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Category Archives: Tires and Wheels

Under Pressure in Mount Juliet: TPMS

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Have you noticed an increase in price when you get a flat fixed in Mount Juliet or your tires rotated? It might be the result of your TPMS, or Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

The federal government began requiring a TPMS system on 2008 model year passenger vehicles and light trucks. Some 2006 and 2007 models may have them as well. The system has a warning light that is mounted on the dashboard that will go on if one of the tires becomes severely under inflated.

Why the new requirement? Because underinflated tires are the number one cause of tire failure. Tire blowouts cause dangerous and sometimes fatal accidents. Underinflated tires also need longer stopping distance and can skid, both of which also present dangers on Tennessee roads. Many flat tires can also be prevented by proper tire inflation, and though this may seem an economic consideration, Mount Juliet motorists who have changed a flat on the side of the road recognize that this has serious safety concerns as well.

Advances in tire technology, specifically the development of radial tires has made it harder for Mount Juliet auto owners to recognize when a tire is underinflated. At a recommended pressure of 35 psi, a tire is seriously underinflated at 26 psi. But the tire doesn’t look low on air until it reaches 20 psi. This raises concerns about vehicle owners being able to tell when their sedans are a safety hazard on the road. Hence, the TPMS.

So, like seatbelts, the important TPMS system is expected to save a lot of lives. The technology has been in use in race cars for years, and now it’s being mandated for all passenger cars, SUV’s, mini-vans and pick-ups. Besides warning Mount Juliet car owners when their tires need air, the system is required to indicate when it is malfunctioning.

This increased safety won’t come without increased costs to Mount Juliet auto owners. Estimates regarding the cost of maintaining the TPMS on your vehicle run from $27 to $100. Also, there will be an added cost for tire repair. Mount Juliet service centers have had to purchase new scanning equipment to work with TPMS sensors and other essential equipment to repair tires and wheels equipped with TPMS. Conder’s Automotive service specialists have to be trained to use the new equipment. These costs will have to be passed on to Mount Juliet car owners.

Further, whenever a tire is changed, the Conder’s Automotive service specialist will have to deal with the TPMS. Sensors will have to removed, then re-installed and re-activated. Sometimes the act of changing a tire will damage a sensor, and it will need to be replaced. These extra services will come at an added charge to Mount Juliet drivers.

Tire rotations will require that the TPMS be re-programmed. And whenever a vehicle’s battery is disconnected, the TPMS will require re-programming as well.

The TPMS itself will require attention – it contains batteries and sensors that will wear out and need to be replaced.

So, if you’ve noticed an increase in the cost for car care at your Mount Juliet tire center, it may not be the economy. It could be the cost of the TPMS in newer vehicles. Before you dash off an angry letter to Congress, however, stop and consider what you’re paying for. If predictions are correct, the TPMS will save lives, and that will be a benefit to all of us.

Of course, no warning system will save lives in Mount Juliet if motorists don’t pay attention to it. And remember that the warning doesn’t come on until the tire is severely under inflated – you still should check your tire pressure at least once a month. Mount Juliet auto owners can prevent accidents and potentially save lives without a warning system by keeping their tires properly inflated.

Posted in   Tires and Wheels

Upsizing Wheels and Tires With Conder’s Automotive

At AutoNetTV we love doughnuts. So let’s pretend you have three doughnuts right in front of you for today’s discussion about upsizing wheels and tires. Hey, don’t eat them now – your going to need them later.

Many Mount Juliet drivers want to accessorize their car – you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Nashville area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Mount Juliet car owners, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more.

So let’s talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It’s not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your sedan suspension, you’ll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.

Let’s think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They’re all about the same size. So if we pretend they’re tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we’ve made the hole bigger on some. That’s like having a bigger wheel – but the rolling diameter is the same.

It’s important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the sedan wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won’t work properly.

Some motorists have cars with electronically controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter. Let’s think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate.

Low profile tires from top automakers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you’ll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there’s more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of Mount Juliet folks with trucks or SUVs love the extra control.

Tennessee auto owners need to watch out that the contact patch isn’t so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we’re talking about here is fitment. Your tire professional at Conder’s Automotive can help you get this right. He’ll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels, and get you rolling.

Also, if you drive off-road in Tennessee a lot, you may need a higher profile tire to protect your new rims. And make sure your new tires have the load rating you need if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads. Again, your tire professional at Conder’s Automotive knows how to help.

And don’t forget about tire pressure. If you have larger rims, your new tires will hold less air and they’ll need to run a slightly higher pressure. Forget that and you’ll wear your tires out fast. Finally, get an alignment at Conder’s Automotive after you get your new shoes. AutoNetTV wants you to safely have the look you want.

Stop by Conder’s Automotive to learn more about how you might upsize your wheels or tires.
You’ll find us at 441 East Division Street in Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209.

Posted in   Tires and Wheels

Selecting New Tires and Wheels

Some of us Mount Juliet car owners just love tires. All those little rubber hairs on new tires and the smell is wonderful. Mount Juliet drivers live in a great time for tires. No matter how you drive between Mount Juliet and Nashville, where you want to go or the look you’re after; there is a tire for you.

The same is true about wheels. The hardest part for Mount Juliet motorists is choosing from the thousands of wheels available at Tennessee tire shops.

The team at Conder’s Automotive may not be able to help with that, but we can help you get some things in mind before you consult with your Mount Juliet tire professional. Let’s start with function and think about how you drive.

For example, maybe you have a large SUV but you don’t drive off-road around Mount Juliet, so an off-road tread isn’t important. Also, because you are not out bouncing over rocks in the Tennessee backcountry, you don’t need a high profile tire to protect your rims. So that means you can probably go with the low-wide look.

If you have a winter season with rain and snow or if you find you need better ice and snow performance, they make great, high-performance snow tires that won’t make it look like you are driving a tractor.

There really are a lot of options for any given vehicle. Mount Juliet drivers will find it very helpful to have a discussion like this with their Mount Juliet tire pro or the tire experts at Conder’s Automotive when they need new tires. You can find the best solutions for your driving needs and to make improvements in ride or handling.

Picking a wheel that is the same size as what you are now running is key and pretty simple. But, it gets trickier if you want to upsize. Just get some help when you go bigger. All that tire and wheel still needs to fit in the available space. You do not want your tires to rub when you turn or hit a bump. Mount Juliet car owners also need to make sure their brakes and suspension bits will fit with their wheel of choice. It doesn’t matter how great your car looks if it’s not drivable.

Taller, wider wheels and tires probably weigh more than your stock shoes. And it’s “unsprung” weight – that has a big impact on brake performance. The upsized shoes increase rotational inertia – if you go too big you may need to upgrade your brakes to compensate.

Another possible problem is an inaccurate speedometer. This happens because the number of rotations can change with the new wheels. Fortunately, speedometers and odometers are all controlled by the engine computer; so it is straightforward to get it reprogrammed at Conder’s Automotive to compensate for the bigger tires.

No matter what you are after: low cost, long life, high performance, traction or stunning good looks, your wheel and tire professional at Conder’s Automotive in Mount Juliet, Tennessee can help you identify your needs and give you a custom fit. With all the options available, you don’t have to compromise. There is a tire out there with your name on it!

Posted in   Tires and Wheels

Getting New Tires In Mount Juliet?

best tire shops in Mount Juliet

There are so many tire choices in the Mount Juliet, Nolensville, and Hermitage area, selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for Nashville auto owners. And even though it’s kind of fun to have new tires on your sedan, they’re a significant investment for most Nashville folks so you want do it right.

Tip: talk with your friendly Conder’s Automotive tire professional. He’ll help you sort through the choices.

Here are some of the issues you’ll talk about: One is size – you know, all those numbers on the side of the tire. The right size is important. All new vehicles are required to have stability control which, along with other important safety systems, is calibrated to work with specific tire sizes. Your Mount Juliet tire professional can help stay within auto makers’ specifications or program a different tire size into your sedan’s computer.

And you’ll want to discuss how and where you drive in Nashville to determine the type of tire you need: summer, winter, all-season tires or all-terrain. There are tires for every Nashville auto owner’s needs.

Like we said, tires are a big investment, so you want to get a good value on tires. Now that doesn’t always mean the cheapest tire. A top tier tire from Conder’s Automotive will last a long time and give Nashville drivers good performance throughout its life. Tires sold in Mount Juliet bargain tire shops may not live up to that promise. Again, your friendly Conder’s Automotive tire professional can give you options that offer the best long-term value within your immediate budget.

Last, with a 2-wheel drive vehicle you should always replace both tires on an axle. Modern sensors and computer safety systems for sedan brakes, stability and traction control need both tires to have the same amount of wear to work properly. And always put the new tires on the rear so you don’t fishtail in a turn. With all-wheel drive you should replace all four tires at the same time.

Schedule a tire inspection at Conder’s Automotive to see how much life is left in your sedan tires and seek the help of a professional when choosing new shoes for your vehicle.

Give us a call

Conder’s Automotive
615-758-1515
441 East Division Street
Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209

Posted in   Tires and Wheels

Tire Replacement: What Nolensville Drivers Need to Know

Looking at getting some new tires? The choices at Nolensville tire stores can be a little overwhelming. Suppose you have an SUV and are trying to decide between all season tires or some that are also rated for off-highway. Do you get off the payment on the outskirts of Nolensville more than most? If so, some additional off-road traction would be nice.

Tire Replacement: What Nolensville Drivers Need to KnowMaybe the real reason for wanting those off-highway tires is that they look cool. Well there’s nothing wrong with that. If you make sure that you’ve got your functional needs covered with your selection, then you can have some fun with where you go from there.

Let’s suppose you zip around Nolensville in a sporty car. You may like to run a high-performance summer tire when the weather’s good. When Tennessee weather turns cold, you can put on high-performance winter tires. For the kind of driving you like to do, you want full-on performance tires. All-season tires are naturally a compromise that works well for most Nolensville drivers, but since you have a choice, go for dedicated summer and winter tires.

When it’s time for new tires, visit with a knowledgeable Conder’s Automotive tire professional. Describe your needs and wants. He’ll come up with some selections for you to discuss. And once you settle on a type of tire, there are options for special needs: like pulling a trailer or carrying heavy loads.

Tires are one of the biggest purchases for Nolensville drivers. With so many choices, you’ll be able to get what’s best for you. Take their time. And don’t worry about what’s in stock. If you want something that isn’t here at Conder’s Automotive, manager Bruce Conder can order it. Chances are you’ll be rolling on your new tires in a couple of days.

Posted in   Tires and Wheels

Conder’s Automotive Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Welcome to the Conder’s Automotive automotive blog. Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most Mount Juliet and Hermitage drivers tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Safe Hermitage drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.

Conder's Automotive Tire Safety Washington vs. LincolnLet’s focus on stopping in wet Hermitage conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That’s called hydroplaning. If it’s really bad, Hermitage car owners can actually spin out of control – endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won’t stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your sedan tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Conder’s Automotive tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your sedan on wet Hermitage roads.

So that’s why it’s so important for Tennessee auto owners to replace their sedan tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

By comparison, you’ve probably seen the wear indicator that’s molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely bald sedan tire.

At Conder’s Automotive, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Hermitage freeway. A safe stop from Tennessee expressway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your sedan tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Hermitage drivers have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head – the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, sedan tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Hermitage want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.

Posted in   Tires and Wheels

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Wheel Bearings

Why are wheel bearings important for Mount Juliet car owners? It’s simple: your wheel bearings keep the wheels on your vehicle. In today’s Conder’s Automotive post, we’ll discuss more about wheel bearings and how you can make sure they can do their very important job while you drive around Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

Come see us at: 441 East Division Street Mount Juliet, Tennessee 37209

Wheel bearings are pretty simple parts. They’re made of high quality steel and are engineered to last 100,000 miles or more if properly cared for. The bearings do two important jobs: First, they allow the wheel to freely rotate with as little friction as possible. Second, they support the weight of the vehicle. For example, if your car weighs 3,600 pounds, each wheel has to support approximately 900 pounds. That’s a lot of heavy lifting over many, many thousands of miles.

Even though wheel bearings are pretty simple parts, they need to be in near perfect condition to do their job. The bearings are packed with heavy grease to lubricate and protect them. A seal keeps the grease in and water and dirt out. It’s when the seal starts to leak that problems begin. The grease can become contaminated; causing the wheel bearings to overheat and ultimately fail.

The first sign that your wheel bearings are in trouble is an unusual noise coming from a wheel. It could be a chirping, growling, rumbling or a cyclic sound. The noise could get louder or even disappear at certain speeds. Your service specialist at Conder’s Automotive can inspect for bearing wear by lifting the vehicle and checking for play in the wheel.

Now some wheel bearing assemblies are factory sealed. That means that they cannot be serviced – they can only be replaced. Those that aren’t sealed can be serviced on schedule. The bearings are removed, cleaned and inspected. If the bearings are still good, they’re re-installed – if not, they’re replaced. They are then packed in grease and a new seal is installed.

If your vehicle has a factory sealed wheel bearing assembly, the entire assembly needs to be replaced when trouble arises. Unfortunately, the parts are pretty pricey – but they usually last about 150,000 miles as long as the seals hold up.

Now, even a good seal cannot keep out water that’s exerting pressure on the seal. So if you’ve driven through hub deep water your bearings should be cleaned and repacked if they’re serviceable. If you have factory sealed bearings, you just need to watch for signs of premature failure. If your wheel bearings can be serviced, your owner’s manual will recommend an interval, usually around 30,000 miles.

If you have any sort of trailer, don’t forget its wheel bearings. They probably need to be serviced even more frequently. This is especially true for boat trailers that are used to launch the boat by backing it into the water. These should be serviced every year, usually at the end of the season so that the bearings don’t have the opportunity to rust all winter.

So what happens if wheel bearings fail? Well, the wheel can literally fall off the vehicle. I don’t need to tell you how bad that could be. So check with your service specialist at Conder’s Automotive and see if your vehicle’s wheel bearings can be serviced and when it’s recommended. Listen for warning signs. If you’ve been fording streams or puddle surfing after rainstorms, be especially vigilant.

Visit the automotive professionals at Conder’s Automotive for a wheel bearing inspection, or for Brake Repair. Call 615-758-1515 for an appointment.

Posted in   Tires and Wheels

Winter Tires

What type of technology do you use? Do you prefer an 8-track tape or an iPod? When it comes to winter tires, much of the public’s perception dates back to when 8-track was the best way to listen to the Bee Gees.

Twenty years ago, winter tires differed from highway tires only in their tread design. We called them snow tires back then and they had big, knobby lugs that were designed to give good traction in deep snow. They had the same rubber compound as regular tires and they weren’t very good on ice, packed snow or wet roads. They were not even very good on dry roads. They really helped in deep or loose snow, but they did a poor job the rest of the time. They were loud and rode hard. You couldn’t wait to get them off in the spring.

Then all-season tires started to come along. All-season tires are really a compromise between summer and winter performance. They have acceptable hot weather ride and tread life, and you can get through mild winter road conditions OK. But there are some really good reasons to consider winter tires.

Modern winter tires do a terrific job in a wide range of winter conditions. First of all, below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, regular tires become hard and inflexible. That means they don’t provide the road grip you need. Even if you don’t live somewhere with a lot of snow, but it still gets below 45 degrees in the winter, you will be safer with winter tires.

In addition, they are specifically designed to more effectively move snow and water. That’s the key to traction on ice, packed snow and wet roads. They use a micro-pore compound that allows the tire to bite into ice and snow. They also use wider grooves that run around the circumference of the tread to expel snow from the tire better. The lugs and grooves on winter tires have a special shape that throws the packed snow out of the tread as the tire turns. The tread is then open when it comes back in contact with the road and can provide good traction.

Winter tires also have a lot of sipes. Sipes are thin slits in the tread. The edge of the sipes grab ice and packed snow to provide tons of traction and to expel water and slush out of the tread. winter tires have a rounder casing to cut into the snow’s surface. The treads on regular summer tires can actually get packed with snow instead and become very slick. winter tires offer 25% to 50% more traction than all-season tires. And when it comes to stopping power, all-season tires take 42% longer to stop than winter tires. Sometimes that’s the difference between getting home safely and spending the night in a snow bank.

Now back when the 8-track was king, you just put snow tires on the drive wheels. That worked out OK because the rubber compound was essentially the same. Now, winter tires provide so much more traction than all-season or summer tires, that there’s a huge difference between the traction at the front and rear ends of the car if you only put winter tires on the drive wheels.

For example: if you take a corner on an icy road and the rear end starts to slide out, essentially the rear is trying to pass the front because it’s going faster. If you have high traction winter tires only on the front, they are going to be much more effective at transferring cornering grip and stopping power to the front wheels. This will actually cause the rear end to whip out even more.

That’s why tire manufactures instruct their dealers that they must install winter tires on the rear wheels as well whenever they put winter tires on the front end of any vehicle. It’s a major safety concern. It’s strongly recommended that winter tires be installed on all four wheels on rear wheel drive vehicles as well. The front tires do most of the steering and braking work – it only makes sense that you provide the front end with the best traction you can.

People often assume that if they have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive they don’t need winter tires on all four wheels. Would you intentionally disconnect the four-wheel drive in poor road conditions? Of course you wouldn’t, but that’s essentially what you do if you only put winter tires on one end. It only makes sense to have the same level of traction and control at all four corners.

The province of Quebec in Canada has issued a law requiring all passenger vehicles, taxis and rental cars with Quebec license plates to install a full set of four winter tires between November 15th and April 1. It’s that important.

Many modern cars have traction control and anti-lock brakes so people may think that they don’t need winter tires. But you need traction to accelerate, steer and stop. The tires provide the traction so that the traction control and anti-lock brakes have something to work with.

Look for tires with the symbol of a mountain with a snowflake in it. This means the tire complies with the severe snow standard. All-season tires will have an M&S, for mud and snow, on the sidewall.

So when the temperatures drop below 45 degrees, be sure you have a set of four winter tires for maximum performance in snow, packed snow, ice, wet and dry roads. Your tire professional can help you find the right winter tire for your vehicle and driving needs.

Posted in   Tires and Wheels