications. Just remember to adhere to a more stringent oil change schedule -- every 5,000 miles is a good rule of thumb.</li> <li> <strong>High Mileage Oil</strong>: Vehicles are lasting longer, and more than 2/3 of the cars on the road have more than 75,000 miles on them. High mileage oil is formulated with conditioners that can swell gaskets and seals to stop leaks around valve covers and other areas where gaskets may have shrunk or cracked. High mileage oil is designed for better viscosity properties, helping to quiet noisy valve-train parts, reduce upper-end engine wear and provide better protection at piston/cylinder clearances which may be a bit looser due to age and wear.</li> <li> <strong>Synthetic Blend</strong>: Like the name suggests, synthetic blend oils split the difference between conventional and synthetic, both in protection and price point. Synthetic blend oils are popular for trucks and SUVs, especially when drivers subject them to towing or hauling heavy loads.</li> <li> <strong>Full Synthetic</strong>: The jury is in, and synthetic oil outperforms conventional oil in just about every respect. Synthetic is purer and more stable and uniform at the molecular level, meaning better viscosity properties (as mentioned above). Synthetics are factory-recommended for about every new vehicle; they protect against deposits better, are kinder to seals and gaskets and are less prone to vaporize and evaporate. The down side is synthetics are considerably more expensive by the quart, but that&#39;s offset somewhat by their 10-12,000 mile oil change interval.</li> </ul> <p> Still in doubt? Be sure to check your owner&#39;s manual for manufacturer&#39;s recommendations.</p> /blog/view/regular-synthetic-or-blend-what-kind-of-oil-do-i-need/feed0